Former FBI assistant director Frank Figliuzzi has some wild conspiracy theories about President Trump, and MSNBC is more than happy to help promote them.
The most ridiculous comes from Figliuzzi’s assessment of Trump’s response to mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton over the weekend, which the former FBI official likens to a secret salute to white racists worldwide. He also describes the president as “the adversary,” and alleges Trump is “facilitating and enabling” terrorism.
— Jason Overstreet (@JasonOverstreet) August 6, 2019
“You have to understand the adversary and the threat we’re dealing with,” Figliuzzi advised. “And if we don’t understand how they think, we’ll never understand how to counter them.
“It’s the little things in language and messaging that matters. The president said we will fly our flags at half-mast until August 8, that’s eight-eight,” he said. “Now I’m not going to imply that he did this deliberately, but I am going to use it as an example of the ignorance of the adversary as being demonstrated by the White House.
“The numbers eight-eight are very significant in the neo-Nazi and white supremacist movement,” Figliuzzi explained. “Why? Because the letter ‘h’ is the eighth letter of the alphabet and to them the numbers eight-eight together stand for ‘heil Hitler.’ So we’re going to be raising the flag back up at dusk on eight-eight. No one is thinking about this. No one is giving him the advice or he’s rejecting the advice.”
Folks like fiction writer Jason Overstreet are buying into Figliuzzi’s paranoia and spreading the message, linking to the video and Washington Post story about a KKK march in Washington on Aug. 8, 1925.
“Good God,” Overstreet posted to Twitter with a video of Figliuzzi’s theory. “Chilling.”
Figliuzzi, who now dedicates his post government career to denigrating Trump as a racist, was named assistant director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division by Robert Mueller in 2011 and served just over a year in that capacity before retiring in 2012, according to the FBI website.
Afterwards, he worked as an Assistant Chief Security Officer for General Electric before becoming NBC News’ national security contributor.
In recent weeks, he’s offered his take on pressing national security issues like Trump’s tweets to freshman Socialist congresswomen known as “The Squad,” alleged hush payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels, Mueller’s testimony to Congress about the special counsel’s investigation into Trump’s 2016 campaign, John Ratcliffe as intelligence chief, and the president’s alleged “white hate ideology.”
Figliuzzi recently penned a column for The New York Times with the headline: “Why Does Trump Fan the Flames of Race-Based Terrorism?” and has repeatedly accused the president of inciting “terrorism” on MSNBC.
Just hours after a shooting that left 20 dead in El Paso on Saturday, Figliuzzi was on MSNBC accusing Trump of “facilitating and enabling” white men to commit “terrorism,” citing a manifesto left behind by the alleged shooter.
“We have a hate problem. Yes, we have a gun problem. Yes, we have a violence problem,” he said, “but we have a developing hate problem and it is race-based and if as soon as they confirm that this posting is indeed the shooter’s posting, we should feel free to call it what it is and that is terrorism,” he said, ignoring a mountain of evidence a shooter who opened fire in Dayton supported a radical liberal agenda.
“Let’s understand something, this administration that we’re in needs to come out and intervene,” Figliuzzi continued, according to Newsweek. “What do I mean by that? If you’re on the Islamic extremism side, you’ve got that cleric radicalizing that young person online.”
“He’s the father figure, he’s giving the license, he’s facilitating and enabling. What we need is the similar figure – the president – to come out immediately, once this is confirmed, and say, ‘I stand for something other than hate, I rebuke all the hatred going on here,” he said. “Until we see the figure do that, that’s giving the license, we’ll continue to have this hate problem.”
Of course, Trump expressed denounced white supremacy and all forms of hate, and he called on all Americans to do the same. Figliuzzi now contends it’s not enough.
“(Trump) didn’t go far enough … he swung, he didn’t make contact with the ball,” Figliuzzi told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace. “The only way to … disrupt the radicalization process is to call it out and stop them. He didn’t do it, so I fear that (radical racists) are going to interpret his press conference today, and that subtle but important difference between ‘I reject’ and ‘we must reject’ – they’re going to say that is the lip service that he had to pay to us. His script writer made him say that. He doesn’t really mean it.”
Figliuzzi’s analysis fits nicely with the narrative from MSNBC, CNN and other news outlets that have largely ignored the leftist motivations of the shooter in Dayton to hype alleged racist motivations behind the shooter in El Paso.
During The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on Tuesday, MSNBC used the chryon “Trump-inspired terrorism” when discussing the shootings, Breitbart reports.
MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace falsely claims that Trump is “talking about exterminating Latinos”
This is a complete lie and is extremely dangerous rhetoric in today’s volatile atmosphere pic.twitter.com/S5Yda6MUQR
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 6, 2019
Wallace was also forced to publicly apologize for outlandish allegations Trump is “talking about exterminating Latinos,” according to Fox News.
I misspoke about Trump calling for an extermination of Latinos. My mistake was unintentional and I’m sorry. Trump’s constant assault on people of color and his use of the word “invasion” to describe the flow of immigrants is intentional and constant.
— Nicolle Wallace (@NicolleDWallace) August 7, 2019
Wallace took to Twitter Tuesday to offer her most unheartfelt apology, followed directly by another jab in the president’s eye.
“I misspoke about Trump calling for an extermination of Latinos. My mistake was unintentional and I’m sorry,” she wrote. “Trump’s constant assault on people of color and his use of the word ‘invasion’ to describe the flow of immigrants is intentional and constant.”