Armed White men who showed at a polling place in St. Petersberg, Florida, claiming they were working with the president of the United States to monitor the situation.
Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections, Julie Marcus. said Wednesday, Oct. 21, that early reports were that the pair outside the voting location had claimed to be with the Trump campaign.
“The Sheriff told me the persons that were dressed in these security uniforms had indicated to sheriff’s deputies that they belonged to a licensed security company and they indicated — and this has not been confirmed yet — that they were hired by the Trump campaign,” Marcus told news station WFLA.
The White House denies that it has hired or sanctioned armed White men to show up at polling places. Campaign deputy national press secretary, Thea McDonald, told local NBC affiliate WFLA that “the Campaign did not hire these individuals nor did the Campaign direct them to go to the voting location.”
On Thursday, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri clarified his statement from the previous day. He now says the two men were licensed security guards hired by a local contracting company and stayed outside and did not violate any laws.
The current president encouraged his followers during the first presidential debate to “go into the polls and watch very carefully.” Audiences will also remember that POTUS failed to denounce White supremacy, but told them to “stand back and stand by.”
Faced with media scrutiny, however, the president’s campaign has now thoroughly denounced the tactics many believe are designed to intimidate and scare away citizens from casting their votes.
“In the United States of America, we cannot and will not stand for any behavior that could intimidate voters from participating in our democracy,” the campaign said in a statement reported by WFLA.