Last week, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) whistleblower told the press that agency officials had ordered him to downplay the threat of white supremacist terrorism. A recent DHS intelligence assessment about physical threats to the 2020 election season identifies “white supremacist extremists” as the foremost threat to the democratic process this year. The intelligence assessment, leaked exclusively to The Nation, was produced by the DHS’s Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) division.
In an interview, a former senior DHS I&A intelligence officer corroborated the whistleblower’s claims, and described the challenges he had faced to monitoring white supremacists under the Trump administration: “As soon as Trump came in, counterterrorism ended.”
While the Trump administration publicly downplays the rise of the far right, Homeland Security anticipates “physical threats” to the 2020 election.
This builds on previous reporting by Klippenstein that found President Trump keeps pointing to antifa to delegitimize the powerful and largely peaceful protests roiling American cities—when in fact, an internal FBI situation report reveals antifa’s presence is so negligible, his own FBI had trouble finding evidence of their involvement. And a separate leaked DHS intelligence report revealed intelligence officials are attempting to tie American activists it considers antifa to foreign powers, in a possible effort to circumvent constitutionally-guaranteed legal protections.