A former senior Homeland Security official who previously accused Donald Trump's administration of telling his department to stop providing intelligence reports on the threat of Russian interference in the 2020 election told CNN on Tuesday morning that they were also hindered by the former president's people from alerting the public about the rising tide of white nationalists in the U.S.
Speaking with CNN host Jim Sciutto, Brian Murphy, who was in charge of intelligence and analysis at DHS before filing a whistleblower complaint less than two months before the presidential election Trump lost, used the racist attack in a predominately Black community in Buffalo, New York that left ten dead as a springboard to talk government efforts to deal with white supremacists.
While discussing the Saturday attack by an 18-year-old man on the grocery store -- who also published a hate-filled manifesto aimed at minorities based on the so-called conspiratorial "white replacement" conspiracy pushed by conservatives and Fox News personalities -- Murphy recalled his experiences in the Trump administration.
After first admitting that keeping guns from people like the Buffalo shooter would be difficult, he told the CNN host that "No one wants to enact legislation which prevents people from expressing their first amendment, you know, opinions, but when we're talking about acts of violence, there are carveouts under First Amendment and expressing acts of violence where there is a clear indication that something is going to happen, it is against the law."
Host Sciutto then prompted him by asking whether the Trump administration "set back the DHS efforts to combat this kind of thing?"
"Well, of course," Murphy answered. "Under the Trump administration, and DHS, without question it did. They attempted to silence myself and others that were pointing out what I would call the obvious: which is the threat from white supremacy has been a long-enduring threat in this country, it is nothing new."
"And during that time, by ignoring it, you let that problem grow," he elaborated. "But I'd like to shift gears if I can. In today's world, the DHS is under new leadership. We have a new president and there are steps now that I hope this administration will continue to take to address these problems that we continue to see. So, the country has a long way to go to fully realize the history of domestic terrorism, particularly white supremacists, and find that balance so we can take tangible concrete steps to combat this threat."
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CNN 05 17 2022 09 03 54 youtu.be