(NEW YORK) — In the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in New Zealand, Tom Bossert, former Trump Homeland Security and counterterrorism adviser, told ABC News’ chief news anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” that the United States should focus on allocating funds within the Department of Homeland Security to combat the threat of domestic terrorism.
“I think that this administration stands ready to invest more money,” Bossert said.
Former Obama Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson agreed with Bossert stating, “I do believe there is a role for the Department of Homeland Security when it comes to countering domestic-based violent extremism.”
In the Oval Office on Friday afternoon President Donald Trump told ABC News’ national correspondent Terry Moran that white nationalism was not a rising threat around the world.
The United States has seen several violent incidents within the past few years. In 2017, 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed during protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. Eleven worshipers were killed in a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last October. And nine people were gunned down at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a legal advocacy firm that tracks hate crimes within the United States, a Feb. 2019 report suggests that the number of hate groups across the country are at a record high. The report also indicates that there was a 30 percent increase in hate crimes that coincided with Trump’s campaign and presidency.
The FBI reports similar statistics suggesting that in 2017 hate crimes were on the rise for the third consecutive year. Race and ethnicity were the motivation behind nearly three out of five of the 7,100 hate crimes reported to the bureau. There were more than 8,000 victims of hate crimes within the United States. Data from 2018 has not been released.
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