On a recent Saturday, Frank Figliuzzi, a former senior official in FBI counterintelligence, expressed concerns that current domestic threats within the U.S. mirror international terrorist threats. He commented on the deep-seated commitment among certain individuals supportive of former President Donald Trump, noting that they seem ready to lay down their lives for their beliefs.
The ex-president has come under fire for his purported inflammatory remarks after facing criminal charges. He is currently contesting 78 felony counts across three legal battles. These accusations range from an alleged secret payment to actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election to mishandling classified information and making unlawful attempts to contest the 2020 election results.
At a hearing in New York earlier this year, presided over by Justice Juan Merchan, Trump was advised to refrain from any comments that might stir violence or unrest. However, Trump later shared with his followers at his Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago, his belief that the justice was biased against him due to familial ties with the Democratic Party.
While Justice Merchan’s daughter, Loren, is indeed associated with Democratic campaigns, both left and right-leaning legal experts assert that this doesn’t conflict with Merchan’s professional duties.
Figliuzzi, also an NBC News contributor and known critic of Trump, made an appearance on MSNBC. He was questioned about the rising tide of extremist threats, referring to a recent incident in Utah involving an extremist supporter of Trump. Figliuzzi drew a parallel between the current domestic threat level and the post-9/11 terror alerts, suggesting the U.S. is facing an imminent threat.
In the meantime, Trump, who has indicated a 2024 presidential run, has consistently targeted special counsel Jack Smith, appointed by the DOJ to lead investigations into him. In a past interview, Trump harshly labeled Smith and demanded his resignation.
During his talk on MSNBC, Figliuzzi emphasized that the escalating attacks on legal officials by Trump might trigger extreme reactions from his base. He specifically pointed out the online threats aimed at former Vice President Mike Pence due to Pence’s refusal to support Trump’s claims about the 2020 elections. This was evident when some Trump supporters demanded harm to Pence during the Capitol breach in early 2021.
Figliuzzi voiced his concerns about the number of Americans willing to resort to violence for their political beliefs. He cited a recent study suggesting millions are open to violent means if it could restore Trump to the presidency.
In response to these observations, Trump’s campaign was contacted for a statement.
Robert Collins, a political analyst and professor at Dillard University, shared his thoughts with Newsweek. He observed that Trump’s style of communication resonates with his voter base. Collins emphasized the polarized nature of modern news consumption, where people often access information that aligns solely with their existing beliefs. This divide, he suggested, has led to two distinct realities. He concluded by expressing that the nation’s divisive rhetoric, and potentially resultant violence, is unlikely to subside in the foreseeable future.