ProPublica reporter says movement to target government, political opponents had been rising prior to Jan. 6 attack

ProPublica reporter and Frontline correspondent A.C. Thompson said that a growing movement to target the government and political opponents had already been underway before the Jan. 6 attack took place and suggested that people needed to take peoples’ rhetoric more seriously.

“I think if you look at what’s happened in this country for the last several years, you see a rising tide of people wanting to engage in violent acts, to overthrow the government or to target their political opponents. In the run up to the election, there were multiple shootings at protests before we even got to Jan. 6,” Thompson said during a Thursday appearance on Hill.TV’s “Rising.”

He said that between firsthand reporting and following social media accounts, he said that people openly discussed or involved themselves in violent acts.

“Every time I went to D.C. and went to a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally, there were acts of pretty spectacular violence,” Thompson said, who is also a producer of documentary “American Insurrection.”

“If you follow the social media, for example, the people who are involved in the Arizona audit and ‘Stop the Steal’ movement there, the first thing that they start talking about on Telegram and other social media channels is ‘We should go lynch the tyrants, we should go hang the tyrants,’ and they’re talking about other government officials.”

One year ago on Thursday a mob of supporters of former President Trump attempted to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 presidential election results. Though many lawmakers have condemned the attack at the Capitol, there remains a partisan divide over how much responsibility they believe the former president bears for the events at the Capitol.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.