A New York Times reporter has taken down tweets in which she called for the tens of millions of supporters of former President Donald Trump to be viewed as “enemies of the state” after she was heavily criticized for the posts.
Katie Benner, who covers the Justice Department for the Times, suggested during Tuesday’s initial hearings conducted by the Jan. 6 committee on Capitol Hill that for the government to “combat” existing threats to national security within the country, it would be necessary to go after the former president’s voters.
But after widespread condemnation, Benner deleted her tweets and claimed that they were “unclearly worded.”
“I deleted unclearly worded tweets regarding the Jan 6. committee hearing,” she wrote Tuesday evening.
I deleted unclearly worded tweets regarding the Jan 6. committee hearing.
— Katie Benner (@ktbenner) July 27, 2021
According to reports, one deleted tweet read: “Today’s #January6thSelectCommittee underscores the America’s current, essential natsec dilemma: Work to combat legitimate national security threats now entails calling a politician’s supporters enemies of the state.”
Elaborating, she had added, “As Americans, we believe that state power should not be used to work against a political figure or a political party. But what happens if a politician seems to threaten the state? If the politician continues to do so out of office and his entire party supports that threat?”
She then suggested that the 1/6 committee hand-selected by House Speaker Nancy Peloso would fix the “dilemma” because it was “unresolved” even after the Russian collusion probe and two impeachments of the former president.
“That leaves it up to voters, making even more essential free, fair access to the polls,” she concluded.
Benner’s posts were quickly seized upon by critics, several of whom questioned her journalistic ethics.
“Absolutely amazing: the New York Times’ Justice Department reporter says the US faces an ‘essential natsec dilemma’: namely, that Trump supporters are ‘enemies of the state’ and all of the GOP is a threat to the State. This is a reporter — not an op-ed writer — saying this,” Substack journalist Glenn Greenwald observed on Twitter.
“Here we have an NYT reporter, channeling the views of the corrupt FBI and DOJ officials who leak to her, straight-up saying that your political opposition to the ruling regime makes you an enemy of the state by definition,” added The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis.
“That’s the best summary of the Biden Admin’s domestic national security strategy I’ve ever read,” Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), who was appointed to the committee by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) but rejected by Pelosi, wrote.
“Work to combat legitimate national security threats now entails calling Trump supporters enemies of the state.”
That’s the best summary of the Biden Admin’s domestic national security strategy I’ve ever read. https://t.co/9rs9tpLlAk
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) July 27, 2021
“How are you a reporter? You are pathetic. If anyone is the enemy of the state its you, probably work for China under the table. Reporters should state facts and the news, we don’t need your opinions, especially unfounded and uneducated as yours. How much is China paying you?” another Twitter user noted in response.
“As to how she’s a reporter, that’s easy. This is level of fascistic partisan hatred the new standard for ‘objective journalism’, especially at corrupted outlets like the Times,” added another.
“They were pretty clear,” AdamInHTown replied.
“Congratulations, you have 70 million enemies!” another user tweeted.
“Ministry of Truth, writ large…1984 was a manual…we were warned,” another wrote.
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