CNN Analyst Juliette Kayyem called President Donald Trump the “spiritual” and “operational” leader of domestic terrorism efforts following the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of his supporters last Wednesday.
Kayyem was asked Tuesday by “CNN Newsroom” host Jim Sciutto to give context on the threat level of groups planning armed protests in the 50 state capitols across the country.
“This is now pre-positioning because we are taking this threat seriously,” Kayyem said. “As you know, I have been arguing, this is domestic terrorism. We’re in America’s largest domestic terrorism effort, I think, you know, against an internal threat that we have right now that is not the Civil War.”
This week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released an internal bulletin that said armed protests are being planned for all 50 state capitols and Washington, D.C. in the days leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20.
Kayyem went on saying, “we have been too nice” as the “extreme supporters” of Trump began to be radicalized by him. She then described that the FBI is now moving into “a traditional counter terrorism effort.” Since last Wednesday there have been multiple arrests of some of the perpetrators of the Capitol riot, and Kayyem noted that the “public arrests that you are seeing are purposeful because they are saying to the radical element within Trump supporters, he’s not saving you.” (RELATED: House Democrats Seek Punishment For Republican Colleagues Connected To Capitol Riot)
Host Poppy Harlow continued by asking Kayyem to talk about how Trump’s “most violent” supporters could be “de-radicalized.”
“So we’re not there yet,” Kayyem explained. “What we have to remember is Trump is the spiritual, but I will also say operational, leader of this domestic terrorism effort. 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 counter-terrorism effort which is total isolation of the President of the United States.”
She then described “isolation” to mean “de-platforming” and having “no money” and “no access to campaign funds,” as well as impeachment and the 25th Amendment. Trump has already been suspended from multiple social media platforms, including Twitter, and the payment processing company, Stripe, has stopped processing payments to Trump’s campaign.
“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. “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 unity and stuff, this is a tactical effort right now to make sure that we protect American citizens and of course the next President of the United States.”