Terrorism expert: Trump remains a major ‘national security’ threat to the United States

Terrorism expert: Trump remains a major ‘national security’ threat to the United States

Some Republicans recently accused New York Times reporter Maggie Gallagher of suffering from "Trump derangement syndrome" when she reported that according to her sources, former President Donald Trump believes he will be "reinstated" as president by August. But in fact, Gallagher's reporting was accurate, and John Cohen — the top counterterrorism official in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security — believes that Trump's delusion could lead to more political violence in the United States. On June 25, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace discussed Cohen's warning with MSNBC contributor and former FBI counterterrorism expert Clint Watts, who commented on how much of a national security threat Trump continues to be.

Wallace, a Never Trump conservative who served in the George W. Bush Administration, told Watts, "It's just jaw-dropping that the disgraced, twice-impeached ex-president's utterances are now a national security threat on an hourly, daily basis — to which Watts responded, "It is remarkable that it continues on."

Watts told Wallace, "It's also remarkable because there is still significant online discussion of this, which means —think if you're a believer in this conspiracy, and you've seen everything from QAnon to January 6, the inauguration occurring, ballot recounts failing — and you still are pursuing this fantasy. How would it not lead to violence over time?"

The former FBI counterrorism expert went on to say, "I think one advantage we do have is that the (former) president is not on Twitter, Facebook and much of social media. His website was not particularly successful. So, it has muted his ability to really rally that base. He's been in a limited number of public appearances. If that were to change and the conspiracies started to pick up again — if you start to see a sizable audience gathering, that DHS assessment is right on target. It is actually articulating clear risk. The biggest risk is…. from the last person who was inside the White House."

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