Right-wing misinformation is radicalizing more Americans. What that means for future violence

A scene from Capitol Hill, after protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building while Congress met to certify electoral votes confirming Joe Biden as president in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo by Hannah Gaber-USA TODAY

“Totally appropriate” was how President Trump described the speech he gave last week that incited an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He said to reporters this morning from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland: “People thought that what I said was totally appropriate. And if you look at what other people have said, politicians at a high level, about the riots during the summer, the horrible riots in Portland and Seattle and various other, other places, that was a real problem, what they said. But they've analyzed my speech and my words and my final paragraph, my final sentence, and everybody to the T thought it was totally appropriate.”

Trump is facing a second impeachment over his role in the mob attack that has so far left five people dead and had lawmakers fearing for their lives. 

So far most Republicans say they oppose impeaching Trump, even as the president continues to show little to no remorse over what happened. 

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that the day before the riot, an FBI office in Virginia sent an internal memo warning of a “war” at the U.S. Capitol. That contradicts the bureau’s messaging up to this point that it didn’t have intelligence alerting it to the potential for violence. 

The FBI is also warning that armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitals starting this Saturday through at least the inauguration, and that an armed group is planning to travel to DC if Trump is removed from office. 

National security experts have been sounding the alarms over what they describe as a “mass radicalization” that is underway on the fringes of the right.

Credits

Guest:
Mary McCord - former federal prosecutor who oversaw terrorism cases; current law professor at Georgetown University

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Angie Perrin, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Bennett Purser