President Biden on Friday ordered the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to conduct a “comprehensive threat assessment” on “domestic violent extremism” along with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at the White House.
Psaki said Biden wants “fact-based analysis to shape policy,” the building of National Security Council “capacity” to counter “domestic violent extremism,” and the “coordinating of relevant parts of government to accelerate and enhance” the effort.
The issuing of the order on Biden’s second full day along with the intent to “accelerate” the initiative confirmed the disclosure Thursday by former Obama CIA Director John Brennan, that — amid calls by Democratic leaders to “deprogram” and “reeducate” Trump supporters — the Biden team was “moving in laser-light fashion” to root out an “unholy alliance” that includes “religious extremists” and libertarians.
While Biden has not specified the targets of his “domestic violent extremism” thrust, he touched on the issue in his inaugural address Wednesday, speaking of “a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.”
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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said in a Fox News interview on Wednesday that he understood Biden to be referencing the entire opposition to Democrats on the right: “If you read his speech and listen to it carefully, much of it is thinly veiled innuendo, calling us white supremacists, calling us racists, calling us every name in the book.”
It became apparent during the White House press briefing Friday that the administration doesn’t have Antifa in mind when it comes to domestic terrorism.
When asked if Biden had any comment about the violence in Seattle and in Portland, Oregon, after the inauguration, Psaki said she hadn’t talked with the president about it.
She began by emphasizing that Biden’s national security team had been mobilized to “monitor … any unrest that was resulting from the last couple of weeks,” referring to the Capitol riot that Democrats blame on President Trump and his supporters.
Jen Psaki is asked about the ongoing violence in Portland and Seattle:
"I haven’t spoken with him specifically about those events but it’s something our national security team, homeland security adviser is closely monitoring." pic.twitter.com/fJQArUbBud
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 22, 2021
.@PressSec says that President Biden has sent a task to the ODNI "requesting a comprehensive threat assessment, coordinated with the FBI and DHS, on domestic violent extremism." pic.twitter.com/ZUlNocbNtD
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 22, 2021
Psaki told reporters the objective of Biden’s order is to “disrupt violent extremist networks and more.”
“We are coordinating relevant parts of the federal government to address DVE,” Psaki said, using an acronym for “domestic violent extremism.”
She said the NSC is “addressing evolving threats” and reviewing the role of “social media, operational responses and more.”
Brennan told MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace on Thursday that the “members of the Biden team who have been nominated or have been appointed are now moving in laser-light fashion to try to uncover as much as they can about what looks very similar to insurgency movements that we’ve seen overseas, where they germinate in different parts of the country and they gain strength, and it brings together an unholy alliance frequently of religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, even libertarians.”
Brennan said there’s a “momentum that has been generated” by “the demagogic rhetoric” of the now-departed Trump administration and “also those who continue in the halls of Congress.”
“So I really do think that the law enforcement, homeland security, intelligence and even the defense officials are doing everything possible to root out what seems to be a very, very serious and insidious threat to our democracy and our republic,” he said.
In November, a member of the Democratic National Committee, David Atkins, said on Twitter that “deprogramming” is needed for every one of the Americans who voted for Trump on Nov. 3.
“No seriously … how *do* you deprogram 75 million people? Where do you start? Fox? Facebook?” he wrote on Twitter.
“We have to start thinking in terms of post-WWII Germany or Japan. Or the failures of Reconstruction in the South.”
WND reported that after casting Trump and his supporters as “white supremacists” and “conspiracy theorists” for the past four years, the most prominent member of the far-left “squad,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said Friday it’s time to pour more money into efforts to “deradicalize” and “deprogram” that population.
One year ago, a campaign organizer for then-Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said the country would need to “spend billions” on “reeducation” of Trump supporters who have become “Nazified.”