Jeh Johnson: Trump Emboldened ‘Large Strand of America that Is Racist’

Former Obama administration Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said Friday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” that former President Donald Trump “emboldened” a “large strand of America, that is racist.”

Johnson said, “A lot of us would like to believe with the election of a black president 12 years ago, we finally put aside our legacy, our racist legacy in this country. Unfortunately, there is still a strand, a large strand of America, that is racist, that is intolerant, that is highly susceptible to the so-called great replacement misinformation that is out there.”

He continued, “We saw this Charlottesville. We saw this on January 6th. We had a president, the last president, who peeled the lid off of this racist strand in our country. And they feel emboldened right now, and we see attacks on Black churches, on mosques, on synagogues.”

Johnson added, “Are most Americans racist? No. But there still exists a large strand of this nation, that is. it’s an ugly intolerant strand, and anyone who can’t see that either doesn’t want to see it or has the inability to see the obvious.”

Mitchell asked, “The Department of Homeland Security that you once led has announced an internal review to try to root out white supremacy and white extremism within federal agencies. Do you think that’s needed?”

Johnson said, “Yes, I do. As far as I know, there was no specific incident within DHS, no specific individual or group of individuals within DHS that prompts this inquiry. But we do know that a number of the insurrectionists on January 6th were members of the military, former members of the military, perhaps even some in law enforcement. So, I think it’s incumbent on both the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security to take a hard look with this within their own ranks, absolutely.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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