Homeland Security is ‘Highly Concerned’ Over Theory That Trump Will Be Reinstated in August
As the conspiracy theory that Donald Trump will be reinstated as president in August continues to circulate it has caused concern for officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Politico reports. And that’s exactly what one key official told members of Congress Wednesday during a meeting with the House Committee on Homeland Security.
John Cohen, the DHS’s top counterterrorism official discussed the situation during the members-only briefing. Sources familiar with the briefing described the meeting to Politico but requested anonymity in order to discuss the private meeting.
According to the three sources, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) asked Cohen how the DHS is monitoring the spread of disinformation and conspiracy theories and the way that discourse can easily lead to violence. She specifically mentioned the conspiracy theory that claims Trump will somehow be reinstated in August — something that even Trump himself has mentioned.
Cohen responded that the DHS was unaware of any specific, credible threats of violence linked to this particular conspiracy theory. However, he noted the agency is following discussion of the topic among online extremist groups. It’s something that’s particularly worrisome to department officials, he added because it promotes the false narrative that the election was rigged — a narrative that may spur additional violence from extremists.
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While domestic terrorism was the central topic of the briefing, Cohen also answered numerous questions from members about violent crime, which has escalated in 2020 and 2021. Earlier this week the Biden rolled out an initiative to combat violent crime. Cohen said DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is also directing to examine factors fueling violence that falls within the department’s purview.
It’s understandable that the DHS is keeping track of these wackadoodle conspiracy theories since so many prominent Trump supporters, i.e. My Pillow flake Mike Lindell and former Trump attorney Sidney “Release the Kraken” Powell are promoting them. Lindell himself has said more than once that he fully believes Trump will be reinstated and Powell told a QAnon conference earlier this year that Trump can “simply be reinstated.”
In a statement to Politico, a DHS wrote that the agency is focusing itself specifically on disinformation.
“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is focused on the nexus between violence and extremist ideologies, as well as hateful and false narratives,” the spokesperson said. “DHS is enhancing its ability to prevent acts of violence inspired by disinformation, conspiracy theories, and extremist narratives spread through social media and other online platforms.”
And the Biden administration is also prioritizing the fight against domestic terrorism. Earlier this month the Biden administration unveiled a strategy document highlighting the planned approach to the problem. The DHS has also implemented a team of intelligence analysts set to focus exclusively on this issue.
But Politico notes this has come with its own set of problems, raising concerns amid civil liberties groups who say they are worried about the expanded government surveillance of activities that are protected by the First Amendment, alongside the potential impacts this may have on marginalized communities.
Just think. All of this is going on because the former occupant of the White House can’t handle the truth that he lost. Who knows if this will turn even more dangerous than the tragedy that occurred on January 6?