A senior policy adviser at the Department of Homeland Security suggested in a 2017 email that antifascist groups are the “actual threats,” rather than hate groups, HuffPost reports. Katie Gorka, a Trump appointee and former Breitbart columnist, reportedly wrote that the DHS should redirect its efforts at battling those against fascism. At the time of the email, the DHS had just ended funding for a program dedicated to fighting domestic terrorism and white supremacists. In response to a query from then-Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly about other organizations that combat hate groups, Gorka reportedly said, “My understanding is that the far-left groups (Antifa, or anti-fascist) are currently on the rise.” Her claim is not backed up by any data.
The emails, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, are said to show Gorka and other officials looking for reasons to end grant funding for two organizations fighting violent extremism. One organization, called Life After Hate, planned to use its grant to help white supremacists leave the movement. The DHS ended up canceling grants for seven organizations, including Life After Hate, and reallocated much of the money to law enforcement agencies. Seven weeks after DHS canceled Life After Hate’s grant, a woman was killed at a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.