FBI has a long history of collaborating with the Southern
Poverty Law Center. In 2009, an FBI memo described the SPLC
as a 'credible' organization. The DOJ tells 'Tucker' the FBI
will reevaluate its relationships with similar groups to
ensure it doesn't partner with groups that discriminate.
Republican lawmaker is demanding some answers from the FBI after he
says the bureau admitted to working with the controversial Southern
Poverty Law Center.
a letter obtained by Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Rep. Matt
Gaetz, R-Fla., says the FBI has “admitted to working with the SPLC,”
in a development he describes as “surprising and worrisome.”
is surprising and worrisome, as the SPLC is known to use its
platform in order to denigrate and disparage certain groups by
labeling them ‘hate groups,’” he said.
said that groups such as the Christian Family Research Council (FRC)
have been labeled a hate group, while members of “Antifa” -- a broad
collaboration of left-leaning, anti-fascist activists -- have not
been given such a label. He added that Floyd Corkins, who shot an
FRC employee, later said he targeted the group as the SPLC had
labeled it an antigay group.
SPLC’s conflation of mainstream political advocacy groups with
legitimate hate groups and domestic terror groups is absurd,
frequently indiscriminate and dangerous,” he said.
details on the alleged relationship were not clear, “Tucker Carlson
Tonight” reported that the FBI had described the group as “a
well-known, established and credible” organization in 2009, and that
the agency has briefed the FBI on alleged domestic terror threats in
letter requests more information on the FBI’s alleged ties to the
group, including how much weight the FBI gives to SPLC designations
of “hate groups” and what information, if any, the bureau provides
to the group.
FBI confirmed to “Tucker Carlson Tonight” in June that it “continues
to have a relationship with the SPLC.”
week, when pressed on that relationship, the FBI had this to say:
“For many years, the FBI has engaged with various organizations,
both formally and informally. Such outreach is a critical component
of the FBI’s mission, and we welcome information from these
organizations on any possible violations of civil rights, hate
crimes or other potential crimes or threats. We do, however,
evaluate our relationships with these groups as necessary to ensure
the appropriateness of any interaction.”
Department of Justice spokesman said that Attorney General Jeff
Sessions had ordered that any such relationships be re-evaluated.
attorney general has directed the FBI to re-evaluate their
relationships with groups like this to ensure the FBI does not
partner with any group that discriminates," a spokesperson said in a
center recently apologized and issued a $3.3 million settlement to
Maajid Nawaz and his organization, the Quilliam Foundation, for
including them in a list of “anti-Muslim extremists.”
we may have our differences with some of the positions that Mr.
Nawaz and Quilliam have taken, we recognize that they have made
important contributions to efforts to promote pluralism and that
they are most certainly not anti-Muslim extremists,” the group said
in a statement.
Pfeiffer contributed to this report.