On Saturday, MSNBC’s Garrett Haake broke down the nightmare situation Republicans are facing with Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who has faced outrage for years of white supremacist comments, and more recently suggested that rape and incest might be a good thing for society.
“What more recourse do Republicans have?” said host David Gura. “We had this cycle of condemnation in the past after comments were made. He was stripped of committee assignments. Is there more Republicans can do vis-a-vis Steve King?”
“They could kick him out of of the conference entirely, make him a man without a country in the U.S. Congress,” said Haake. “Or Congress could vote to expel them with two-thirds of the vote.”
“There’s an interesting dynamic for Democrats in this case,” added Haake. “As odious as the comments are, the best possible thing that could happen for Democrats here is Steve King wins his primary in the spring here and remains the Republican nominee for that seat. He’s in a three-way primary right now. It’s a tough one for him to win. But that is Iowa’s most conservative district. Democrats have now finally gotten the candidate they want, J.D. Sholten. He’s back in the race. He has gotten a ton of support. He could win Iowa’s 4th District, be the first Democrat to represent it in a long time. But probably only if Steve King is the nominee.”
“So as much as Democrats and the rest of the country are offended by what Steve King has said this time, it may be the best possible political strategy for Democrats to hold their nose about this one and keep quiet on this and make sure Steve King holds on to the nomination for that seat, so their guy can beat him next fall.”
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Former DHS Official Says Trump Suppressed Terrorism Warnings to Protect White Supremacists
Speaking to MSNBC on Thursday, former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor warned that while he was serving in Donald Trump’s administration he witnessed the president suppressing warnings of terrorism.
A bulletin from the Department of Homeland Security was sent out on Wednesday warning of a possible attack from anti-government extremists.
“So, Miles, let me do racist president for dummies here,” host Nicolle Wallace said. “The FBI director, the Department of Homeland Security gather enough information to testify before Congress that the greatest threat from the homeland was from white supremacists. It sounds like people who reported directly to President Trump either resisted or knew they would meet resistance at the White House when they brought their warnings to the president. I want you to tell me if this is what you witnessed, what you heard about firsthand, and if you can explain how far it went. Did they make it to John Bolton or John Kelly or the Oval Office? Or were the warnings killed at the department level?”
Taylor revealed that such warnings did go all the way to the Oval Office when he was at DHS.
The person that did not want us talking about, it was Donald Trump himself,” Taylor revealed. “The conclusions are very obvious. The president these people, who were intending to commit violence against their fellow Americans, in his mind were potential supporters. That’s why after Charlottesville turned the other way, saying both sides had good people. That’s why we saw him after the massacre in El Paso. That’s why we saw him ignore these warnings in the lead-up to the riot at the Capitol.”
Taylor said that he takes issue not with the bulletin needing to come out two weeks ago, but that it should have come out two years ago when DHS ordered a report about domestic terrorism in the U.S.
“Why did the DHS leadership, after we left, sit on that report, sit on that assessment? Why weren’t they talking about how severe this threat was?” Taylor asked. “We knew it then. We were very concerned and said we need to alert state and local law enforcement and the American public about how bad this is getting.”
He continued, saying that the danger of domestic terrorism is so serious that it’s on par with the last terrorist attack on the United States.
“This is one of the most serious terror threats we have seen in 20 years, since 9/11. It’s happening on our own soil,” said Taylor. “These are individuals who were radicalized by our own president. They’re being engaging in recruitment, are engaging in target selection, are doing training and pre-operation planning and networking across state boundaries. In some cases international. This is not unlike the rise of ISIS and that kind of networking and coordination that led to organic terrorist plots coming up around the world and domestic terror going viral around our country. That is the worry today of counter-terrorism officials in the United States and those ignored warnings in the Trump administration have led us into danger today.”
See the discussion below:
Trump Appointee Told Veterans Affairs Diversity Chief Not to Condemn White Supremacists
In the immediate aftermath of the 2017 Charlottesville “alt-right” rally and violence that led to the killing of a young protestor, Heather Heyer, President Donald Trump blamed “many sides” for the violence. The Dept. of Veterans Affairs’ Chief Diversity Officer penned a statement condemning the extremist groups, including “white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan.”
A Trump appointee told her she couldn’t publish it.
The Washington Post reports John Ullyot, the VA’s assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs, “sought to silence” Georgia Coffey, “a nationally recognized expert in workplace diversity and race relations.”
Coffey had wanted to send out the statement because many – 40 percent – of the VA’s 380,000 employees are minorities, and some had already reached out to her looking for support and guidance.
Ullyot told her she was free to share her personal opinions, but sent the message she was not to condemn the extremist hate groups if speaking for the VA. He cut that section out and suggested a replacement:
The Washington Post adds that Coffey decided to post her statement to an internal Veterans’ Affairs monthly communications online newsletter.
Her statement was scrubbed from the document, and she was reportedly reprimanded.
Coffey soon “retired,” and is now the senior manager for diversity and inclusion at a top defense contractor, Lockheed Martin.
Read the full Washington Post report here.
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