Asked what was driving this extremism, Meeink told presenter Pamela Brown: “It’s fear and narcissism and that fake patriotism that’s just nationalism wrapped up again with worshipping an idol.
“Fox News has completely radicalised so many Americans. If you look at Fox News and then you compare that to hate radio from Rwanda, and what started that civil war, there’s comparisons there.
“We have to know that a lot of our fellow Americans, fellow children of God, have been radicalised by a network of news that, as a former radical, I can tell you, from watching Fox News all day, I can show you where they’re saying radical stuff that I used to say.”
“Where I would say ‘Jews,’ they say ‘big media’. They swapped out a couple of words here and there, but it’s still just radicalisation. So that’s where we have to look. It’s Fox News.”
According to an episode of NPR’s Fresh Air, Meeink was a notorious skinhead at the age of 16. But he left the racist movement after being sent to prison and instead became an educator about his experiences and even testified in Congress. In 2010, he published his book Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead about extremism.
His comments came after FBI director Christopher Wray warned that the Capitol riots were “not an isolated event”.
Wray added: “The problem of domestic terrorism has been metastasizing across the country for a long time now and it is not going away anytime soon.
“At the FBI, we’ve been sounding the alarm on it for a number of years.”