Trump Might Think White Nationalists Are 'Good People,' but His FBI Director Says They're a Major Terrorist Threat

If Trump's campaign was one long, sustained dog whistle, the message has been received. According to FBI director Christopher Wray, the agency has as many as 1,000 active investigations into violent white supremacists and other domestic terrorists.


Wray's testimony before Congress Wednesday is at odds with the Trump administration, which has repeatedly downplayed the threat of white nationalism. The president infamously told reporters that some of the Charlottesville marchers were "very good people," only to see his approval ratings plummet. 

Wray's findings are supported by a wealth of independent data indicating white nationalist terrorist attacks outnumber those committed in the name of Islam by a 2-to-1 margin. The problem, according to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who believes white supremacist terror is "triple" that of Islamic-based terror, is an unwillingness to investigate these incidents.

“We have had zero hearings on the threat of domestic terrorists and the threat they pose and our response to it," she said during the hearing.

According to a May report, white supremacist groups were responsible for 49 homicides and 26 attacks between 2000 and 2016. The report concludes, “this is more than any other domestic extremist group.”

Wray pointed out that most domestic terror can be prosecuted in other forms, such as “gun charges, explosive charges, all manner of other crimes.” Civil rights advocates, however, see this as a refusal to apply the terrorism label to white men like convicted mass murderer Dylann Roof.

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