Rosenstein: Trump should focus on preventing people from 'becoming violent white supremacists'

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein says he authorized release of Strzok-Page texts Journalist alleging Obama administration spied on her seeks to reopen case Rosenstein on his time in Trump administration: 'We got all the big issues right' MORE said Thursday that he believes President TrumpDonald John TrumpMnuchin knocks Greta Thunberg's activism: Study economics and then 'come back' to us The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial MORE should work to prevent future violence by white supremacists in the U.S. by working to prevent Americans from being radicalized.

In an op-ed for Time magazine, Rosenstein argued that racism, bigotry and white supremacy in America "are responsible for a growing number of violent crimes motivated by a desire to send a political message, the definition of terrorism."


"If President Trump wants to replicate President [George W.] Bush’s success by launching a war on domestic terrorism, he should focus on deterring people from becoming violent white supremacists," Rosenstein wrote.

Rosenstein, who left the Justice Department earlier this year, wrote that he believed "this fraught political moment" could motivate Trump to act on his inaugural address's pledge to “lift our sights and heal our divisions,” just as 9/11 "set a new course for President Bush."

The former deputy added that he believed studying commonalities of terrorists globally could help prevent others from becoming radicalized. 

"Prevention requires political leaders—not just police and prosecutors—to think holistically about what causes white-supremacist ideologies to fester and foment violence," he wrote. "People are not predisposed at birth to buy high-powered guns and fire them at strangers."

Rosenstein went on to promote possible tactics promoted by Trump earlier this week to counter domestic terrorism.

"Most important, he affirmed that racial-extremist propaganda is a contagion that radicalizes vulnerable people via the Internet. Identifying pernicious racist material and encouraging Internet companies to restrict access to it—as they do with ISIS propaganda—may protect some from terrorist indoctrination," he wrote.

Rosenstein suggested that government authorities should alert the public about "divisive racist propaganda" posted by Russian agents and other adversaries. 

Rosenstein's remarks follow two mass shootings over the weekend that left more than 30 dead and dozens injured in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

The Democratic presidential field has stepped up its criticism of Trump, with some labeling him a "white supremacist" in the wake of a Saturday mass shooting in El Paso. Police believe the shooting was motivated by the suspect’s fear of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” as outlined in a manifesto the suspect allegedly wrote.