Tags: Donald Trump | ISIS/Islamic State | Trump Administration | War on Terrorism | nicholas rasmussen | counterterrorism | rhetoric

Counterterrorism Official: 'Mutual Suspicion' Makes Job More Difficult

Counterterrorism Official: 'Mutual Suspicion' Makes Job More Difficult
National Counterterrorism Center director Nicholas Rasmussen (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 13 December 2017 07:55 PM

Anti-Muslim rhetoric and the Trump administration's travel ban make counterterrorism "more difficult," outgoing National Counterterrorism Center director Nicholas Rasmussen said Wednesday.

In an interview with CNN, Rasmussen decried the "mutual suspicion" that has been generated by those circumstances.

"I don't think it's arguable it's more difficult when the environment is contaminated by mutual suspicion," he told CNN. "If you're increasing the amount of suspicion and distress on these communities, it places more challenges in our way."

Rasmussen answered "yes," when asked if today's environment — including comments by President Donald Trump and policies including a travel ban — made his job more difficult, CNN reported.

Rasmussen, a longtime federal employee and former member of President George W. Bush's National Security Council, has served in the agency's leadership since 2012, and became its director in 2014.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats announced last month Rasmussen would retire by the end of the year, The Hill noted.

The president's comments and tweets about Muslims played a role in a federal appeals court hearing in Richmond, Va., last week on a third version of a travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries.

In that hearing, special attention was paid to Trump's retweets of three inflammatory videos from a British far right account, CNN reported.

"What do we do" when we have "multiple instances" when the president has tweeted about Muslims "before the election, during the election and just a week or so ago?" Judge James Wynn asked, CNN reported. "Do we just ignore reality?"

The administration has also faced scrutiny, including numerous lawsuits, over its three versions of a travel ban meant to block entry of individuals from Muslim-majority countries. The Supreme Court earlier this month said the administration could fully implement the third version of the ban.

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Outgoing National Counterterrorism Center director Nicholas Rasmussen said "mutual suspicion" makes counterterrorism efforts more difficult nowadays.
nicholas rasmussen, counterterrorism, rhetoric, muslim
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2017-55-13
Wednesday, 13 December 2017 07:55 PM
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