Days after the worst anti-Semitic attack in our history, Trump is defunding domestic terrorism and diverting resources to a non-threatening caravan.
As with any day under the Trump presidency, we started off with “Homeland Security Ignores White Terror, DHS Veterans Say” and we have moved on to Trump will cancel the grant that fights domestic terrorism.
The Trump administration had already canceled a grant that fights white supremacist terrorism, as noted earlier and is now not going to renew the larger, umbrella anti-domestic terror program under which the white supremacist program was located, according to reporting by NBC News.
They are taking this action just days after the worst anti-Semitic massacre in our history, as eleven Jewish people were murdered in their Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, just outside of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
The program Trump is defunding was of course another Obama-era program. He is dismantling anything Obama did, but this one feels specifically convenient for the person who’s throwing rhetorical bombs out every day, blaming Democrats for the “caravan” which he claims is an enormous threat to Americans (it is not).
The program is called the Countering Violent Extremism Grant Program, it’s under the DHS and during the Obama years it had $10 million to use to fight domestic terrorism of many kinds, including but not limited to right wing extremism.
Top this off with reports that on Tuesday DHS officials had a conference call to discuss the Central American migrants but they had no discussion about the murder of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh.
Just yesterday, the Arab American Institute wrote about the unprecedented increase expected in upcoming FBI hate crime report, “As in 2016 and 2015 before, we expect yet another increase of reported hate crime incidents in 2017, representing the first three-year consecutive annual increase since 2001.” They are also predicting “an increase of anti-Jewish hate crime incidents in the FBI’s 2017 statistics.”
So as vulnerable minorities are being targeted, Trump is defunding the program that was fighting to combat this violence.
It only makes sense to put our limited resources and money on the biggest threat to our people. That is why on Monday after the week of terror attacks, Congressional Democrats called on U.S. law enforcement authorities to do more to track and prosecute far-right extremists.
But nope. Trump and Republicans are doing the opposite of what makes sense, as usual.
Trump and Republicans are diverting all of our resources and money away from the biggest threat, and pouring it on to a caravan that is 1,000 miles away, carrying people who have every right to seek asylum here and who present no risk to Americans. It’s also troubling that we have sent more troops to fight this caravan that is literally not even here yet, and if Trump actually sends the 15,000 troops he mentioned yesterday, we will have three times as many forces as are deployed to Iraq to fight ISIS.
Three times as many troops as we have to fight ISIS and try to stabilize Iraq to a caravan that is not here yet. That is the summation of Trump. Fight the imaginary enemy. Perhaps this is the only way Trump can look strong, but it’s also not an accident.
They have literally no justification for this except their ongoing effort to use racism as a way to stay in power.
For those who keep wondering why Trump would do something so stupid, it’s time to give up the assumption that he has good intentions, because this assumption is not backed up by reality or facts. Trump knows exactly what he is doing.
This is the man who said he could shoot someone on 5th avenue and still win the election. Everything is violence mixed with racism with him, and this is not a mistake or a one-off or a failure to understand the outcome of his words. It’s deliberate. The facts tell us it’s deliberate, as Trump continues to do this even after the pipe bombs were sent to the people he targets the most, and even after his fear-mongering about the caravan motivated the Pittsburgh shooter.
Sometimes you have to say what is happening, even when it’s ugly and of course Trump and Republicans will cry and whine and scream outrage over this, but that has zero bearing on whether or not the conclusion is accurate. One of the more disappointing things that Trump has exploited is the media’s unwillingness to hold him and other far right extremists responsible for their actions. If they complain loudly enough, the media backs off in some kind of perverted effort to look “fair.” Fair is not accurate. Accurate is the job.
The fact is that anyone who deserves to be in the White House would have stopped this rhetoric long ago, would actually have never engaged in it, but certainly would have stopped after it motivated a mass murder and bombs. Trump has only increased his rhetoric. This is not hard to see; it’s just terrifying.
Donald Trump incites violence in his cult, they act on it, he points to a non-threatening caravan, wastes hundreds of millions of dollars fighting this caravan that he’s using purely for political purposes, while he defunds the fight against domestic terrorism…
Trump is effectively making good on his promise to pay the legal fees of any of his supporters who beat up someone who’s protesting him. He has just diverted the law away from his supporters and focused them all on a non-threat, while he ups the ante of his hate rhetoric by the hour.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.