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D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser with Acting Chief of D.C. police Robert Contee and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy at a Jan. 7 press briefing. Photo: John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser told "Meet the Press" on Sunday that the U.S. needs to take "domestic white extremism" more seriously in the wake of the deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol.

Why it matters: Some rioters were seen displaying white supremacist symbols and references to extremist right-wing militias during the attack. The rally was attended in part by groups advocating white nationalism and anti-government sentiments, according to ABC News.

What she's saying: In response to anchor Chuck Todd's question on how long D.C. will be guarded like a fortress or "armed camp," Bowser countered: "I think the question is a bigger question, Chuck. It is how serious is our country going to take domestic white extremism?"

  • "And I think what we saw here last week is that we didn't take it seriously enough. We never believed that so-called patriots would attempt to overthrow their government and kill police officers, but that's exactly what happened."
  • "So I do think we have to take another posture in our city that is more domestic terrorist-focused and external to our country and enact accordingly."
  • Bowser added that fences and armed troops in the streets of D.C. should not be permanent, but "we do have to take a different posture."

The backdrop: The Department of Homeland Security said in its 2020 threat assessment that white supremacist extremists "remain the most persistent and lethal threat" in the U.S.

  • The Center for Strategic and International Studies said in a report published around the same time that white supremacist groups were responsible for 67% of "terrorist plots and attacks" in the first eight months of 2020, per the New York Times.

The state of play: The FBI is investigating hundreds of felony cases "tied to sedition and conspiracy" as a result of the Capitol breach, as well as assaults on police officers, potential theft of national security information, and felony murder.

  • But federal officials have not described individuals linked to the violence as terrorists.

Go deeper

Poll: Mayors acknowledge police violence as a problem but are resistant to major reforms

Thousands participated in a protest against racism and police brutality in August 2020 in Washington D.C. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Roughly 60% of U.S. mayors acknowledge police violence is a "problem in their communities," but 80% believe their police departments "do a good job" attracting "well-suited" officers, according to results of the 2020 Menino Survey of Mayors published Wednesday.

Why it matters: Protests against police brutality have swept the nation since last May, when white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd, a Black man, after kneeling on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. The Black Lives Matter movement has since escalated calls to defund the police.

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

6 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.