Truth Or False? Trump Accused Of Threatening A Sitting Secretary Of State

By Rachel Morris | Sunday, 22 May 2022 20:30
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Former President Donald Trump wanted Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to be executed for treason, she claimed.

Benson, who serves as Michigan’s top election official, said she received a “surreal” piece of information from an inside source from the White House that the then-President suggested she be arrested for treason and executed for her refusal to overturn the results confirming that President Joe Biden carried the state in the 2020 election.

“It was surreal and I felt sad,” Benson told NBC in a story published Thursday.

“It certainly amplified the heightened sense of anxiety, stress, and uncertainty of that time, which I still feel in many ways, because it showed there was no bottom to how far [Trump] and his supporters were willing to stoop to overturn or discredit a legitimate election,” she continued.

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On December 7, 2020, armed protesters came outside Benson’s home to protest her handling of the 2020 election results. Benson and her 4-year-old son had just finished decorating their home for Christmas, she said at the time.

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More than 250 countywide audits of Michigan’s 2020 election results confirmed the election results, Benson said in March 2021.

Benson, who is seeking reelection, faces a challenge from Republican Kristina Karamo, who has echoed Trump’s claims about the 2020 election being stolen.

Trump and his campaign lost dozens of legal challenges that claimed widespread voter fraud despite officials’ reassurances that the election was secure.

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Reached for comment, Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich said: “I have it on good authority that Secretary Benson knowingly lied throughout her interview with NBC News.”

Benson, Michigan’s secretary of state, is now locked in an election fight with a Republican candidate who echoes Trump’s claims about the 2020 election. In speeches and on her podcast, Kristina Karamo has said the election was “rigged and stolen” and “Secretary of State Benson should go to jail.”

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A community college instructor, Karamo, has secured the blessing of the state GOP and, more crucial, Trump himself.

“She is strong on crime, including the massive crime of election fraud,” Trump said in his endorsement.

The secretary of state race in Michigan is among several highlighting GOP candidates who have pushed the claim that the 2020 election was marred by widespread fraud.

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This November, voters in 24 states will decide who should run their elections. According to an NBC News review, candidates who deny the 2020 election results are on the ballot in 14 states, including the key battlegrounds of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Nevada.

Until the last election, most people who maintained the role of a state secretary of state primarily operated outside the spotlight. Their primary role — to ensure elections run smoothly and securely — was seen as nonpartisan.

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