Donald Trump has spent the entirety of his short political career singling out immigrants as one of the biggest threats to the country, endearing him to white supremacists like the self-described white nationalist Richard Spencer and former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, who celebrated his election.
The man who murdered 49 people at two mosques in New Zealand, and who reportedly inspired the shooter in El Paso, called Trump a “Renewed symbol of white identity.”
The president famously said there were “Very fine people on both sides” following the 2017 white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Trump’s willingness to ignore, and at times encourage, the threat of white nationalist violence is providing a politically challenging environment for law enforcement agencies, according to The Washington Post.
“I believe Christopher A. Wray is an honorable man, but I think in many ways the FBI is hamstrung in trying to investigate the white supremacist movement like the old FBI would,” Gomez said.
Since the election, Trump has continued to escalate his rhetoric toward immigrants.
At a rally in Panama City Beach, Florida, this past May, Trump again called Central American migrants applying for asylum an “Invasion” and asked the crowd, “How do you stop these people?” When someone yelled back, “Shoot them,” the president laughed and cracked a joke, saying, “That’s only in the Panhandle you can get away with that statement. Only in the Panhandle!” In July, after he repeatedly said four minority congresswomen should leave the U.S., a Fox News reporter asked if he was worried that “Many people saw that tweet as racist and that white nationalist groups are finding common cause with you on that point?”.