Former Trump administration DHS official Miles Taylor said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Deadline” that “radicalized elements” of the Republican Party represented a “bigger threat to our democracy” than terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS ever did.
Wednesday after talking to the mother and husband of Ashli Babbitt, the rioter who was fatally shot by an officer inside the Capitol on January 6, former President Donald Trump put out a statement saying Babbitt was “murdered at the hands of someone who should never have pulled the trigger of his gun,” adding, “We know who it is.”
Anchor Nicolle Wallace said, “On the ex-president’s statement. I have been grappling with how to cover it without amplifying it. The ex-president met with the mother, Ashley Babbitt. I want to ask you if you agree with Officer Hodges, who was one of the four Capitol police officers who testified before the 1/6 Select Committee investigating the insurrection that the insurrectionists were domestic terrorists.”
Taylor said, “Yeah, in fact, I agree unequivocally. Just today, I was talking to someone who I’m not going to dime out on television but a very prominent former U.S. commander who said there are elements of the GOP that are starting to look like the jihadists that he used to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, spreading lies and conspiracy theories to radicalize a population. This was a very serious four-star commander. Who said that the GOP is starting to look like jihadists. Someone who I think has personal conservatives views. That’s the environment we’re in. No question this was an attack of domestic terrorism.”
He continued, “I say this as a counterterrorism guy. If you look in time at terrorism movements, they don’t start usually immediately with violence. They usually start with a political grievance that leaders say cannot be solved through peaceful means. And then they move to violence. So after Trump started to propagate the big lie in November, a lot of us in the national security community said what he’s doing is actually tilling the fertile soil for extremists to pop up later on. In fact, we saw it as a ticking time bomb for an increase in domestic terrorism. I think over the next two years. I think you’re going to see that. You’re going to see the spike in cases. And you are going to see that because radicalized elements of the Republican party now represent a bigger threat to our democracy than organizations like al-Qaeda or ISIS ever did.”
Taylor said, “Not necessarily to human lives. But a bigger threat to our democracy than those terrorist groups ever did because these are political institutions that are attacking our democracy, trying to rewrite the rules, and irrevocably breaking our bonds as Americans, and they’re doing it all from the inside. It’s something that our enemies could never have even dreamed of.”
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