Frank Figliuzzi, the former Assistant FBI Director for Counterintelligence, is likening Trump disciples in the Republican Party supporting and promoting the “Big Lie” that the election was stolen to “violent jihadists,” because they are “people who are consciously disregarding truth and reality.”
Now an NBC News national security analyst, Figliuzzi told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace on Wednesday that “where we are right now” is in a “cult-like scenario.”
Trumpism “has gone way beyond a political ideology,” Figliuzzi says. “It is now the identity of a party. But it’s more than that because it’s now become a personal identity for those who consume the ‘Big Lie’ that the grand deception – and I can’t help because of my national security lens that I look at things through, to compare this to what we see in violent jihad.”
“What do I mean by that?” he continued.
“Yes, you have the purveyors and perpetrators of a ‘Big Lie.’ You become a martyr. You get this level of paradise. You go to Valhalla – here’s what happens: Those people are infidels. Yes, there are gurus and cultists and violent jihadists who preach that, but there’s also consumers who have to buy it and at the point where we’re at now, that supply and demand, the demand side of this are people who are consciously disregarding truth and reality.”
“You know, a year ago, two years ago, you and I would say things like, ‘Here’s how to be nice to loony relatives at Thanksgiving Dinner.’ ‘Here’s how to keep showing facts to people who need to see the facts more.’ ‘Oh, these poor victims have gone down an echo chamber. They’re living in a rabbit hole. How do we get them out?'”
“It is a conscious decision to accept the Big Lie,” he continued. “Why? Because it has become their personal identity. If they begin to reject the facts – there was no fraud, there was no systemic crimes committed that would have resulted in the overturning of liberty – if they reject that, they are literally rejecting their personal identity.”
“So this is a much harder nut to crack for us as a society,” Figliuzzi warned. “We not only need to hold accountable those who continue – like [Republican Senator] Ted Cruz Monday night on Fox – saying that January 6 was a ‘peaceful protest.’ He said it Monday night on Fox, it’s not only holding them accountable, it’s now figuring out what to do with those who consume deliberately by choice, the Big Lie, knowing that it’s wrong.”