President Donald Trump has faced harsh criticism for his inflammatory rhetoric against immigrants following the racially-motivated mass shooting in El Paso. But that is not the only way his administration has made the nation vulnerable to hate-driven violence.
On Wednesday, CNN reported that White House officials have been resisting attempts by the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize investigation of domestic terror threats for over a year. Last fall's National Counterterrorism Strategy was overwhelmingly geared toward Islamist terror like ISIS, with white supremacist and antigovernment extremist killings — which are overwhelmingly more common in the United States — were reduced to a footnote, at the direction of Trump officials.
"DHS is surging resources to the [domestic terrorism] issue, but they're behind the curve because of lack of support from the White House," said one Trump administration official. "There's some legislative and appropriations work happening, but the reality is there won't be a FY20 budget for the department so they will have to make do."
In April, the administration disbanded a unit of DHS tasked with identifying domestic terror plots, with the result that reports on such plots have dropped significantly — even as attacks like the one in El Paso continue.