A Trump-supporting Republican delegate from Tennessee said in an interview that he believes certain U.S. leaders need to be brought to heel and forced to adhere to his interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. If they are not, he said, they should be killed.
In a conversation with Mother Jones magazine, delegate David Riden left no room for doubt of intentions.
“The polite word is ‘eliminated,'” said Riden. “The harsh word is ‘killed.'”
Riden — a retired nuclear engineer — is active in an insurrectionist militia group and attended a planning conference and convention known as the Continental Congress of 2009, where attendees published a list of demands called their “Articles of Freedom.” The document calls for the abolishment of any and all federal laws restricting firearms and the replacement of the Department of Homeland Security with vigilante militias. If the demands are not met, the group said, they will rise up against the federal government.
In Riden’s vision of the U.S., “(P)eople have the right to assemble, bear arms, go to Washington, DC, or wherever necessary, and go into military battle against the government and replace those in government with individuals that will uphold the Constitution.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the Continental Congress of 2009 as a major gathering of white supremacist and far-right hate groups. The SPLC monitors and tracks the activities of hate groups and antigovernment militias, which have spread and proliferated at a feverish pace during the Obama presidency.