CNN analyst Juliette Kayyem claimed without evidence on Tuesday that President Donald Trump was the “operational leader” of a domestic terrorism effort after last week’s riot in the nation’s capital.
Kayyem made the remarks during a segment on CNN’s “Newsroom” about the challenges that law enforcement agencies will face in preparing for armed protests across the nation next week when President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office.
“You have, to that point, exactly, Juliette, a really interesting new piece in The Atlantic this morning and you write, viewing Trump’s insurrection through a counterterrorism lens unlocks some insights about how to de-radicalize his most violent supporters,” CNN co-host Poppy Harlow said. “Tell us more about that because that is really about a solution.”
“Exactly. So we’re not there yet. And I think what we have to remember is Trump is the spiritual but I will also say operational leader of this domestic terrorism effort,” Kayyem claimed. “He tells them where to go. He tells them what to do. He tells them why they’re angry. And so we need to start at the top, like any counterterrorism effort, which is isolation of the president of the United States, impeachment, yes, 25th Amendment, yes, de-platforming, yes, all of the above, no money, no access to campaign funds, a complete isolation.”
“Because as the leader of a terrorist organization is viewed as a loser, as a not winner, it is harder for him to recruit,” Kayyem continued. “Look, he’s going to have his radical elements. We will arrest them. We will isolate them. But what we have to make sure is that Donald Trump does not have a second act. I know I sound incredibly harsh right now calling the president this, but we are in the tactical response right now. Enough with the ‘let’s unify’ and stuff, this is a tactical effort to make sure that we protect American citizens and, of course, the next president of the United States.”
"Trump is the spiritual leader for domestic terrorists and he is their operational leader. He tells them what to do. Now, total isolation. 25th A. Yes. Impeachment. Yes. Deplatforming. Yes. We are still in the tactical phase of a counterterrorism effort. Enough with unity." @cnn pic.twitter.com/8UkZBzS4ai
— Juliette Kayyem (@juliettekayyem) January 12, 2021
Kayyem’s remark comes after the president has condemned the violence that occurred last week.
“I’d like to begin by addressing the heinous attack on the United States Capitol,” Trump said last week. “Like all Americans, I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness, and mayhem. I immediately deployed the national guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders. America is and must always be a nation of law and order. The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy. To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country, and to those who broke the law, you will pay.”
“We have just been through an intense election, and emotions are high,” he said. “But now tempers must be cooled and calm restored. We must get on with the business of America. My campaign vigorously pursued every legal avenue to contest the election results. My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote. In so doing, I was fighting to defend American democracy. I continue to strongly believe that we must reform our election laws to verify the identity and eligibility of all voters and to ensure faith and confidence in all future elections. Now, Congress has certified the results. A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20; my focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”
“2020 has been a challenging time for our people,” he concluded. “A menacing pandemic has upended the lives of our citizens, isolated millions in their homes, damaged our economy, and claimed countless lives. Defeating this pandemic and rebuilding the greatest economy on earth will require all of us working together. It will require a renewed emphasis on the civic values of patriotism, faith, charity, community, and family. We must revitalize the sacred bonds of love and loyalty that bind us together as one national family. To the citizens of our country, serving as your president has been the honor of my lifetime, and to all of my wonderful supporters, I know you are disappointed, but I also want you to know that our incredible journey is only just beginning. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.”
Trump also condemned the violence yesterday afternoon, saying that his administration stands for “the rule of law” and “not in violence or rioting.”