The FBI has had an “ongoing” relationship with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a left-wing nonprofit that once placed Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson on an “extremist watch list.”
That’s according to an exclusive report from Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson, who broke the news on his show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Friday.
“Well as you already know if you’ve been paying any attention at all, the Southern Poverty Law Center is a fraudulent enterprise,” said Carlson. “It’s a left-wing political group that uses ‘hate crime’ designations to target its ideological enemies and to crush people.”
“The SPLC has repeatedly been allowed to brief the FBI on alleged domestic terrorist threats to this country,” Carlson reported. “Disturbingly though, the relationship is ongoing, if you can believe it.” (RELATED: Facebook, Amazon, Google and Twitter All Work With Left-Wing SPLC)
“Despite multiple requests from this program, the FBI has refused to describe the extent of its collaboration with the SPLC, we’ve asked repeatedly, or even to explain why it continues to work with a group like that,” Carlson said, noting the agency would only offer bland statements.
“For many years, the FBI has engaged with various organizations, both formally and informally,” FBI spokeswoman Jacqueline Maguire said in a statement to Carlson’s show.
“Such outreach is a critical component of the FBI’s mission, and we welcome information from these organizations on any possible violations of civil rights, hate crimes, or other potential crimes or threats.”
“The Attorney General has directed the FBI to reevaluate their relationships with groups like this to ensure the FBI does not partner with any group that discriminates,” Department of Justice spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores told Fox News.
The SPLC’s lists of “extremists” and “hate groups” have consistently courted controversy and the nonprofit’s work has been plagued by inaccuracies.
Floyd Lee Corkins, who opened fire at the Family Research Center (FRC) in 2012, said he chose the FRC for his act of violence because the SPLC listed them as a “hate group.”
Carson was surprised to find out in February 2015 that the SPLC placed him on an “extremist watch list” for his conservative beliefs.
The SPLC cited as proof of Carson’s “extremism” a quote in which he said: “Marriage is between a man and a woman; it’s a well-established pillar of society.”
Following a backlash, the SPLC apologized and removed him from its list. Carson was on the list for four months before the SPLC removed the “extremist” label.
The SPLC deleted three Russia-related articles this March after challenges to their accuracy followed by legal threats.
The SPLC removed a controversial “anti-Muslim extremist” list in April, after British Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz announced plans to sue the SPLC for defamation. The left-wing group ending up paying Nawaz a $3.375-million settlement.
Somali-born women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali was also on the list.
Ali, a victim of female genital mutilation who now advocates against the practice, is an award-winning human rights activist. For the last decade, her nonprofit, the AHA Foundation, has worked to protect women from honor violence, forced marriage and genital mutilation.
But according to the SPLC’s since-deleted list, Ali is an “anti-Muslim extremist.” The SPLC has yet to apologize or officially retract its “extremist” label for Ali.
Ali criticized Apple CEO Tim Cook in August 2017 for donating to the SPLC, which she described as “an organization that has lost its way, smearing people who are fighting for liberty and turning a blind eye to an ideology and political movement that has much in common with Nazism.”
The SPLC’s influence extends beyond its work with federal law enforcement. The SPLC has working partnerships with Twitter, Facebook, Amazon and Google.
The four tech companies all work with or consult the SPLC in policing their platforms for “hate speech” or “hate groups.”
The SPLC has faced tough criticisms not just from conservatives, but from establishment publications, as well.
“At a time when the line between ‘hate group’ and mainstream politics is getting thinner and the need for productive civil discourse is growing more serious, fanning liberal fears, while a great opportunity for the SPLC, might be a problem for the nation,” Ben Schreckinger, now with GQ, wrote in a June 2017 piece for Politico.
Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle, while still writing for Bloomberg, similarly criticized the SPLC’s flimsy definition of “hate group” in September 2017. Media outlets who trust the SPLC’s labels, McArdle warned, “will discredit themselves with conservative readers and donors.”
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