Report blames Trump for record number of U.S. hate groups in 2018

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.

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America's incomplete coronavirus shutdown

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

If President Trump follows through on his statements that he wants to "open" the U.S. up again, an already patchwork shield of state "stay at home" orders could look like even more of a patchwork.

The big picture: As of Wednesday night, just 21 states have ordered people to stay at home, and most of those are states with Democratic governors. Only six — Ohio, Indiana, Idaho, West Virginia, Massachusetts and Vermont — have Republican governors.

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Trump's coronavirus briefings see big audiences. Some argue that's bad

President Trump. Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump's daily White House novel coronavirus task force briefings are attracting record viewership, but some critics say TV news networks shouldn't air them because he and administration officials have dispensed misinformation about COVID-19.

Why it matters: Live briefings can be difficult for networks to fact-check in real time. Critics argue that airing the press events unfiltered on a daily basis will mislead the public about the pandemic, putting Americans' health and safety at risk.

Go deeperArrow32 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 468,523 — Total deaths: 21,192 — Total recoveries: 113,780.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 66,132 — Total deaths: 947 — Total recoveries: 361.
  3. Federal government latest: Senators threaten to delay $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill with last-minute objections — How the stimulus helps you
  4. States update: Colorado, Minnesota and Idaho are the latest states to issue stay-at-home orders — Half of California's coronavirus infections have been found in 18 to 49-year-olds.
  5. World update: Spain's death count surpasses 3,600, with an overnight increase of 738 deaths, making it the highest death toll in the world behind Italy.
  6. 🎭 1 arts thing: The Tony Awards — scheduled for June 7 — has been postponed indefinitely.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancing.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.