Denton County GOP Official Attacked Online By Anti-Trump Group - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Denton County GOP Official Attacked Online By Anti-Trump Group

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    A Denton County Republican official says he's being attacked for being a supporter of President Trump. (Published Monday, July 17, 2017)

    A Denton County Republican official says he's being attacked for being a supporter of President Donald Trump.

    The county GOP precinct chair fears for his family's safety after being labeled a white supremacist on social media.

    Joseph Kane says the attacks have gone too far.

    Kane volunteered to become a Denton County Republican Party precinct chair after Trump was elected.

    He says he's now the target of an anti-Trump group called Antifa.

    The anti-fascist group has been involved in violent clashes, including one in California between pro-Trump and anti-Trump protesters.

    "They have decided that I'm a white supremacist and they're going to do all they can to ruin my life," Kane said.

    Fliers have been posted near his home and online, calling out Kane for whom he chooses to follow on Twitter.

    "They found a handful of Nazis and they said, 'Hey, these people follow you, they liked some of your tweets, therefore you're a Nazi,'" he said.

    Kane has more than 4,000 followers and follows about the same number of people.

    He also follows self-proclaimed alt-right, anti-Muslim, nationalists but insists the attacks are merely guilt by association.

    Asked if he is a white nationalist, Kane responded with a laugh, saying, "No, no. This country was made for all people. If you accept the Constitution, you're willing to live by our values, you're willing to be a citizen in all that entails, you're welcome."

    On his Twitter account, Kane describes himself as a traditionalist, nationalist, Catholic, Texan, married, veteran and expectant father.

    "The idea of Twitter as far as I see it is to connect with people regardless of whether you connect with their views so you can have an understanding of their views," he said. "I follow back basically anyone who follows me."

    Kane regularly attacks Antifa on Twitter and even calls them a domestic terrorist group.

    However, he says their attacks on him include his phone number and email address.

    He says he's received calls where the person on the other line insults him, but his life has not been threatened.

    However, the 24-year-old Army veteran and devout Catholic says he is concerned for his wife's safety.

    "And in three months we're going to have our first child, and the fact that they're trying to release my personal information and the implication being 'go get this guy,' that puts my family at risk," Kane said.

    Lisa Hendrickson, chairwoman of the Denton County Republican Party, said she has spoken with Kane about the attacks.

    "They are attacking Joseph Kane for two reasons: he's God and country," she said.

    Hendrickson concedes some of the people Kane follows on Twitter are not people she would "invite to dinner," but she stands by his decision to follow them.

    "We're not talking about the people that he hangs out with, goes to lunch with or works side by side with to move something forward, this is Twitter," she said.

    Kane hopes the attacks don't escalate.

    "Our country has reached a point where we can't argue like civilized people," he said. "I'm going to do what I have to do to keep my family safe."

    Kane has spoken with the Denton County sheriff about the situation.

    He plans to file a police report this week if the group attempts to distribute any personal information about his wife.

    NBC 5 sent a message to Antifa and reached out to the group via Twitter and did not receive a response.

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