Trump Stifled Efforts To Combat White Supremacy While Fueling It
In July, FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee: ”I will say that a majority of the domestic terrorism cases that we’ve investigated are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence, but it does include other things as well.” One would think the President who constantly fear mongers about the false national security threat of migrants and once raved about ISIS would take this new terrorist threat seriously, right? Wrong.
At Rantt Media, we’ve spent the last 2 and a half years highlighting President Trump’s racist rhetoric. We’ve also discussed the ways in which Trump has spouted white supremacist rhetoric and stifled programs meant to address the threat. Today, CNN broke some news that further showcased the extent to which the Trump Administration has gone to prevent white supremacist terrorism from being combatted. CNN reported:
White House officials rebuffed efforts by their colleagues at the Department of Homeland Security for more than a year to make combating domestic terror threats, such as those from white supremacists, a greater priority as specifically spelled out in the National Counterterrorism Strategy, current and former senior administration officials as well as other sources close to the Trump administration tell CNN.
“Homeland Security officials battled the White House for more than a year to get them to focus more on domestic terrorism,” one senior source close to the Trump administration tells CNN. “The White House wanted to focus only on the jihadist threat which, while serious, ignored the reality that racial supremacist violence was rising fast here at home. They had major ideological blinders on.”
CNN quoted a current senior Trump official who said, “DHS is surging resources to the [domestic terrorism] issue, but they’re behind the curve because of lack of support from the White House.” The National Counterterrorism Strategy, released by the U.S. in October 2018, named “Radical Islamist terrorists” as the main threats to America. The report only had one paragraph about “other forms of extremism” and didn’t even name white supremacy by name. Instead, it said “racially motivated extremism.” The Trump administration was warned of the threat of white supremacist terrorism by the FBI and DHS but still failed to prioritize it.
This news comes just days after a white supremacist terrorist murdered 22 and injured 24 people in El Paso, Texas. The terrorist proclaimed in his anti-immigrant manifesto that he was targeting Latinos because of the “Hispanic invasion of Texas”. Aside from echoing President Trump’s migrant fear-mongering, the terrorist cited the Christchurch white supremacist terrorist’s manifesto, which called Trump “a symbol of renewed white identity”.
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Mark Potok, an expert on the radical right, outlined the rise of white supremacist terrorism.
Another study, by the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute, found that the American far right was behind nearly twice as many domestic terror plots as Islamist groups from 2008 to 2016 — 115 cases versus 63 from radical Islamists. The Anti-Defamation League reports that 71 percent of killings by extremists in the United States between 2008 and 2017 were carried out by radical rightists. And the numbers of both hate groups and hate crimes have recently been rising.
In spite of the growing threat, President Trump had a “very bad people on both sides” moment today, falsely equating white supremacist terrorists and Antifa.
President Trump: ”I am concerned about the rise of any group of hate … whether it’s white supremacy, whether it’s any other kind of supremacy, whether it’s Antifa, whether it’s any group of hate I’m very concerned about it and I’ll do something about it” pic.twitter.com/egEq0yYASq
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) August 7, 2019
As I’ve written before, what we’re seeing here is an internationally cooperative terrorist movement of white supremacists built via online radicalization – a movement the President of the United States openly stokes while curtailing the mechanisms combating it. With today’s CNN report, it further proves that in the face of insurmountable evidence of the growing white supremacist threat, President Trump has weakened the government’s ability to address it. And it goes far beyond what was reported today.
On June 23, 2017, the Trump administration cut funding ($400,000) from the “Countering Violent Extremism” program which backed an anti-white supremacist organization founded by former neo-Nazis. And according to The Daily Beast, the DHS disbanded their Domestic Terror Unit last year:
“The Department of Homeland Security has disbanded a group of intelligence analysts who focused on domestic terrorism, The Daily Beast has learned. Numerous current and former DHS officials say they find the development concerning, as the threat of homegrown terrorism—including white supremacist terrorism—is growing.”
Business Insider further highlighted the cuts:
For instance, while the DHS office handling domestic terrorism “managed $10 million in grant funding, 16 full-time employees, 25 contractors, and a total budget of approximately $21 million,” two years ago, today, resources within the office comprise of “no contractors, and no other means of supporting existing programs beyond a team of eight dedicated, full-time employees and an operating budget of $2.6 million.”
This is why President Trump’s speech this week condemning white supremacy and claiming his administration would take on domestic terrorism rang hollow. We mush ask ourselves, why is President Trump hell-bent on downplaying the threat of white supremacy? The simple answer is that he holds these views himself.
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