Former President Trump’s chief spokeswoman spoke to a QAnon-affiliated conference over the weekend, warning the audience that if the liberals she alleges stole the 2020 election aren’t thrown in jail, they’ll come after Trump supporters instead.
“It’s so important to have accountability and have that trust restored because otherwise you’re going to get more of it. There’s no accountability? Yep. They’re gonna start arresting political opponents. They’re gonna start throwing political dissidents in jail. They’re going to parade people and interrogate you for your free speech,” Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington said in a lengthy speech.
“You think it’s gonna be better next time?” she continued. “You really think if there’s no arrests made from 2020, if there’s no real exposing of it and getting these people and holding them accountable, you really think they won’t do it again?”
When VICE News asked who specifically she meant should be arrested, Harrington didn’t name names but linked to two videos she claimed showed people stuffing ballot boxes with fraudulent votes. She didn’t reply to questions about whether she knew that the conference’s organizers were QAnon adherents before she agreed to speak there.
“Anyone who violated election laws should be charged. They could start with those who committed election fraud felonies on camera. So your headline should be: Trump’s Spokeswoman Calls for Those Who Broke Election Laws to Be Arrested,” Harrington told VICE News in an email.
Harrington wasn’t the only big-name MAGA Republican who spoke at the “Patriots Arise” conference in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, which was hosted by a pair of QAnon activists and deeply steeped in the language of right-wing Christian fundamentalism.
Other speakers included former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis, Trump-endorsed Maryland GOP gubernatorial candidate and Delegate Dan Cox, and Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate and state Sen. Doug Mastriano–and Michael Peroutka, a pro-secession Confederate sympathizer who is running as a Republican to be attorney general of Maryland.
Mastriano gave a long speech that argued that America is a Christian nation, mocked what he called “this myth of the separation of church and state,” and promised the audience that he and they are “taking our country back.”
“We’re going to win on May 17 [Pennsylvania’s primary date], with your help. And in November we’re going to take our state back. My god will make it so,” Mastriano promised, to cheers from the crowd.
After his speech, Mastriano was awarded a “Sword of David” by the convention’s co-hosts, podcasters and QAnon conspiracy theorists Allen and Francine Fosdick, whose website used to feature the QAnon slogan WWG1WGA (“Where we go one, we go all”).
“Where’s Goliath?” Mastriano said with a laugh as he raised the sword.
Mastriano vaulted from being a little-known backbencher in the state Senate to a top MAGA figure by leading the charge to try to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss in Pennsylvania. Trump has described him as a “great patriot,” and he’s currently neck-and-neck with former GOP Rep. Lou Barletta in recent polls in a crowded primary field to win the Republican nomination for governor.
Mastriano’s running mate for lieutenant governor, Teddy Daniels, also spoke at the conference, warning the audience that “we are at war in this country, we are losing this country.” He also said that the only way to be civil with liberals is after “we beat the crap out of them.”
“We will be civil on our terms, not theirs,” he said.
Michael Peroutka, who is running as a Republican to be attorney general of Maryland, also spoke on the first day of the conference. He has advocated for the South to secede to form a Christian nation and has close ties with former Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. He also spent years on the board of the pro-secession League of the South, though he left the organization before it served as one of the main organizers for the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally.
Peroutka’s weekend speech was tame by comparison: He simply called for the impeachment of Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan over Hogan’s COVID-19 policies.
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