An Obama-era deputy national security adviser painted Trump supporters as an “issue of Homeland Security” and called for government and Big Tech to regulate information on social media in a televised interview Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s going to take many years to detox the disinformation, the lies, the hate that has been spread,” Ben Rhodes told MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace. “A whole segment of the American population has been radicalized over what’s happened the last four years, and by the fact that Donald Trump is no longer there – they can no longer see Donald Trump representing their grievances in the highest office.”
He said the result would be “a lot of work” for national security officials.
“I think from a policy perspective, Nicolle, there are big questions about the future of social media in this country, whether or not someone has to step in and regulate these platforms so that it’s not left to the CEO of Twitter to make a decision to kick President Trump off a couple of week before his term ends,” he said later in the interview. “Can government work with these tech companies to determine how they can at least slow the spread of this poisonous disinformation?”
He argued that “social media bubbles” encourage behavior that involves hatred of the other side in politics.
And he slammed Republicans, quoting Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney, who said “leadership is telling people the truth.”
“Can the Republican Party finally stand up and tell their people the truth?” he pondered.
“It would be my policy that a Republican must assert the truth before they’re allowed to share any other views,” Wallace replied a few moments later, accusing Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., of not going “far enough in beating down the lie.”
Rhodes served as deputy national security adviser to former President Barack Obama.
He was a major advocate for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which the Trump administration withdrew from, and he criticized the State Department’s move last month to designate Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism.