Labeling Republicans, Christian Conservative Groups As Terrorists Is ‘Appalling,’ Hageman says

U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman blasts the Biden administration and Department of Homeland Security for giving money to a program that lumps the Republican Party and Christian conservative groups in with others considered terrorists.

Leo Wolfson

June 05, 20234 min read

Harriet Hageman speaks at a Casper, Wyoming, rally for former President Donald Trump in May 2022, where Trump also endorsed her campaign for the U.S. House.
Harriet Hageman speaks at a Casper, Wyoming, rally for former President Donald Trump in May 2022, where Trump also endorsed her campaign for the U.S. House. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

President Joe Biden’s administration is doling out taxpayer money through an anti-terrorism grant initiative to a university program that hosted a conference where the Republican Party, as well as Christian and conservative groups, were lumped in with terrorist groups.

The Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog group, obtained documents through public records requests that show a Department of Homeland Security program meant to fight terrorism is funding a university that has targeted the American political right.

During a 2021 "Extremism, Rhetoric, and Democratic Precarity" seminar held at Dayton University of Ohio, a "Pyramid of Far-Right Radicalization" chart was shown that lumps groups like The Heritage Foundation, Fox News, the National Rifle Association, the Make America Great Again movement, the pro-police Blue Lives Matter movement and Republican National Committee together with various pro-Nazi and terrorism groups. 

U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyoming, found the characterization disturbing.

“This chart is appalling!” she tweeted in response. 

The MRC described its findings in a letter sent to U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chairman of both the House Judiciary Committee and the newly established Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, of which Hageman is a member.

The letter calls for an investigation and "criminal prosecution" while asking to meet with Jordan to discuss the DHS documents. 

Under former President Donald Trump’s administration, the “Targeted Violence & Terrorism Prevention Grant Program” was used to target terrorism, but it was expanded under the Biden administration and renamed to provide money at the local level to combat “all forms of terrorism and targeted violence.”  

White Supremacy Targeted

Biden has identified white supremacy as the largest domestic terrorist threat facing the nation, which has gained new momentum among progressive voices after the Jan. 6 Capitol Insurrection. 

As part of the TVTP program, the Department of Homeland Security awarded a total of 80 grants at the behest of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The nearly $40 million in grants ranged from $85,000 to $1.19 million.

“Biden’s DHS spent over $40 million to weaponize an anti-terror program against conservative and Christian voices,” Hageman said on Twitter.

Hageman has criticized other Biden initiatives aiming to target domestic terrorism and extremism.

The House Judiciary Committee, of which she is a member, released a report in March that says local law enforcement found “no legitimate basis” for a memo sent by Attorney General Merrick Garland in 2021 to the FBI and federal prosecutors about what he believed were threats to school boards around the country. 

Dayton Connection

As one of the TVTP grantees, Dayton University received $352,109 for its PREVENTS-OH program to fight “domestic violent extremism and hate movements.” 

In 2021, the school held a seminar featuring several experts on extremism who compared some of the groups at the bottom of the pyramid to extremists.

Although they were split into separate sections and the mainstream conservative groups were placed mostly at the bottom of the “Radicalization” pyramid, the chart also included hate groups like The Base, a neo-Nazi paramilitary group, and the Daily Stormer, a pro-Nazi publication, at the top.

At the same seminar, another speaker who specializes in genocide compared the Trump administration to the Khmer Rouge, which killed an estimated 1.5 million to 2 million people in Cambodia from 1975-1979.

The university promoted the seminar where the chart was shown to DHS in its grant application, showing the school’s ability “to assess regional needs and capacities for violent extremism prevention."

The researcher who presented the chart at the seminar said MRC is "misinterpreting and misrepresenting" the diagram, according to Fox News.

"The chart is meant to show that what is termed 'the right' is not monolithic and that some individuals travel to a path of radicalization, beginning with more mainstream sources," said the researcher, University of Cincinnati professor Michael Loadenthal. "This point is not controversial nor is it deterministic; it is NOT meant to imply that engaging with level 1 inherently leads to level 4. That would obviously be false."

Leo Wolfson can be reached at

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter