Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said Tuesday the FBI is more concerned with having Americans "snitch" on each other in the name of extremism following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, than working on national security threats.
"When the FBI is busy trying to make us all believe that our family members and our neighbors are extremists, we missed the opportunity to actually dig into important threats, cybersecurity threats, national security threats that they should be focused on," Gaetz told Newsmax's "Cortes & Pellegrino" on Tuesday night.
"Let's remember who the buildings named after, [FBI founder] J. Edgar Hoover, who would use information in a compromising way against politicians and people to be able to maintain his own power. And then you saw the FBI weaponized against elements of the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, and now you see the FBI really becoming the enforcement wing of the Democratic Party in a lot of circumstances."
Gaetz said the recent measures taken by the FBI to identify anyone that attended the Jan. 6 riot, having family and friends basically "turn them in," hearkens back to darker days in history such as the fear felt by citizens of the former Soviet Union.
"Back during the worst days of the Soviet Union, one out of every three of the folks in that country was providing some sort of information to a centralized governing authority," Gaetz continued. "Snitching really is a tool of the repressive security state, and we don't want that to happen in our country."
He said the agency is "getting more ambitious" after years of investigating the Russia hoax and pushing its own politics on the nation.
"This is an effort to identify people based on their politics, and I don't think we want an FBI that is resolving familial disputes through the lens of extremism," he said. "That seems to really take them away from an otherwise important mission."
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