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White House Responds To Ex-DHS Official's Comments On Domestic Terrorism

NOEL KING, HOST:

And we have an update to a story that aired yesterday on the show. The White House has responded to our interview with Elizabeth Neumann. She's the former Department of Homeland Security official who told our co-host Steve that during her years in the administration, President Trump was reluctant to focus on right-wing extremism. Here she is.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

ELIZABETH NEUMANN: And the irony is that when he finally was comfortable with using the word domestic terrorism, it was in the context of antifa and trying to exploit or sell a story that the looting and the violence that we have seen somewhat associated with peaceful protests is antifa. And yet if you look at the arrests that have occurred in the protests of the summer, it's the Boogaloo movement or it's an association with QAnon. It's the right side of the spectrum; it is not antifa.

KING: In a statement responding to that interview, the White House said that Neumann sounds like a, quote, "disgruntled employee." That statement, however, does not dispute any of the details of her account. The full interview and the White House statement can be found online at npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.