A rather confusing exchange occurred when the Director of the FBI was questioned by a Texas representative. The congressman began questioning the FBI on their plans to do outreach to other religious communities like they do with the Muslim communities.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) asked FBI Director Robert Mueller on Wednesday whether the bureau had any outreach programs specifically for the Baptist or Catholic communities like it did with the Muslim community.
“How is your outreach going with the Baptists or the Catholics?” Gohmert inquired.
“Do you have a particular program of outreach to Hindus, Buddhists, the Jewish community, agnostics, or is it just a particular outreach program for [Muslims]?” Gohmert pressed. “I’ve looked extensively and I haven’t seen anywhere … that there’s been an extensive outreach program to any other community trying to develop trust and this kind of relationship. And it makes me wonder if there is an issue of trust or something like that the FBI is seeing in that particular community.”
Mueller was appearing before the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on FBI oversight. I caught up with Gohmert after the hearing to find out what he was getting at.
“You can try and figure it out,” Gohmert told TPM. “I was just trying to explore because he said that there was no more suspicion basically in one community than the other so I was trying to explore just how similar all the other communities were.”
Mueller said in response to Gohmert’s question that the FBI’s citizens academies involve “individuals from a variety of segments” of the communities in which they operate.
“It doesn’t sound like there extensive outreach programs to all the other communities, so I think there’s a difference,” Gohmert told TPM.
So, was Rep. Gohmert trying to push the FBI to look at other segments of religious populations, or was he trying to get Mueller to state that only Muslim populations require outreach in an effort to enhance the “outsider” status of Muslims in America? Let us know what you think in the comments.