Counterterror chief: Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric makes job more difficult

Recent anti-Muslim rhetoric from President Donald Trump and administration policies such as the travel ban are making...

Posted: Dec 14, 2017 10:22 AM
Updated: Dec 14, 2017 10:23 AM

Recent anti-Muslim rhetoric from President Donald Trump and administration policies such as the travel ban are making counterterrorism "more difficult," according to outgoing National Counterterrorism Center Director Nick Rasmussen.

Speaking during an on-the-record interview Wednesday, Rasmussen said, "I don't think it's arguable it's more difficult when the environment is contaminated by mutual suspicion."

Rasmussen said, "It's more difficult when the environment is contaminated by mutual suspicion"

Trump's statements on Muslims played a role in a court hearing on the travel ban

"If you're increasing the amount of suspicion and distress on these communities, it places more challenges in our way," he said.

Asked "does the environment today make your job more difficult?" -- with reference to comments by the President and administration policies such as the travel ban -- Rasmussen answered "yes."

Trump's past and recent tweets and statements concerning Muslims and the travel ban played a central role during a federal appeals court hearing last week on the legality of travel ban 3.0.

Lawyers and judges discussed whether the tweets should be taken into consideration as the court examines whether the ban on travel to the US by residents of certain nations was illegally motivated by anti-Muslim animus. Special attention was paid to the President's November 29 retweets of three inflammatory videos from a British far right account rife with anti-Muslim content.

"What do we do," Judge James A. Wynn asked, when we have "multiple instances" when the President has tweeted about Muslims "before the election, during the election and just a week or so ago?"

"Do we just ignore reality?" he asked.

The White House has previously defended several of Trump's controversial comments.

Last month, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders claimed that Trump's decision to retweet anti-Muslim content from a leader of a far-right British political group served to "elevate the conversation."

Trump had sparked criticism from Britain's highest officials when he retweeted the three messages from Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of the group, Britain First.

Trump's support for the messages, which contained videos depicting purported Muslims assaulting people and smashing a statue of the Virgin Mary, drew condemnation in the UK, including from Prime Minister Theresa May.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 115088

Reported Deaths: 3255
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7973177
DeSoto703979
Harrison522384
Jackson457884
Rankin394086
Madison383194
Lee357380
Forrest304678
Jones292484
Washington258399
Lafayette250443
Lauderdale2478135
Lamar225538
Oktibbeha202454
Bolivar201677
Neshoba1849111
Lowndes179962
Panola170040
Leflore167187
Sunflower162349
Warren154855
Monroe150673
Pontotoc147220
Marshall143129
Lincoln140157
Pike138456
Copiah137536
Scott125429
Coahoma124937
Grenada122638
Yazoo122234
Simpson121549
Union118825
Tate116839
Leake115041
Holmes114760
Itawamba113925
Pearl River113660
Adams108544
Prentiss106120
Wayne101722
Alcorn100112
George99218
Covington97527
Marion95042
Tippah90322
Newton86627
Chickasaw85526
Tallahatchie84526
Winston84121
Hancock84028
Tishomingo81241
Attala79426
Clarke75851
Clay69321
Jasper68717
Walthall63927
Calhoun62612
Noxubee59817
Smith59416
Montgomery54923
Yalobusha54514
Claiborne53716
Tunica53517
Lawrence51814
Perry49423
Carroll49312
Greene47818
Stone47514
Humphreys43816
Amite42513
Quitman4206
Jefferson Davis41011
Webster37613
Benton3416
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32615
Sharkey28514
Jefferson27610
Franklin2423
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23129377
Mobile16849315
Tuscaloosa10296140
Montgomery10197197
Madison928096
Shelby733863
Baldwin663769
Lee653465
Calhoun456761
Marshall438150
Etowah426551
Houston414834
Morgan412035
DeKalb338829
Elmore320053
St. Clair292542
Limestone284230
Walker277292
Talladega265335
Cullman244024
Lauderdale226242
Jackson214915
Franklin205231
Autauga204831
Colbert200532
Russell19443
Blount192525
Chilton186932
Dallas186527
Coffee176311
Dale175151
Covington174029
Escambia172530
Chambers135044
Clarke134317
Pike133513
Tallapoosa131787
Marion107629
Barbour10319
Marengo100822
Butler100740
Winston92213
Geneva9007
Lawrence85032
Pickens84718
Bibb82814
Randolph82316
Hale76730
Washington74412
Clay74112
Cherokee73314
Lowndes70928
Henry7086
Bullock64817
Monroe64610
Crenshaw60630
Perry5896
Fayette57413
Wilcox56712
Conecuh56113
Cleburne5568
Macon53420
Lamar4905
Sumter47221
Choctaw39012
Greene34216
Coosa2033
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Overcast
59° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 59°
Columbus
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 61°
Oxford
Overcast
52° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 52°
Starkville
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 55°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather