Hell & High Water with John Heilemann

Clint Watts

March 16, 2021

Clint Watts has built his career around the study of extremism: online and off, foreign and domestic, from Russian disinformation campaigns and cyberwarfare to homegrown conspiracists, militia movements, and white supremacists. A former Army infantry officer and FBI special agent, he has served on the bureau's Joint Terrorism Task Force and consulted for its National Security Branch. Currently a distinguished research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a non-resident fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy, and a national security contributor for NBC News and MSNBC, Watts is the author of “Messing with the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News.” Watts first came to national prominence as one of the first experts to raise concerns about Russian online activity during the 2016 presidential campaign. But in the run-up to 2020, even as he kept an eye on the nefarious cyber exploits of foreign actors, Watts focused increasingly on the domestic front, where MAGA-fueled extremist activity was proliferating online and coalescing into a tangible terror threat. Watts warned that the threat would come to a head on or before Election Day — a fear that proved prescient, albeit ever so slightly premature. On this episode of Hell & High Water, Heilemann and Watts discuss the developments and dynamics that led to the insurrection at the US Capitol, with Watts laying out a taxonomy of extremism and suggesting that what lies ahead may prove even more violent, chaotic, and destabilizing than what took place on January 6. To read Watts's new "Selected Wisdom" Substack, subscribe here: https://clintwatts.substack.com/ Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

Podparadise.com neither hosts nor alters podcast files. All content © its respective owners.