A New York Times reporter suggested on Tuesday that Trump supporters should be categorized as “enemies of the state,” amid current Congressional hearings on the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach.
As the first hearing of the Jan. 6 committee proceeded on Capitol Hill, the New York Times' Justice Department reporter Katie Benner went on Twitter to suggest that the committee “underscores” what she views as the ongoing, if largely media-driven, threat in the United States.
"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," Benner wrote.
Benner continued: "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?"
Benner was one of several liberal commentators who criticized whether the Pelosi-appointed Jan. 6 committee would address the problem, highlighting that previous committees failed to resolve the Russia investigation and both impeachments of Donald Trump did not reach satisfying conclusions.
"That leaves it up to voters, making even more essential free, fair access to the polls," Benner said.
Her remarks were seized upon by commentators on social media, including other journalists, who criticized her fixation with the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill and her apparent decision to weaponize the incident to vilify Trump supporters and classify them as “enemies of the state.”
"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,” wrote left-wing journalist Glenn Greenwald. “This is a reporter -- not an op-ed writer -- saying this," journalist Glenn Greenwald reacted. "Hearing anyone describe a traumatic and violent experience provoke[s] emotions: even for police officers. That's what today is for. But the fixation on 1/6 is about exactly this: classifying Trump supporters as Enemies of the State for political gain & Security State power."
“This is such a wildly extreme statement on so many levels, couched in the phony language of journalistic impartiality,” remarked independent journalist Michael Tracey.
Federalist co-founder Sean Davis slammed the Times writer as being “one of the corrupt FBI’s favorite leak receptacles acknowledging what we all see: merely opposing the ruling regime makes you an ‘enemy of the state.’ The lawless U.S. intelligence apparatus is admitting it is weaponizing all of its post-9/11 tools against you.”
Benner later deleted her tweets, saying that they were “unclearly worded.”