MRC Free Speech America, as part of its new Freedom of Information Act investigations, has learned how the Biden administration is weaponizing a government-funded anti-terrorism grant program in an effort to destroy conservatives, Christians and the Republican Party.
Under the Trump administration, the “Targeted Violence & Terrorism Prevention Grant Program” (TVTP) was used to prevent terrorism, but it was revamped under the Biden administration and renamed to provide funding for localities to combat “all forms of terrorism and targeted violence.” Instead of focusing on preventing actual violence and terrorism, the program is now being used to target the entire spectrum of the political right and Christians through “media literacy and online critical thinking initiatives” and other so-called training seminars as part of a coordinated effort to make America into a one-party system.
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The University of Dayton, one of several grantees, targeted groups including The Heritage Foundation, Fox News, Christian Broadcasting Network, Turning Point USA, PragerU, the National Rifle Association (NRA), Breitbart News, the American Conservative Union Foundation and the Republican National Committee.
The Department of Homeland Security awarded a total of 80 grants at the behest of embattled DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who called the program a “high priority” in an internal memo exclusively obtained by MRC Free Speech America. This anti-American program cost taxpayers just under $40 million, with each individual project receiving between $85,000 and $1.19 million.
DHS has resisted producing documents pursuant to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to date, but MRC Free Speech America has acquired scores of documents directly from DHS grant recipients and other related organizations revealing the true and nefarious nature of the Biden administration’s objectives. The findings are telling:
- The University of Dayton PREVENTS-OH was among the most radical grantees within the TVTP “media literacy and online critical thinking initiatives.” In Ohio, DHS awarded the University of Dayton $352,109 to establish the PREVENTS-OH program, which promised to “draw on the expertise of the University of Dayton faculty” to fight “domestic violence extremism and hate movements.” For example, a chart used by DHS and its grantee in a training program equates mainstream groups with militant neo-Nazis, including: The Heritage Foundation, Fox News, the National Rifle Association (NRA), Breitbart News, PragerU, Turning Point USA, the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), the American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) and the Republican National Committee, among others.
- The seminar also compared former President Donald Trump to Pol Pot and suggested Florida Governor Ron DeSantis might wish to start a second Holocaust.
- The PREVENTS-OH seminars (including one headlined by a DHS agent) feature lectures by University of Cincinnati Research Fellow Michael Loadenthal, a self-proclaimed member of Antifa whose Twitter feed is rife with posts celebrating acts of left-wing violence (often against police officers). Loadenthal used PREVENTS-OH to explain in detail how to create dummy accounts on free speech social media platforms like Telegram, Gab and Rumble in order to “destabilize” political movements. “A lot of things we’re doing are illegal,” he boasted in the lecture. “A lot of it involves breaking the law,” he continued.
- The Biden DHS is responsible for the new focus of the TVTP program that seeks to silence conservatives, Christians and the Republican Party. Prior iterations of the TVTP program under former Presidents Obama and Trump focused on actual terrorism. The grant office was established under the Obama administration in 2011 with a 12-page plan titled “Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States.” The program was revamped and renamed the “Office of Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention” under the Trump Administration. While on the campaign trail, Biden had actually pledged to disband it. Mayorkas and Biden appear to have hijacked it for their own political agenda, awarding 80 grants to far-left projects for the purposes of establishing “media literacy and online critical thinking initiatives” among other so-called training seminars to upend conservatives, Christians and the Republican Party.
- The Biden administration spent nearly $40 million in American tax dollars spread across 80 grants to teach “media literacy and online critical thinking initiatives,” among other initiatives, in an effort to weaponize TVTP against conservatives, Christians and the Republican Party.
- Eighty grants totaling $39,611,999 have been awarded under Biden and Mayorkas, with the lowest one being for $85,000, the highest for over $1.1 million and the median being about $442,000. 52 percent of the programs have gone to public institutions like universities and county government, whereas 48 percent have gone to private organizations, such as LGBTQ+-advocacy group Out Boulder County and the aforementioned University of Dayton.
How Biden’s DHS Is Weaponizing Anti-Terror Program Against Opponents
The Biden Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is using a grant program meant for fighting terrorists to target conservatives, Christians and the Republican Party.
The DHS has issued eighty grants through the Targeted Violence & Terrorism Prevention Grant Program (TVTP) at the behest of Biden’s embattled DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who called the program a “priority … of the highest importance” as revealed in documents exclusively obtained by MRC Free Speech America. At the DHS’s direction, many of these recipients use “media literacy and online critical thinking initiatives” training as part of a coordinated effort to make the United States into a one-party state.
So far during the Biden administration, the DHS has awarded nearly $40 million under the TVTP program, with grantees receiving between $85,000 and $1.19 million. The University of Dayton is one such organization, having received $352,109 to create the PREVENTS-OH program, which promised to “draw on the expertise of the University of Dayton faculty” to fight “domestic violent extremism and hate movements.”
Documents exclusively obtained by MRC Free Speech America reveal the organizations DHS believes constitute the worst offenders of extremism in America, such as the Christian Broadcasting Network, The Heritage Foundation and the Republican National Committee.
The anti-American TVTP grant program was first proposed by the Obama administration in 2011 after “al-Qa’ida and its affiliates” attempted to “recruit” and “radicalize” Americans, according to a White House announcement on August 2011. The Trump administration put the program on hold before being revived by DHS bureaucrats who circumvented the Trump White House and convinced Congress to fund the infamous program.
The TVTP program was once again revamped at the beginning of the Biden administration to expand its mission far beyond terrorism. Documents acquired by MRC Free Speech America show how Biden and Mayorkas are seeking to destroy conservatives, Christians and the Republican Party.
The University of Dayton PREVENTS-OH was among the most radical grantees within the TVTP “media literacy and online critical thinking initiatives.”
The University of Dayton used grants from TVTP to create the infamous PREVENTS-OH program, which in turn hosted a series of events that maliciously equated mainstream organizations with neo-nazis and other extremist hate groups.
One of the first PREVENTS-OH events was a seminar called “Extremism, Rhetoric, and Democratic Precarity.” The seminar featured analysis from several so-called extremism experts who recklessly tied conservatives, Christians and Republicans to genocide and terrorism. Among the speakers were DHS Agent Joseph “J.R.” Masztalics a Regional Prevention Coordinator at CP3—who appeared in his official capacity at the event—and University of Cincinnati researcher Michael Loadenthal, a self-proclaimed member of a radical, anti-American Antifa group.
During the seminar, Loadenthal shared an outrageous “Pyramid of Far-Right Radicalization” that he claimed depicts the “modern far-right” and extremism in America:
Among the organizations and movements displayed on the pyramid were the Republican Party (RNC), The Heritage Foundation, the American Conservative Union, Fox News, Breitbart News, the National Rifle Association (NRA), PragerUniversity, Tea Party Patriots, the MAGA (Make America Great Again) movement, the pro-police Blue Lives Matter movement and the Christian Broadcasting Network.
Also on the pyramid, as if somehow comparable to the aforementioned reputable organizations and movements, were rabidly hateful groups like the militant neo-Nazi gang The Base and pro-Nazi publication The Daily Stormer.
This chart was among others included in the original grant application submitted by the University of Dayton to DHS to successfully secure TVTP funding.
Loadenthal also participated in a separate taxpayer-funded PREVENTS-OH seminar titled “White Nationalism Workshop.” At this event, Loadenthal explained how “antifascists” could “pressure financial services” like “GoFundMe, Patreon, PayPal, Venmo” and others or “pressure retailers” like Amazon and “service providers” like “AirBnB” and “Tinder” in order to “kick people off.”
Loadenthal likewise complained about “right-wing” social media platforms that provide “free speech” and celebrated “de-platform[ing]” so-called fascists (which he used interchangeably with “the right”) from Twitter and Facebook. He even gave specific advice on how to create dummy accounts on social media platforms like Gab, Telegram and Rumble in order to “paralyze” movements and “manufacture … infighting.” Loadenthal seemed particularly venomous towards the existence of encrypted messenger service Telegram, calling it “a cesspool of awful.”
In his presentation, Loadenthal boasted openly that “a lot of things we’re doing are illegal” and “a lot of it involves breaking the law.” [Emphasis added.]
He claimed this was necessary because “hate speech is more than speech. It’s materiality. It’s organizing. It’s mobilization. It’s not an exchange of ideas in the marketplace and the best one wins. It’s something else. It’s the strategic deployment of organizational energy and power.”
Censorship efforts are not enough to fight against so-called fascists, Loadenthal outrageously claimed, also calling for a more aggressive approach. “To deny people that, to shut down their websites, to close their meetings, [and] to physically prevent them from assembling in public. This is the belief,” he claimed.
Loadenthal also displayed infographic instructions to teach attendees how to “infiltrate” social media platforms to “identify targets, create dossiers … surveil, interfere, misdirect [and] disrupt” those the left opposes.
At the same radical seminar, University of Dayton Professor Paul Becker displayed images of anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine mandate protestors, suggesting they were infiltrated by hate groups. His message matches the artwork that PREVENTS-OH sent to the City of Dayton promoting its programs. The image, named Anti-Rights Movements and Democratic Regression, features a crude caricature of a Second Amendment supporter above the words “WHY DO WE HAVE A RADICALIZED SOCIETY.”
Another “Extremism” seminar speaker, Alexander Hinton — a member of the Rutgers University faculty who specializes in “genocide” — shockingly compared the Trump administration to the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge of Pol Pot’s brutal regime killed at least 1.7 million Cambodians between 1975 and 1979, according to The New York Times.
Attempts to undermine Republicans continued with fellow seminar speaker Nicole Widdersheim — a deputy Washington director for the Human Rights Watch and former senior policy advisor to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Center — making a wild accusation that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) might try to conduct a second Holocaust through a 2021 proposed civilian military force. The volunteer force was designed to assist the National Guard in emergencies, including hurricanes.
The Biden DHS is responsible for the new focus of the TVTP program that seeks to silence conservatives, Christians and the Republican Party.
The TVTP grant program started under the Obama administration as a program to prevent homegrown Islamic terrorism. It was re-instituted during the Trump administration, but the Biden administration, through the leadership of Mayorkas, revamped it, now targeting conservatives, Christians and the Republican Party.
These documents undeniably reveal how the DHS has weaponized an anti-terrorism taskforce and used its "Targeted Violence & Terrorism Prevention" (TVTP) Grant Program to target Christians, conservatives, and Republicans. We urgently need to continue and expand the program. Please donate today!
Former President Barack Hussein Obama unveiled a 12-page plan titled “Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States,” which would give taxpayer funded grants to local groups — including police departments, universities and non-profit organizations — to prevent domestic “violent extremism.” The first batch of grants was not rolled out until 2016 in the “Countering Violent Extremism Grant Program” during the final year of Obama’s second term.
Then, in 2017, the Trump DHS halted the program for three years before it was resurrected by Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan through the newly-launched DHS “Office of Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention” in 2019. Politico reported that McAleenan, a long-time career employee who rose to power after the ousting of DHS Secretary Kristjen Nielsen, went around the Trump White House to seek congressional funds for the program.
In August 2020, then-presidential candidate Joe Biden pledged to “end the Trump Administration's Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Program” and replace it with his own. After being sworn in, Biden and his DHS Secretary Mayorkas overhauled and ostensibly “replace[d] the Office for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention” with the anti-American Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3) with a newly-stated focus of combating “domestic violent extremism, including violent white supremacy.” In its list of grantees, DHS named so-called “media literacy and online critical thinking initiatives” as part of the program’s new goals.
After coming to power, Biden and Mayorkas did not abolish the TVTP grant program. Instead, the Biden administration appears to have “reimagined” it, wielding it as a weapon against conservatives, Chrsitians and the Republican Party under the guise of taking on the scourge of “white supremacy.”
In May 2021, TVTP was placed into the newly created CP3 by the leftist DHS secretary Mayorkas. And “white supremacy,” an official DHS statement claimed, would be a specifically-mentioned focus of the program. “The creation of CP3 [is] the latest action DHS is taking under Secretary Mayorkas’s leadership to comprehensively combat domestic violent extremism, including violent white supremacy,” according to the DHS press release.
The Biden administration spent nearly $40 million in American tax dollars spread across 80 grants to teach “media literacy and online critical thinking initiatives,” among other initiatives, in an effort to weaponize TVTP against conservatives, Christians and the Republican Party.
The Biden administration awarded eighty TVTP grants totaling $39,611,999 The lowest grant was for $85,000, the highest for over $1.1 million, and the median being about $442,000.
Fifty-two percent of the programs have gone to public institutions like universities and county government, whereas 48 percent have gone to private organizations, such as the LGBTQ+ advocacy group Out Boulder County and the aforementioned University of Dayton. Instead of focusing on preventing actual violence and terrorism, a staggering number of grantees appear to be—with the DHS’s knowledge—using the funds to target the Biden administration’s political opponents through the guise of so-called training seminars for topics such as “media literacy and online critical thinking initiatives.”
In addition to PREVENTS-OH, the Media Research Center has obtained documents for several other grantees, which depict similar degrees of extremism, demonization of political opposition, and calls for censorship.
The Biden administration has a clear pattern of using taxpayer dollars to attack its political opponents, be it through the Disinformation Government Board, targeting parents as terrorists, funding the Global Disinformation Index censorship machine, and now the DHS’s TVTP program.
This report only scratches the surface of the Biden DHS’s nefarious TVTP grant program. MRC Free Speech America has obtained more documents from other DHS grantees and other organizations through our concentrated FOIA initiative and will be presenting further evidence of the Biden administration’s efforts to target conservatives, Christians and the Republican Party going forward.