Richard Clarke on Terror Threats Within the U.S.

The country mourns the lives lost in the worst attack in history on America’s Jewish community. Former U.S. National Coordinator for Security and Counter-terrorism Richard Clarke talks about the terror threat from within.

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RICHARD CLARKE: We have always had hate-filled Nazis for lack of a better word, Nazis is really fairly accurate word, we`ve always had people like that, lurking in the dark corners of our country, usually afraid to come out. In the last year, year-and-a-half, they have come out of those dark corners. They`re beating people up at Trump rallies, they are beating people up on the of streets of New York. And now, they`re attacking synagogues. There`s a reason for this, and we need to be clear and frank about it. The reason is, that the president of the United States and his allies ally, Steve Bannon, of Breitbart and with connection to the info wars and all of these terrible right-wing hate-filled sites, they have been intentionally, since the campaign of 2016, using dog whistles, code phrases, that the right-wing crazies recognize. And they know what`s being said, what`s being said by the president and his supporters are, “We know you. We`re part of you. We can`t say it publicly. But we believe what you believe.” That kind of dog whistle messaging, which they have been intentionally doing since the 2016 campaign encourages these people to go out and beat people up on the street, encourages them to make pipe bombs, encourages them to attack synagogues.

AMANPOUR: Yes. I mean —

CLARKE: Let`s just be frank about it.

AMANPOUR: Well, I can hear what you`re saying and quite a lot of people are making that same point. Obviously, this is being furiously rejected by the White House.

CLARKE: Well, of course they say that.

AMANPOUR: Well, yes. And pointing the finger at the general tenor of the media, again, calling us the enemy of the people. It`s really —

CLARKE: That`s one of the dog phrases. Enemy of the people.

AMANPOUR: Right. Right. And it is really difficult to see how this moment can be — can somehow be used as a moment to sort of do a sharp U-turn. And I`m wondering whether you think that`s even possible.

CLARKE: It`s not possible with this man, this president. He has had ample opportunity to make that sharp U-turn. If he didn`t make it after the pipe bombs on all of the Democrats, if instead of making that sharp U-turn he attacked the media again. Then he`ll never make that sharp U-turn. With him in office, we have to look to the FBI to do its job, which it has been doing. We also have to look at non-governmental organizations like the anti-defamation league, like the human rights campaign, like the Southern Poverty Law Center. Those are groups that monitor these hate-filled media sites and expose them.


CLARKE: And we have to them continue the great work when the government doesn`t.

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks with Serene Jones, Union Theological Seminary’s President, Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky and Richard Clarke, former U.S. Nat’l. Coordinator for Security and Counter-terrorism about the attack on America’s Jewish community; and Celso Amoirm, former Brazilian Foreign and Defense Minister, about Brazil’s election. Hari Sreenivasan speaks with Republican strategist Frank Luntz.