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Trump Accused Of ‘Calling For Armed Revolts Against Governors He Doesn’t Like’

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President Donald Trump posted in a series of all-caps tweets on Friday calling on supporters to violate the “stay-at-home” order intended to halt the spread of the coronavirus to “liberate” states, a day after he unveiled guidelines aimed at reopening the nation’s economy. Trump named Virginia, Michigan and Minnesota as states that could benefit from liberation.

“LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” Trump tweeted. “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!” he wrote on a second tweet. “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” he added on another message to his supporters.

All three states are led by Democratic governors, and all three have seen protests aimed at state officials in recent days demanding a rollback of social distancing and the closing of businesses. Demonstrators drove thousands of vehicles to Michigan’s state Capitol this week to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order, for instance.

It was not clear exactly what Trump meant with the tweets. But critics were quick to note that the president appeared to be encouraging protests in the states, all three of which are also important for the presidential election.

“He’s encouraging them to attack state authorities in the midst of a health crisis,” Joanne Freeman, a Yale history professor who has studied anti-government violence, posted on Twitter. “He’s slashing at states to gain the loyalty of all those who ‘like’ him, regardless of the impact.”

Bradley P. Moss, a national security lawyer, accused the president of inciting violence against Democratic governors.

“The president is calling for armed revolts against governors he doesn’t like, Moss said.

Former Republican congressman Joe Walsh wrote: “Any Republican Member of the United States Congress who does not publicly speak out against what Donald Trump is tweeting this morning will be held equally responsible for any violence that ensues.”

Check Trump’s tweets below.

The responses were swift:

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