Former Obama CIA Director John Brennan admitted he’s “concerned” about some of the rhetoric coming from far-left politicians stoking a partisan divide, in addition to concerns about Antifa vigilantism.
Brennan made the comments during a discussion with Juliette Kayyem, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and former fellow Obama administration official.
Kayyem noted that the FBI is currently focused on right-wing extremism but inquired about left-wing politicians and left-wing radicalization.
While Brennan is obviously concerned about right-wing extremism, his comments about the left raised eyebrows.
“I am concerned about some of this rhetoric that’s coming from the Left,” Brennan said calling ideologues on both ends of the political spectrum “dangerous.”
He added that “there are individuals on the Left who are engaging in vigilantism themselves that fall under this broad rubric of Antifa, anti-fascist elements.”
“But I do think that ideologues are just blind to reality, and they do not look for ways to allow people from across that political spectrum to live peacefully together,” added Brennan.
Former CIA Director John Brennan warns about left-wing rhetoric and antifa https://t.co/SxoX8NjwJJ
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 24, 2021
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Brennan Confirms Antifa Concerns
Brennan’s comments are a marked contrast to those by President Joe Biden and other far-left politicians and pundits who have claimed Antifa is not a real group but rather an “idea.”
Joy Behar, co-host of ‘The View,’ just a couple of months ago told her mindless, unquestioning audience that Antifa is a “fictitious idea” and “not a real thing.”
CNN host Chris Cuomo told his viewers previously that Antifa is simply “a good cause.”
CNN’s Chris Cuomo says Antifa is “a good cause” pic.twitter.com/mCMgoyPszQ
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) April 30, 2019
During the first presidential debate, Biden mischaracterized comments by FBI Director Christopher Wray last summer who said Antifa is not an organization per se, but that they did view them as an “ideology” or “movement.”
The President tried to use those comments to suggest Antifa is simply an “idea.”
“His own FBI director said the threat comes from white supremacists — Antifa is an idea, not an organization,” Biden claimed.
“Well, then you know what? He’s wrong,” former President Donald Trump fired back. “When a bat hits you over the head, that’s not an idea. Antifa is bad.”
Just spliced together the two clips:
1) Joe Biden claims Antifa is just an “idea”
2) Trump responds tonight at his rally by saying an “idea” doesn’t burn down buildings and attack cops pic.twitter.com/QR6zWp0dJd
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) October 1, 2020
Far-Left Stoking The Flames
Former CIA Director John Brennan went further in his comments.
“I am concerned that, including some politicians in Congress who are far left, are just, I think, almost stoking these concerns that people have that America is sliding into a socialist state,” he said.
“I think the rhetoric and the words that politicians use need to be very carefully crafted, because some of the statements that are made tend to provoke counterattacks from the other side and that, again, just separates us into left- and right-wing in this county,” added Brennan.
Former CIA Director John Brennan warns about political rhetoric, politicians “who are engaging in vigilantism themselves that fall under this broad rubric of antifa” https://t.co/kKGPo4hE3G
— Tom Jordan (@TomJordanNews) May 23, 2021
Brennan also said the one-time Capitol protest incident in January was a sign of “growth, particularly in right-wing extremism and white militias, in terms of vigilantism that they are going to try to take matters into their own hands.”
Wray, meanwhile, put to rest the false notion that Antifa is simply an idea as Biden and the media have suggested.
“We consider Antifa to be more of a movement,” he said during congressional testimony last month.
“There are certainly local and regional nodes, individuals who self-identify with Antifa, who commit violent attacks citing that as their motivation, and we have a number of predicated investigations into such individuals,” he added.
“Antifa is a real thing; it’s not a fiction, and it’s a concern.”
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