Last year, an ABC News investigation found at least 17 cases of violent crimes in which the perpetrators invoked the name of Donald Trump and in 16 of the cases, making statements to their victims or investigators “echoing” Trump’s rhetoric toward immigrants, minorities, and others. In most of the cases, ABC News reported, the attackers were white men, and the victims were members of a minority group, including African-Americans, Muslims, and LGBTQ people.
The ABC News investigation found zero such incidents of violent crime in which the perpetrators used rhetoric originally used by President Barack Obama, or his predecessor, George W. Bush.
Nonetheless, Trump and his supporters have continued to deny that Trump’s rhetoric has any connection to violence by whites against minorities — even after Saturday’s mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, in which, as The Inquisitr reported, the accused shooter authored an online screed that employs language that directly echoes Trump’s speeches and tweets, including the suspect’s complaints about an “invasion” of the United States by Latin American immigrants.
But on Sunday, a former top FBI official not only drew a direct connection between Trump’s rhetoric and the Saturday El Paso mass shooting, as well as other mass shootings and terrorist attacks carried out by perpetrators who espouse white nationalist, white supremacist ideologies, such as last Saturday’s mass shooting directed at Latin American immigrants in Gilroy, California, as The Inquisitr reported.
In fact, the former FBI Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Frank Figliuzzi said in an interview on Sunday that Trump is essentially recruiting white supremacist terrorists, as Raw Story reported, saying that Trump must explicitly condemn white supremacy and speak directly to his supporters on the racist far right in order to have hope of stopping the wave of terrorism.
“They need to hear the recruiter-in-chief, the radicalizer-in-chief condemn them in order to break that chain of radicalization,” Figliuzzi told MSNBC interviewer Joy Reid on Sunday.
But any type of association between Trump’s rhetoric and white supremacist violence has been dismissed by Republicans, previously. In 2016, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton ran a political advertisement compiling clips of praise for Trump by various extreme right-wing figures, including former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, as seen in the video below.
There's a reason the most hateful fringe of the right wing is supporting Donald Trump.https://t.co/AqB3DM2m0N
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 25, 2016
But Republicans in 2016 — including former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele — rather than condemn Trump’s rhetoric, instead attacked Clinton for what they called “a new low” and “incendiary” advertising according to CBS News.
As far back as 2009, Department of Homeland Security terrorism analyst Daryl Johnson produced an internal report warning of a rise in white nationalist, right-wing extremist terrorism in the United States. But as Johnson recounted in The Washington Post, Republicans learned about the report and raised such loud political objections that Johnson was forced out of his job.