Insiders divulged recently that any efforts to have white supremacy be a priority in the National Counterterrorism Strategy have been rebuffed by the White House.
Current and former senior administration officials told CNN Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security has been trying to focus more on threats of domestic terrorism, which would include white supremacy, but White House officials have gone against it.
“Homeland Security officials battled the White House for more than a year to get them to focus more on domestic terrorism,” a senior source with intimate ties to the Trump administration said to the cable outlet August 7. “The White House wanted to focus only on the jihadist threat which, while serious, ignored the reality that racial supremacist violence was rising fast here at home. They had major ideological blinders on.”
Speaking on the final version of the National Counterterrorism Strategy, which was released in October of 2018, a senior insider source involved with the discussions said, “ultimately the White House just added one paragraph about domestic terrorism as a throw-away line.”
A paragraph was included in the 34-page document that mentioned “other forms of violent extremism, such as racially motivated extremism, animal rights extremism, environmental extremism, sovereign citizen extremism, and militia extremism.” White supremacy, however, was not outlined in the copy.
The NSCT does acknowledge that domestic terrorism rates are increasing, but only briefly. Meanwhile, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in July that “a majority of the domestic terrorism cases that we’ve investigated are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence.”
“DHS is surging resources to the [domestic terrorism] issue, but they’re behind the curve because of lack of support from the White House,” a present-day senior Trump administration official disclosed to CNN. “There’s some legislative and appropriations work happening, but the reality is there won’t be a FY20 budget for the department so they will have to make do.”
Still, a senior administration official stuck up for the resulting report.
“This Administration’s National Strategy for Counterterrorism was the first to ever include domestic terrorism,” the official remarked. “This issue continues to be a priority for this Administration, and the National Security Council has launched an interagency process focused on combating domestic terrorism in support of the President’s counterterrorism strategy.”
The report has emerged after concerns about domestic terrorism have arisen following the two mass shootings that sprung up in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, last weekend. After gunman Patrick Crusius opened fire on a Walmart in Texas, federal authorities said they’re treating the attack as an act of domestic terrorism upon learning about his manifesto that included racist rhetoric, many critics of which have said was stoked by President Donald Trump.
Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported former government officials said FBI agents are allegedly too timid to go after leads surrounding white nationalists out of concern for how it’ll affect Trump, whose campaign has frequently espoused remarks many consider racist, and his fanbase.