Former Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor on Wednesday claimed that American officials are facing a greater threat from radical, right-wing extremism than they faced from terrorists linked to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
In a panel discussion with Taylor along with former FBI deputy director of counterintelligence, Frank Figliuzzi, said that his sources are "livid" at the Capitol Police for failing to do their job. He noted that it's a long-running problem that began with Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) and continued with the Congressional baseball game, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and now Pelosi.
"To continue off of Frank's point, there's a good guy side of this equation and a bad guy side of the equation," Taylor continued the discussion. "On the good guy side, clearly, the good guyed needed to protect themselves better. They need to think how to increase protection. Let's look at the bad guys. We are seeing a surge in terror threats against public servants, unlike anything we have seen in a modern era. The terrorist threat is greater now than the post-9/11 period. We have seen a tenfold increase to threats to U.S. members of Congress since the early years of the Trump administration. That's a massive spike."
Meanwhile, he explained it isn't just at the federal level. There are county election officials who are being threatened and are wearing bulletproof vests. Even poll workers have become targets of violence.
"You noted at the top of the problem, it's conspiracy theories like we have seen drive other terrorist movements," Taylor continued. "One group of academics showed the political stress index right now in the United States is at the highest levels it has been since the Civil War. Doing the same thing over and over that we have been doing to try to fix this problem is not going to work. I think regardless of the results after the midterms, we will have to look long and hard not just at public safety reforms to protect members of Congress but at major democracy reforms, rank choice voting and open primaries, to get more moderate public figures elected so we don't have people fanning the flames of this violent rhetoric."
Later in the discussion, Taylor also explained that, if he wasn't clear before, those responsible for the violence are coming from the MAGA Republican Party.
"You have been shining a light on this for a long time," he explained. "You know what? People mock us. We are the Chicken Littles of cable news. Okay, the sky is falling, the sky is falling! Since Jan. 6, we have been talking about this. Since that attack, we have had assassination plots against senators, governors, congressmen, cabinet officials, local leaders, and candidates for public office. Now we have an assassination attempt in Pelosi's home that almost -- thank God it wasn't success successful. I worry that's not enough. In fact, it's clear it's not enough to draw attention to it."
He cited some who have claimed the only way to fix it is a high-profile assassination to wake the country up. Someone will have to die before people understand this is dangerous.
"I am more worried that will not do it because the other side has so brainwashed the country that if something like that happened, they would say, it's just one disturbed person," Taylor continued. "No, it's not. These are huge trend lines. Once again, I got mocked on this show probably a year ago for saying that the biggest public safety threat I have seen in my lifetime is the MAGA Republican party. I will say it again. The MAGA Republican Party is fuelling this and creating the biggest terror threat domestically we have seen in this country. It is the biggest national security threat to the United States and really the only tool voters have right now to keep it in check is to fire these people. You have to fire the extremists."
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Former Homeland Security official says threats to officials are worse now than after 9/11 www.youtube.com
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