WLOX - With just 18 days left until the 2016 Presidential election, voters are preparing to cast their ballot for the next commander-in-chief.
With voters primarily split between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump, tension is on the rise. Friday, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) penned a letter to the Department of Homeland Security warning of violence and anti-government militia groups.
The cause, Thompson says, is due to 'dangerous political rhetoric' from Trump.
"The rhetoric and propaganda spewed throughout this election season have the ability to empower and embolden individuals to commit acts of terror," Thompson noted.
In a two-page letter addressed to the department secretary, the Honorable Jeh C. Johnson, Thompson says that since 2015, anti-government militia groups have grown by one-third. With a heightened sense of legitimization from the rhetoric of the Republican nominee, the congressman notes that sentiments have fueled violence by militia groups and sovereign citizens.
"Militia groups are already mobilizing to recruit new members based on the possibility of a Trump loss," said Thompson. "Some Trump supporters have begun raising the possibility of a civil war or race war in the event Trump is defeated."
In addition to what he calls 'situational awareness', Thompson is calling on the department to increase efforts to "engage with Federal, Sate, and local authorities throughout the remainder of the season and after the election."