President Trump. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images .
Domestic extremism is on the rise for the 4th consecutive year, with the number of hate groups in the U.S. up 30% in the past 4 years and 7% in 2018 alone, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center's annual "Year in Hate and Extremism" report released Wednesday.
Between the lines: The civil rights watchdog described 1,020 organizations as hate groups in 2018 — a high of at least the past 20 years —and blamed President Trump's rhetoric and policies and the far-right's pervasive hate speech. "The numbers tell a striking story — that this president is not simply a polarizing figure but a radicalizing one," Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC's Intelligence Project, said in a statement.