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. 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, are justification for the use of the Insurrection Act. — Elizabeth Neumann, former  assistant secretary of counterterrorism at Department of Homeland Security
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. 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, are justification for the use of the Insurrection Act. — Elizabeth Neumann, former assistant secretary of counterterrorism at Department of Homeland Security
Trump's talk of martial law could be taken by far-right groups as a violent call to action, former DHS official says
  • President Donald Trump has recently toyed with the idea of using the military to overturn the election results, according to multiple reports.
  • The idea alarmed many, including Elizabeth Neumann, a former official in the Trump-era Department of Homeland Security.
  • Neumann argued that the right-wing extremists could interpret such talk as a signal from Trump to enact violence.
  • Such groups "look at this as a dog whistle" she said on CNN.
  • Trump's enthusiasm for using his emergency powers to reverse his loss to Joe Biden has rattled even some of his usual allies.
"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.

In the interview, she referred to the "accelerationist" ideas of some white nationalist groups, which seek to hasten the collapse of liberal society and provoke a race war through acts of violence.

"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, are justification for the use of the Insurrection Act," Neumann said.