DHS Secretary Tells Fox News 'There is a Rise' in Terrorism by White Supremacy, Countering Tucker Carlson's 'Hoax'

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan said "there is a rise" in the number of domestic terrorism incidents fueled by white supremacy during an appearance on Fox News' Fox & Friends Wednesday, going against the conservative network's host Tucker Carlson's claim that white supremacy is a "hoax."

Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy agreed with McAleenan that domestic terrorism "is a real issue" in the United States and asked the acting secretary, "but are you seeing a rise in the number of incidents or is this something that you've experienced in the past but it's just being reported differently?"

"I think there is a rise in the number of incidents," McAleenan replied. "The FBI director testified last month, about 850 domestic terrorism investigations ongoing, a number of those with racially motivated, violent extremest ideologies behind them."

McAleenan continued that "we've got to get out in front of that, both on the prevention side and identifying individuals that are on a pathway to violence" through the U.S. Secret Service and National Threat Assessment Center. He added that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has informed state and local officials, health providers and school resource officers of indicators to identify individuals who may be on the path to violence so they can "interdict" incidents.

"That's what we have to do," McAleenen said, reiterating, "So there is a concern there is an increasing amount of violence in the targeted sense."

On Fox & Friends, acting DHS secretary Kevin McAleenan says domestic terrorism caused by white supremacy -- which Fox's Tucker Carlson says is a "hoax" -- is "on the rise" and one of the department's top priorities. pic.twitter.com/BxvGEYk7aG

— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) August 14, 2019

McAleenan's statements ran contrary to what Carlson, the host of Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight, said on August 6, three days after a mass shooting in El Paso where a gunman who wrote a manifesto condemning an "invasion of Hispanics" killed 22 people.

"If you were to assemble a list, a hierarchy of concerns, problems this country has, where would white supremacy be on the list?" Carlson said last week. "Right up there with Russia probably. It's actually not a real problem in America."

Carlson concluded: "It's a hoax, just like the Russia hoax. It's a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power."

Rather than backing down, Carlson returned to television the next night to say that focusing on white supremacy was "destroying the country." Afterward, some advertisers left Carlson's show and the host announced he was "taking several days off⁠ — headed to the wilderness to fish with my son," which was a pre-planned vacation, a Fox News spokesperson told CNN.

A Twitter user replied to a clip of McAleenan's interview on Fox & Friends with a photo of Carlson looking astonished and the comment, "Tucker listening to FOX."

Tucker listening to FOX pic.twitter.com/83qSizZvga

— ✳MelissaBitesBack✳ (@DruggedUpLoser) August 14, 2019

In another remark countering Carlson's views, McAleenan said that domestic terrorism has "been one of my top priorities since becoming acting secretary in April" and said he has commissioned a homeland security advisory council "to help us study domestic terrorism, especially white supremacist extremism and racially motivated violence."

"It's a major effort for DHS," McAleenan said. "We're expanding it right now, and we're going to increasingly become more effective because it's a real issue, as you see, all over the country."

Kevin McAleenan Rise Terrorism Fox
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan testifies for agency’s fiscal year 2020 budget request before Senate Homeland Security Committee on Capitol Hill on May 23, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Tasos Katopodis/Getty