Trump's talk of martial law sends White House staffers rushing to the press

CNN's Brian Stelter explains how the country faces radicalization as some right-wing media outlets flood the airwaves with conspiracy theories and disinformation.

Posted: Dec 21, 2020 12:50 PM
Updated: Dec 21, 2020 12:50 PM

A meeting President Donald Trump held to discuss overturning the election result alarmed some White House staffers -- people who are used to Trump's inflammatory and anti-democratic rhetoric.

With only a month remaining until President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office, Trump has been ramping up his efforts to remain president, while also trying to convince millions of Americans that election fraud is to blame for his presidential loss.

That's nothing new. But a heated Oval Office meeting Friday in which Trump heard arguments about invoking martial law to stay in office had some Trump officials sounding the alarm to the press.

Michael Flynn, Trump's pardoned former national security adviser, discussed the martial law plan on right-wing television network Newsmax last week and was invited to the White House Friday.

Trump dismissed reports of the martial law discussion as 'fake news' in a tweet Sunday, but two people familiar with the matter told CNN that the the plan was argued in the Oval Office Friday -- although it remains unclear if Trump endorsed the idea.

Nevertheless, even the mention of martial law may fan the flames of many supporters clinging to the belief the election result was fraudulent. That could incite violence to bring the idea into fruition.

"In the conspiratorial conservative base of supporting Trump, there are calls for using the Insurrection Act to declare martial law," said Elizabeth Neumann, former assistant secretary of Homeland Security under President Trump and adviser at Defending Democracy Together, on CNN's "Reliable Sources."

"When they hear that the president is actually considering this, there are violent extremist groups that look at this as a dog whistle, an excuse to go out and create ... violence," she said.

It's a concept she calls "acceleration," in which violent extremist groups, especially White supremacists, try to overthrow the United States government. These groups believe that will take place through a civil war and look to "accelerate the chaos, accelerate the coming of the civil war."

"So when they hear that the president is open to this idea of martial law, we may see certain groups mobilizing to commit acts that, in their minds, a justification for the use of the Insurrection Act," Neumann said.

Lafayette
Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 63°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 62°
Rensselaer
Mostly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 61°
Lafayette
Mostly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 63°
Danville
Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 62°
Frankfort
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 61°
Frankfort
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 61°
Monticello
Mostly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 61°
Monticello
Mostly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 61°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 61°
Some More Frost & Light Freezing Ahead......
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 707111

Reported Deaths: 13216
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion963501718
Lake51613944
Allen39106671
Hamilton34449405
St. Joseph33979539
Elkhart27255432
Vanderburgh22060394
Tippecanoe21765212
Porter17945298
Johnson17507374
Hendricks16786310
Clark12681190
Madison12338337
Vigo12204244
Monroe11443166
LaPorte11118204
Delaware10341184
Howard9652211
Kosciusko9114114
Hancock7964139
Bartholomew7880155
Warrick7681155
Floyd7555176
Wayne6895198
Grant6837171
Boone6541100
Morgan6390138
Dubois6079117
Marshall5779108
Dearborn569876
Cass5683102
Henry5572100
Noble540683
Jackson493069
Shelby478495
Lawrence4338118
Gibson427989
Harrison427670
Clinton418653
Montgomery417786
DeKalb409184
Huntington378680
Whitley377939
Miami372465
Knox365989
Steuben364457
Putnam352560
Jasper350146
Wabash347678
Adams337952
Ripley334568
Jefferson312980
White308154
Daviess289299
Wells286281
Decatur278792
Fayette277162
Greene270685
Posey268533
Scott261053
Clay253244
LaGrange252470
Randolph235280
Washington230731
Spencer227631
Jennings224747
Fountain208445
Sullivan207742
Starke203952
Owen192156
Fulton191439
Jay186029
Carroll185720
Perry180236
Orange177253
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
Franklin165635
Tipton160943
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130234
Pulaski113645
Newton103534
Brown100040
Crawford97614
Benton96713
Martin82615
Warren79615
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55711
Unassigned0408

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events