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FBI reluctant to take on white supremacists because they're Trump's base

Republicans keep doing everything they can to prevent the government from going after white supremacists.

By Oliver Willis - August 05, 2019
Trump rally

The FBI is warning America about the increased threat from right-wing domestic terrorists following the shootings in El Paso and Dayton. The warnings follow years of Republicans fighting against the agency’s attempts at securing the country.

“The FBI remains concerned that U.S.-based domestic violent extremists could become inspired by these and previous high-profile attacks to engage in similar acts of violence,” the FBI said in a statement released on Sunday.

But those in FBI feel that they are being restrained in fully attacking the threat.

“I believe Christopher A. Wray is an honorable man, but I think in many ways the FBI is hamstrung in trying to investigate the white supremacist movement like the old FBI would,” former FBI supervisor Dave Gomez told the Washington Post.

“There’s some reluctance among agents to bring forth an investigation that targets what the president perceives as his base. It’s a no-win situation for the FBI agent or supervisor.”

Trump and Republicans have sought to minimize the threat from right-wing terrorism.

“I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems,” he said in March after a white supremacist murdered Muslim worshippers in New Zealand.

Such statements have been in constant conflict with law enforcement assessments.

In May, the FBI sent a bulletin to agents warning them of the danger of online extremists, particularly those trafficking in conspiracy theories like Trump. Even Trump’s then-Homeland Security chief, Kirstjen Nielsen, admitted to Congress in March that the threat has been growing.

In late 2018, Trump cut off funding for programs to fight white supremacist terror, including $10 million authorized by President Obama for the Countering Violent Extremism Grant Program.

Trump’s fellow Republicans, when they held the majority in the House, skipped out on holding hearings on white supremacist terrorism. Even when hearings went forward under the Democrats in May, Republicans invited crackpots to the hearing rather than serious policy and law enforcement experts. Conservative pundit Candace Owens was hosted, not long after she said it was “fine” if “Hitler just wanted to make Germany great.”

That approach echoed conservative outrage in 2009, when Republicans pressured the Department of Homeland Security against moving forward with attempts to address right-wing extremism.

Law enforcement has time and again tried to investigate right-wing violence, attack it, and destroy it, while Republicans attempt to milk it for political support.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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