"DHS Tells ThinkProgress: Fox Is Wrong — Author Of Right-Wing Extremism Report Has Not Been Fired"
As ThinkProgress reported earlier, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) went on Fox and Friends this morning and criticized Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Among other issues, he and host Brian Kilmeade went after her for the agency’s report on right-wing extremism. The author of the report has been attacked as someone who isn’t from “real America” and whose “sexual orientation…is in question.” Many conservatives have called for Napolitano’s resignation.
Today, Kilmeade claimed that Napolitano had “fired” the person responsible for the right-wing extremism report. McCain added that he was “glad” about the move:
KILMEADE: Outrage continues to build this week over Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, the former governor of Arizona, her remarks towards U.S. veterans. Now, the DHS has fired the head of Homeland Security’s agency — that is involved in that decision. Many are wondering if Napolitano next. [...]
MCCAIN: I was glad to see that Secretary Napolitano removed the person who was responsible for this report. She has apologized.
Kilmeade and McCain are wrong. The section of DHS that produced the report was the Extremism and Radicalization Branch in the Homeland Environment and Threat Analysis Division. That division is overseen by the Under Secretary for the Office of Intelligence and Analysis. Currently, Roger Mackin — a Bush appointee — is serving in that role.
ThinkProgress spoke with DHS spokesperson Amy Kudwa who confirmed that neither Mackin — nor anyone else at the agency — has been fired over the report. Yesterday, the White House did announce President Obama’s nominee to replace Mackin — Philip Mudd, who has been Associate Executive Assistant Director of the FBI’s National Security Branch since August 2005. Kudwa said that this move was “categorically unrelated” to the right-wing extremism report. Mackin has been serving in an acting capacity, and Obama had been planning to replace him with his own nominee before the report came out. Mackin will still be serving in government, going to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence “on a detail.”
Although Napolitano has said that she stands by the report’s conclusions, Kudwa told ThinkProgress, “As the Secretary has said publicly, though, the report shouldn’t have gone out in the form that it did. We’ve addressed that process to ensure it does not happen in the future.”