February 11, 2017

Senator Cory Booker was on fire during his appearance on Hardball Thursday, especially with regard to Trump's ties to Russia, white supremacists, and the real terrorists in this country.

With regard to terrorism, Booker pointedly noted that anti-immigration organizations in this country are targeted as terrorist organizations.

And in case anyone has forgotten, there's the whole issue of Russian destabilization of global security, which Booker pointedly aimed at.

"If Donald Trump is concerned about security, I had Republican senators that talked about the Russian attacks, Russian cyber attacks from this country, with all the stuff -- real work we have to do to fight ISIS to fight terrorism and fight efforts that are going on trying to destabilize democracy and right here at home."

Chris Matthews actually got something right, and pointed out that home-grown extremists are more dangerous than so-called Islamic extremists. But he made one error, when he called them "alt-right."

Booker raised the issue of Trump removing domestic terrorism from the priority list while emphasizing Islamic terrorism.

"We're dropping our efforts on countering violent extremism, which to me is outrageous when you look at the data of what's happening in our country and when it comes to terror activity, Booker replied. "You mention the worst domestic violence ever, Timothy McVeigh. I want to keep all Americans safe, whether from a school shooting in Connecticut or a terrorist attack by New Jersey and 9/11."

"We need to take all terrorism seriously. For Donald Trump to ignore what we have seen in recent days the kind of terrorism we have seen-- It just happened in Canada where a mosque was invaded and where people were killed, that's unacceptable to me and he will have a fight on his hands with the Article I branch of the senate whose job it is to balance and check the executive especially when it comes to issues of national security," he continued.

Matthews then brought up the relationship between Steve Bannon, the so-called "alt-right," and domestic terrorism. Booker set him straight immediately on his use of the term "alt-right," and with a passion that caught my attention.

"You say alt-right. Let's be clear, alt-right is a euphemism for white supremacy and what he was trying to do on that platform," Booker corrected.

He went on to express concerns about Jeff Sessions and his particular hatred toward LGBTQ individuals and groups, specifically with regard to their civil rights, before turning back to the issue of Trump's Muslim ban.

"I have grave concerns about this shift away from the real terrorism that is seeing real deaths and killings on a regular basis to focus on one type of terrorism, which is serious, but this Muslim ban is a great example of him not even focusing on the roots of the problem that make us unsafe and not understanding what the enemy is trying to do," he said.

"He's playing into their hands by trying to make this a war on radical Islam and not a war on radical terrorism," Booker concluded.

And that's the problem. While white supremacists are out there playing war games free of scrutiny, Trump is shifting the focus to countries thousands of miles away, without regard for the fact that the domestic terrorists are the ones who will inflict the most damage.

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