Homeland Security chair blasts Trump for defending domestic terrorists


Trump's pandering to racists is making America unsafe, warns Homeland Security chairman.

During a hearing titled Confronting the Rise of Domestic Terrorism in the Homeland on Wednesday, Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie Thompson slammed Trump for his "both sides" treatment of domestic terrorism, citing Trump's repeated praise for neo-Nazis.

"From Charleston to Oak Creek to Charlottesville to Garden City we've seen these violent ideologies rear their ugly heads over and over. Unfortunately, President Trump has tried to play both sides with domestic terrorism," Thompson said in his opening remarks.

Thompson noted that Trump "doubled down on his stance that there were 'fine people' on both sides" at the 2017 Charlottesville rally where Heather Heyer was killed by white supremacists. Just last month, Trump proclaimed to reporters that he answered "perfectly" when he called Nazis "very fine people" in response to the rally.

Thompson said that Trump's "unwillingness to denounce and distance himself from these extremists has been taken by many as tacit support.”

The Trump administration is soft on domestic terrorism, particularly terrorism coming from white supremacists and the right. Trump has repeatedly minimized the existence of a threat, even while the world witnessed deadly attacks. Trump has also changed the priorities of American agencies to deemphasize combating domestic terrorism while using his presidency to promote racism and bigotry repeatedly.

Thompson's statement makes it clear that Trump's continued racism, and his insistence that "both sides" are to blame, is a threat to American security.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.