A White House adviser with Nazi links dismissed the existence of right-wing domestic terrorists as an Obama plot to “make Americans stupid.”
Counterterrorism adviser Sebastian Gorka, who wears the uniform and medals of a Hungarian group with historical links to Nazi Germany, appeared Tuesday morning on MSNBC — where he insisted that only Islamic extremists had carried out “serious” terrorist attacks in the U.S.
“There’s no such thing as a lone wolf, you do know that,” Gorka said. “That was a phrase invented by the last administration to make Americans stupid.”
MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle interrupted with an objection, but Gorka continued to dispute decades of evidence gathered by U.S. law enforcement.
“Let me finish,” Gorka said. “There never been a serious attack or a serious plot that was unconnected from ISIS or al-Qaeda, at least through the ideology and TTPs, tactics and training and techniques and procedures, that they supply through the internet — never happened, it’s bogus.”
The Trump administration shifted attention and funding away from the federal program “Countering Violent Extremism” shortly after the inauguration and narrowed its focus to only Islamic extremism, and the Department of Homeland Security eliminated programs in June that counter neo-Nazi and other right-wing hate groups.
“This is an international global threat,” Gorka said. “What we have to do now is is not only destroy organizations like ISIS, which we are doing — they will be annihilated — but also delegitimize the ideology so it will be become as heinous and reject as fascism and Nazism is today. That black flag of ISIS has to be globally rejected like the swastika and we’ll work with Muslim partners to overtly and covertly delegitimize their message. That’s the definition of victory — when people don’t want to become jihadis, that’s when we’ll have one.”
Neither Ruhle or co-host Ali Velshi asked Gorka to comment on his own decades-long ties to Hungary’s far-right Vitézi Rend group, and they failed to challenge his claims on “lone wolf” terrorists.
The phrase was circulated by white supremacists to describe themselves in the 1990s, and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was somewhat inaccurately considered a lone wolf by law enforcement — which launched Operation Lone Wolf in 1998 against violent racists.
Gorka disputed the existence of right-wing extremists — who have reportedly carried out nearly twice as many terrorist attacks in the U.S. over the past decade than Islamic militants — when he was asked why the White House had not commented on a mosque bombing in Minnesota.
“There’s a great rule (that) all initial reports are false,” Gorka said. “You have to check them, you find out who the perpetrators are. We’ve have a series of crimes committed, alleged hate crimes by right-wing individuals, in the last six months to that turned out to have actually been propagated by the left, so let’s wait and see — let’s allow the local authorities to provide their assessment and then the White House will make its comments.”
MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace chuckles after Times reporter explains why Trump has no hope of pivoting to an empathetic campaign
MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace struggled to stifle a chuckle in a conversation about President Donald Trump's struggle to run a campaign that can contend with most Americans' needs in a horrific pandemic.
"I think to Nick [Confessore's] point earlier, there should be a sense of nervousness in Trump's camp," began Democratic strategist Basil Smikle. "You don't see -- you talked about enablers. You don't see Republicans engaged in their behavior with respect to the president at this juncture. You're starting to see them not nationalize he's the president of the United States. They should be more allied with him, but instead, they're focused on local campaigns. The president has lost several cases at the Supreme Court, the Affordable Care Act case notwithstanding. There's a lot of things they should be rallying around, but they can't."
Texas GOP sues Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner over canceled in-person convention
The gathering, which was estimated to draw around 6,000 people, was set to happen next week in Houston.
The Republican Party of Texas is suing Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and others involved with the canceling of the party's in-person convention, which was scheduled to happen next week.
On Wednesday, Houston First Corporation, the operator of the George R. Brown Convention Center, sent a letter to party officials informing them that the event had been canceled. That cancelation happened after Turner announced he was directing the city's legal department to work with Houston First to review the contract for the event.
Texas bans elective surgeries in more than 100 counties as coronavirus hospitalizations keep climbing
Gov. Greg Abbott said the decision is designed to free up more resources to address the pandemic.
With cases of the new coronavirus and related hospitalizations rising at alarming rates, Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday expanded his ban on elective medical procedures to cover more than 100 counties across much of the state.
Surgeries and other procedures that are not “immediately, medically” necessary — which have already been on hold in many of the state’s biggest cities and several South Texas counties — are now barred in much of the state, from far West Texas to much of Central Texas, Southeast Texas and the Gulf Coast.