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    Man Convicted of Planning to Massacre Somalis Was Influenced by Trump, His Lawyers Say

    Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty

    Lawyers who represent a Kansas man convicted in 2016 of plotting to kill Somali Muslim refugees asked for a reduced sentence for their client on Monday, citing President Donald Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric as a “backdrop” for their client’s actions. The attorneys claim their client, Patrick Eugene Stein, was an “early and avid supporter” of Trump, and argued his rhetoric should be taken into consideration when evaluating comments Stein made while plotting the attack—which included calling Muslims “cockroaches” that needed to be exterminated, The Washington Post reports. “The court cannot ignore the circumstances of one of the most rhetorically mold-breaking, violent, awful, hateful, and contentious presidential elections in modern history,” the attorneys wrote in their sentencing memo, “driven in large measure by the rhetorical China shop bull who is now our president.” Stein was arrested in October 2016 of conspiring to bomb a mosque and an apartment complex with two other men, and all three were convicted of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and conspiring to violate the civil housing rights of others. Stein faces life in prison, and will be sentenced Friday—but his lawyers argue that he should serve no more than 15 years.