Bonkers MSNBC: ‘Abundantly Clear’ Domestic Extremists Are ‘Gravest Threat,’ Not Al-Qaeda

As President Biden epically fails in trying to clean up his Afghanistan debacle, MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace has responded in kind by turning her show into state-run TV. Wallace spent a good deal of her show Thursday deflecting blame from the president and talking about anything else besides Afghanistan. A man arrested outside the Library of Congress today, ranting about Biden and falsely threatening to have a bomb in his car, provided Wallace with the much needed fodder to fret that right-wing extremists were “the gravest” national security threat this country faced.

After a report from Garrett Haake on the bomb threat, MSNBC contributor and former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi warned Wallace that there was a “perfect storm” brewing of right-wing grievances (including criticizing Biden’s Afghansistan pull-out) that would lead to terrorism. Figliuzzi even claimed, “All of this is causing a kind of online radicalization that, quite frankly, I have not seen since my days working Al Qaeda/ISIS:”

FIGLIUZZI: t’s to amplify the DHS warning that tells us that there’s a perfect storm of grievance and cause developing on extremist sites of all kinds. What is it? And now let’s add, by the way, let’s add to what I’m about to list Afghanistan and a sense that something went wrong there and somehow that’s an injustice, perhaps, to those who served there or not. But let’s rattle it off. The anti-mask, the anti-vaccine, the January 6th political prisoner notion, the notion that Ashli Babbitt is some kind of martyr for the cause that needs to be avenged and now that Trump will come back and a rally is going to happen this weekend in Alabama. All of this is going to happen and then a major rally that’s been permitted already in the District of Columbia later in September, all of this is causing a kind of online radicalization that, quite frankly, I have not seen since my days working Al Qaeda/ISIS. It’s the radicalization of violence, it’s online, it’s the desire to be a part of something greater than yourself and your willingness to act out violently because of your beliefs. 

Another right-wing terrorism-inducing talking point apparently was illegal immigration. Wallace followed up by attacking “right-wing media” as providing a “pipeline” to terrorism by talking about illegal immigrants at the border and connecting that to Afghan refugees:

But the other topic is a lot of complaints about undocumented immigrants, what is being broadcast night after night on other networks as we cover the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Fearmongering about refugee resettlement. It is a pipeline to a whole lot of people that are not inspired to violence. But for he and she who are inspired to violence, there is a direct line from the disinformation and the fearmongering in right-wing media. 

But this simply isn’t true. 

A little while later, the MSNBC host complained to former Trump White House aide-turned-MSNBC contributor Olivia Troye that Republicans weren’t taking the threat of [right-wing] domestic terrorism seriously enough. She even claimed it was the “gravest terrorist threat,” right now, not the Taliban or Al-Qaeda:

For the last seven days there’s been a pretty intense debate going on about whether the withdrawal from Afghanistan, which is undeniably chaotic, but whether the result of leaving around this 20th anniversary of 9/11, and seeing the Taliban take control of that country, whether that puts into motion the conditions that led to Al Qaeda taking up shop in 2001 there. It is abundantly clear that the gravest domestic — the gravest terrorist threat is violent extremism, this is what DHS has been telegraphing for many months now. An aggressive posture toward foreign terrorism and that threat has historically been bipartisan. The recognition of the threat of domestic violent extremism is not even something that most people on the right right now at the national level can even say out loud. It doesn’t even come out of their mouths. How can we be successful in the fight against domestic violent terrorism if one of the two governing parties doesn’t recognize it and agree that we need to stomp it out? 

The 9/11 attacks were the deadliest attacks on American soil, killing almost 3,000 Americans. One person–a Trump supporter– was killed as a result of the January 6 riot. Just a few months later in April, a left-wing extremist killed a Capitol Police Officer and that didn’t lead to months and months of news coverage fretting over left-wing domestic threats. And do we even have to mention the shameful excuses from the media over Antifa and BLM riots last Summer resulting in violence and deaths as well?

MSNBC deflecting blame from Biden was paid for by sponsor HughesNet, contact them at the Conservatives fight back page here

Read transcript portions below:

Deadline: White House

MSNBC

8/19/21

FRANK FIGLIUZZI: …What we’re seeing in this individual’s social media already and the associates that I work with who are on this and digging and scraping his social media, his postings, they’re telling me there is a deep sense of cause, as incoherent as it may be with this individual there’s a cause he thinks he belongs to, there’s several grievances he thinks he needs to air out. And why do we care about this? Why are we even talking about it? As you said, it’s not to amplify him. It’s to amplify the DHS warning that tells us that there’s a perfect storm of grievance and cause developing on extremist sites of all kinds. 

What is it? And now let’s add, by the way, let’s add to what I’m about to list Afghanistan and a sense that something went wrong there and somehow that’s an injustice, perhaps, to those who served there or not. But let’s rattle it off. The anti-mask, the anti-vaccine, the January 6th political prisoner notion, the notion that Ashli Babbitt is some kind of martyr for the cause that needs to be avenged and now that Trump will come back and a rally is going to happen this weekend in Alabama. All of this is going to happen and then a major rally that’s been permitted already in the District of Columbia later in September, all of this is causing a kind of online radicalization that, quite frankly, I have not seen since my days working Al Qaeda/ISIS. It’s the radicalization of violence, its online, it’s the desire to be a part of something greater than yourself and your willingness to act out violently because of your beliefs. 

WALLACE:  Frank, let me just follow up, and I share the discomfort and the sort of tension about amplification, but I think that some of that discomfort is how we’re here, because on the right — you know, I want to mention one other topic, and I’m not going to play it. I watched it. I’m not going to show it. But the other topic is a lot of complaints about undocumented immigrants, what is being broadcast night after night on other networks as we cover the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Fearmongering about refugee resettlement. It is a pipeline to a whole lot of people that are not inspired to violence. But for he and she who are inspired to violence, there is a direct line from the disinformation and the fearmongering in right-wing media. 

FIGLIUZZI: Yeah, this notion, look, we’ve already seen it in postings, even from members of congress showing the potential for refugees pouring out of Afghanistan, these people aren’t like us, do you want this plane landing in your backyard. All the fearmongering on top of the craziness that’s already here. And there are those who will say police can’t anticipate and leadership should never anticipate a crazy person doing something like this all by himself that happened today. No–That’s right, except that’s not where we’re at right now. The craziness, the unhinged people, the people willing to commit violence are becoming large enough and no longer a fringe and now mainstreamed that we do have to worry about them and we do have to worry about the next one. So the FBI is going to dig deeply into this guy’s background not just to make a case against him, that’s already made, but quite frankly, to figure out where he got radicalized, who else is like him, who else is in the wings ready to commit the kind of violence that DHS is warning us about. 

NICOLLE WALLACE: Olivia, let me just bring into this conversation the elephant in the room. For the last seven days there’s been a pretty intense debate going on about whether the withdrawal from Afghanistan, which is undeniably chaotic, but whether the result of leaving around this 20th anniversary of 9/11, and seeing the Taliban take control of that country, whether that puts into motion the conditions that led to Al Qaeda taking up shop in 2001 there. It is abundantly clear that the gravest domestic — the gravest terrorist threat is violent extremism, this is what dhs has been telegraphing for many months now. An aggressive posture toward foreign terrorism and that threat has historically been bipartisan. The recognition of the threat of domestic violent extremism is not even something that most people on the right right now at the national level can even say out loud. It doesn’t even come out of their mouths. How can we be successful in the fight against domestic violent terrorism if one of the two governing parties doesn’t recognize it and agree that we need to stomp it out? 

OLIVIA TROYE: I think you nailed it and I think it makes this problem that much more complex and more challenging for our homeland security enterprise. The system is working, they put out that threat advisory. I’m glad to see the system working and dhs can speak freely about these threats and call it for what it is and what’s happening. But I think that we are going to see ongoing challenges. We’re in a moment of consequence right now. And I’ll be looking to see what these influencers, these leaders who have led a lot of this divisive rhetoric, who continue to lead that divisive rhetoric right now with their comments about what’s happening in Afghanistan and comments on refugees and all of this nativism rhetoric that they continue to push that creates divisiveness across our country, it will be interesting to see their comments on how they respond to this situation, this threat on the capitol that once again played out today. And whether he was a lone wolf actor or whether he is part of a network, I do think we are going to continue to see incidents like this because they’re being driven by arratives on social media and they’re seeing elected leaders speak this way and seeing it on networks this is a combination of all of the influence coming together and it’s cause for concern and I think the individual coming into town for what it looks like, the investigation will play out, but the pinnacle is attacking the U.S. Capitol and being anti-government and attacking some of these leaders and naming a lot of the democratic leaders that right now are in office. And where is that being driven from? It’s being driven by the narratives being pushed by the far right and also irresponsible Republicans and the way they are speaking about others and things that they’re doing. 

JOHN HEILLMAN: But if Joe Biden can keep having the discussion be a discussion framed around, was it right to leave Afghanistan or was it wrong, was it a mistake to leave Afghanistan, he’s going to win that argument. The politics of this are not going to be problematic for him in the long run, and he’s going to be fine because that’s an issue about which we already knew there was broad bipartisan support for leaving Afghanistan, for ending the war. That was true — that was one of the reasons why Donald Trump and Joe Biden agree about this, that it was time to go. If they can have the debate beyond those terms, this will be fine for Joe Biden. And I just — I think the question is, over the course of the last week or so, I would say that’s not been the terms, at least the media and the national security establishment, as you say, Nicolle, the intelligence community, the national security establishment, elected officials, not just elected Republicans, but elected Democrats, many of whom you’ve had on your air and we’ve seen all over television, people like Seth Bolden and other people especially the veterans among them who have had a different conversation that have said, yes, we agree that leaving Afghanistan was right, and, yes, we agree this was the time to leave Afghanistan, but that this was a botched withdrawal and that there was unnecessary humanitarian and potentially security implications to the fact that this was not handled as well as it could be handled. Now, some people will say that that is all, you know, fine, but ultimately it’s irrelevant compared to the larger question, was it right to leave or not…

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