Editor’s Note: The neo-Nazi protests in Charlottesville and the killing of a counter-protester highlighted to Americans what terrorism watchers have long known: Right-wing extremism in the United States is alive and dangerous. Trump's election appears to have invigorated the movement, and the attention given to Charlottesville may strengthen it even more. Assuming the president wants to fight this movement—which for now, alas, is just an assumption—what should he do?
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In November, I cautioned that then-President-elect Trump’s appointment of Breitbart CEO Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist and Michael “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL” Flynn as his national security adviser would create “deep risk” for U.S. security.
In the weeks immediately following his historic 2008 win, President-elect Obama was careful not to elaborate on the foreign policy positions on which he had campaigned. Commentators noted his likely desire to avoid further boxing himself in on complex issues, while Obama himself cited the need to avoid muddying presidential signals before President Bush exited the Oval Office.