January 6 Redux? DHS is Concerned About Online Right-Wing Chatter

Last updated on July 4th, 2021 at 01:04 pm

What’s another term for a “failed coup”?

A rehearsal.

The United States came dangerously close to losing democracy January 6 when thousands of spiteful, armed Donald Trump supporters descended on the Capitol to do the failed president’s bidding to “stop the steal” of votes he still claims are his.

Although this act of “domestic terrorism,” as FBI Director Christopher Wray defined the attack, did not elicit the outcome Donald Trump and his supporters intended, it successfully demonstrated how fragile our republic is.

Trump loyalists all over the country had been planning insurrections for months, acting on Trump’s insistence either he win or the election was rigged.

Police agencies all over the country had been preparing for unrest months before Jan. 6.

Two days before the terror attack, The Hill ran the headline “DC braces for pro-Trump protests amid Electoral College challenge.

Last June, the Transition Integrity Project (TIP) helped organize a bipartisan group of Democratic and Republican officials to simulate the day after a possibly contested election, for which every scenario resulted in “street-level violence.”

Could something like what we saw Jan. 6 happen again?

The Department of Homeland Security(DHS) is following a new conspiracy theory that Donald Trump is going to be “reinstated as president” in August.

And there is cause for concern.

In a members-only briefing delivered to the House Committee on Homeland Security, DHS top counterterrorism official, John Cohen, explained that, although the agency is not aware of any specific, credible threats of violence, DHS is following extremist communities’ online discussions because they amplify the “rigged election” lie holding the potential to incite further violence.

Cohen confirmed violent crime has surged the past year, and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has directed officials to scrutinize characteristics behind it.

Last week, the Biden administration released its strategy for addressing it.

A DHS spokesperson told Politico:

“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is focused on the nexus between violence and extremist ideologies, as well as hateful and false narratives. DHS is enhancing its ability to prevent acts of violence inspired by disinformation, conspiracy theories, and extremist narratives spread through social media and other online platforms.”

But some are asking from where the Aug. “reinstatement” date even came.

Although there are likely multiple sources, it appears the most high-profile is My Pillow CEO and Donald Trump supporter, Mike Lindell, who has insisted several times Trump will be reinstated.

Although not publicly, Trump is reported to have been reiterating it to acquaintances.

Lindell has suggested Trump got the idea from him.

Former federal prosecutor and attorney for Trump’s convicted-then-pardoned former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell, told a QAnon conference earlier this year the disgraced president “can simply be reinstated.”

MSNBC Commentator Charlie Sykes explained the August date is “based on guesswork and conspiratorial theories tied to nonexistent election fraud in Arizona and a delusional hope that the Supreme Court will invalidate the election.”

Publicly, though, right-wing radio host and former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka, while pushing Mike Lindell’s products on his show, has dismissed Lindell’s claims.

 Donald has already committed to a “tour” with disgraced Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly, which would prove somewhat difficult if Trump were back in the White House. 

Trump allies are also reportedly beseeching the former president not to utter a word about an “August reinstatement” lest it tarnish his chances for a possible 2024 presidential run.

The Daily Beast reported:

The message: Whoever is trying to get in your ear to tell you that you could be ‘reinstated’ in the White House by August, or at any time during President Joe Biden’s term in office, doesn’t know what they’re talking about, and repeating their deranged theories in public could be used against you by your enemies. Furthermore, they told him, it would be better to focus on the 2022 midterm elections and, subsequently, the 2024 presidential race.”

Donald Trump’s sad band of sycophants are in such denial he lost fairly and squarely, they are willing to latch onto any cockamamie wish fulfillment floating in their general direction.

This is almost laughable except for the fact that we saw the danger their allegiance is capable of perpetrating.

They claim to “love their country.”

At the end of the day, though, their only real love is for a man–an ideologue who has lured them into his deep-seated sense of inadequacy and narcissism.

Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, & Third Wednesday. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, Liberal Nation Rising, and Medium.

Copyright PoliticusUSA LLC 2008-2023