The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has reported that extremist killings are down under President Donald Trump, falling 39% during the first two years of the Trump administration relative to the last two years of President Barack Obama’s administration.
The numbers are presented in the ADL’s recent study, “Murder and Extremism in the United States in 2018.” There were 72 killings by extremists in 2015 and 70 in 2016, versus 37 in 2017 and 50 in 2018.
The left-leaning ADL, which is run by former Obama official Jonathan Grenblatt, chose to bury its own data. It emphasized the “sharp increase” in the number of “extremist-related killings” in 2018.
The ADL also emphasized that right-wing extremists were related to all 50 of those killings — though, as Breitbart News pointed out when the study was released earlier this year, the ADL also admitted that the proportion of those killings that were related to extremist ideology actually declined.
(“Extremist-related killings” apparently refers to killings by extremists, not necessarily killings for extremist reasons.)
Democrats and media pundits have cited the ADL study this week in an attempt to blame President Trump for inspiring the terror attacks in two mosques in New Zealand last Friday.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), for example, whom the ADL has criticized for her antisemitic rhetoric, tweeted the ADL’s findings on Monday to support the idea that white nationalism is rising in the U.S.:
It’s overdue! Far-right extremists were linked to every extremist murder in the U.S. last year, including the Tree of Life and Parkland shootings.
They are not operating in a vacuum. This is a crisis and it deserves national attention. https://t.co/i2buqaYGpA
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 18, 2019
However, the actual statistics in the ADL report show the opposite — at least as far as actual killings are concerned.
It is difficult to say whether any of the movement in the numbers of extremist-related killings is statistically significant: extremism remains, as President Trump said on Friday, a “small” phenomenon, though a “terrible” one.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.