During a Senate hearing on Thursday, Cruz said he is “deeply concerned” that the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) have “become thoroughly politicized.”
He accused the director of being “unwilling” to address the alleged politicization.
“Yesterday, it was reported that Project Veritas had obtained a copy of an FBI training material which listed various symbols and themes which in the FBI’s estimation were indicative of ‘militia violent extremism,'” Cruz went on.
He added, “Now, these symbols weren’t things like the Ku Klux Klan or the Nazi Party, which naturally would be symbols of that. But instead, they included rather astonishingly patriotic symbols of our nation and our history.”
Watch the video below:
Sen. Ted Cruz: “Do you agree with this FBI guidance that the Betsy Ross flag and the Gadsden flag and the Gonzales battle flag are signs of ‘militia violent extremism?’”
FBI Director Chris Wray filibusters and doesn't answer the question. pic.twitter.com/mkpvInvha8
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) August 4, 2022
Additionally, the Texas senator shared that the document included the Gadsden flag. He said, “The state of Virginia has a license plate for the Gadsden flag — as do many other states. I think people would be astonished to find that having that license plate the FBI indicates that you’re a violent extremist.”
Finally, Cruz said the document included the Gonzales battle flag with the text “Come and take it.”
“Well, I will self-report right now that every day in the Senate, I wear my boots that have the Gonzales battle flag on the back,” he added.
The senator asked, “Director Wray, what are y’all doing? This makes no sense. Do you agree with this FBI guidance that the Betsy Ross flag, and Gadsden flag, and the Gonzales battle flag are signs of militia violent extremism?”
Wray responded by explaining he was “not familiar” with the document that Cruz was referring to.
“And I’m not in the practice of trying to comment on documents that [I don’t recognize]. But I will tell you that when we put out intelligence products including ones that reference symbols…we usually take great pains to put caveats and warnings in the document to make clear that a symbol alone is not considered evidence of violent extremism,” he added.
However, Cruz took issue with the fact that the document left out references to Black Lives Matter or Antifa.
Earlier this week, Project Veritas published a report about an FBI document that highlighted some symbols domestic extremists might use.
The document did include the symbols that Cruz referred to.
But in bold text, it stated, “The use or sharing of these symbols alone should not independently be considered evidence of [militia violent extremists] presence or affiliation or serve as an indicator of illegal activity, as many individuals use these symbols for their original, historic meaning, or other non-violent purposes.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.