Frank Figliuzzi was at one time the FBI’s Assistant Director for Counterintelligence, a post he assumed in 2011 under then-director Robert Mueller. Figliuzzi’s successor (appointed by James Comey in 2015) was E.W. “Bill” Priestap, Peter Strzok’s boss during the events of Spygate in the 2016 election.
Figliuzzi is now a contributor to NBC News. And on Tuesday 6 August 2019, he spoke with Brian Williams on MSNBC about Trump and “white supremacy,” discussing the latter as a systematic terrorism problem.
Figliuzzi was disappointed in Trump’s speech condemning “white supremacy.” One thing he was disappointed in was Trump calling on all Americans to condemn invidious “whiteness” ideologies, instead of saying “I condemn” those ideologies. Figliuzzi asserted that “whiteness” radicals would take heart from that distinction, hearing in it an affirmation that Trump was merely checking a ritual box for public consumption. Trump, according to Figliuzzi, could be “heard” as saying he himself didn’t really condemn the evil ideologies.
Only if you already assume Trump is a “whiteness” ideologue would you have any reason to hear him in these terms. There is no reason to make that assumption, nor has there ever been. (Trump did, in fact, affirmatively condemn “whiteness” ideologies multiple times during the 2016 campaign.) Saying over and over again that opposing illegal migration is the same thing as being a “whiteness” ideologue doesn’t make it so. (It does, frankly, make the repeater come off as psychotic.)
But it’s what came next that put the Figliuzzi segment in the Twilight Zone. The passage begins a few seconds after 3:35 in the video, but start at 3:35 for the contextual intro.
Here’s the transcript:
The president said that we will fly our flags at half-mast until August 8. That’s “8-8.” Now, I’m not going to imply that he did this deliberately, but I am using it as an example of the ignorance of the adversary that’s being demonstrated by the White House. The numbers “8, 8” are very significant in Neo-Nazi and white supremacy movement. Why? Because the letter “H” is the 8th letter of the alphabet, and to them, the numbers “8, 8” together stand for “Heil Hitler.”
So we’re gonna be raising the flag back up at dusk on 8-8. No one’s thinking about this. No one’s giving him the advice, or he’s rejecting the advice, so, understand your adversary to counter the adversary.
Figliuzzi appears to be seriously suggesting that Trump can only establish bona fides in leading the nation if he takes care to track down every word, gesture, and pair of numbers that might be heard as an encoded message by Neo-Nazis, and zealously avoids them.
That’s paranoia. Doing that is what would signify that Neo-Nazis have America by the short hairs.
Neo-Nazis don’t have America by the short hairs. (Neither of the shooters, in El Paso or Dayton, evinced any affinity for Nazis or Neo-Nazism, just to begin with. The Dayton shooter, in fact, was a Satanist who embraced left-wing positions, supported Elizabeth Warren, and expressed hatred for Trump. “Hitler” and encoded “Nazi” allusions are not relevant in this case.)
Seemingly, however, Neo-Nazis do have the former FBI official by the short hairs.
MSNBC brings no credit on itself by featuring such specious, obsessive-seeming “analysis.”