Malcolm Nance Interview: The Bastards Who Want to Murder Americans
Image attributed to Jason Schneider
Malcolm Nance is a globally renowned, highly engaging expert on terrorism, extremism and insurgency. Schooled in Arabic, he is active in the field of national security policy, particularly in counterterrorism intelligence, terrorist strategy and tactics, torture and counter-ideology in combating Islamic extremism. He also served in the US Navy for 20 years from 1981 to 2001, receiving several military decorations.
Nance is the author of several bestselling books including The Plot to Hack America: How Putin’s Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election and The Plot to Destroy Democracy: How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West. His latest, They Want to Kill Americans: The Militias, Terrorists and Deranged Ideology of the Trump Insurgency, is the first detailed look into the heart of the active Trump-led insurgency, setting the stage for a second nationwide rebellion on American soil.
"They knew they were going to take their government back for Donald Trump and install him as the dictator and president for life."
As of this publishing date, the counterterrorism expert is the Chief of Intelligence for the Legion Battalion and is stationed in Kyiv where he has joined the Ukrainian forces in their fight against Russia.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Malcolm, great to speak with you from Ukraine. I’m sure everyone would like to know if you’ve seen combat yet.
Malcolm Nance: Two of my friends are here. We were just joking about that. You’re not always in combat. This is a very, very, very big war. I’m Chief of Intelligence for the Legion Battalion. So we have action, but for the most part, we aren’t mobile yet. There’s a giant stalemate going on on the entire wall of action here. We sit and wait.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: What does the landscape look like there?
Malcolm Nance: This is where everyone’s surprised. 90% of this country has nothing going on. 90% of this country is at complete and total peace. We’re only on when the invasion happens. That was more like 40% of the country was at risk. So now, we’re in Kyiv. Kyiv has completely recovered.
At one point, this place was an armed camp, with just checkpoints every 20 to 30 meters, armed men everywhere, and the place was just an armed camp. Kyiv was hit a few times. But again, it would be like finding a building that had been hit during the war or trying to find a house fire on the Southside of Chicago when you live up near Kenosha, Wisconsin. I mean, it’s a very, very large city, although we sometimes still get air raid warnings because the Russians launch cruise missiles.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: In what city or region is most of the fighting contained?
Malcolm Nance: All of the righting is going on in the east on the city of Kharkiv, all the way down south along the Russia-Ukraine border. That’s where all the fighting is happening. It’s confined to about 15% of Ukraine and those areas active along the battlefront. All the villages are being destroyed, and there’s always fighting, fires and planes everywhere.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: A four-year-old girl was killed by a Russian missile strike in the city of Vinnytsia around the middle of July, as well as more than 20 others. Was that missile strike in an area where the fighting is happening?
Malcolm Nance: That’s nowhere near the war. It’s south of Kyiv about an hour and a half. They started this strategy a few months ago of destroying every mall, and it’s bizarre. It’s just malice murder to kill civilians. There’s nothing military there. It’s the biggest mall in the city, and they’ve hit it. In every major city, they’ve hit the mall.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: In addition to military action, are the Russians using cyberattacks as well?
Malcolm Nance: No. It turns out that they’ve stopped. The Ukrainians were waiting for them at the beginning of the war. We thought they were going to take out everything. There’s been maybe one or two days where they attacked the banking system, but the banks were waiting for them and shut down all the ATMs for 24 hours. Then within a day, everything came back to normal. But when you’re preparing for a war, you prepare for it. The Ukrainians were well prepared.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Glad to hear that. What kind of a response have you received on your new book, They Want to Kill Americans?
Malcolm Nance: I’ve gotten an incredible response. I have a very loyal audience. I have people who like my work. To be honest, some people in the publishing business didn’t think it would do well and didn’t think it would make the Times bestsellers list. I said, “I’ve got four bestsellers in a row, and it’s because I have a very loyal base of a million followers and those people read.”
You know, the book literally predicted the January 6 attack. I was on Real Time with Bill Maher, and I said, “We’re going into an armed insurgency.” That was a few days after the election. Lo and behold, here we are. Hopefully, my next prediction, which is, “It’s going to get worse,” won’t happen. But it doesn’t look good. It looks like it will get worse.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Earlier in July, the headlines of an article in The Federalist read, “MSNBC Regular Malcolm Nance Wants You to Kill Your Neighbor.”
Malcolm Nance: Yeah. That is interesting how they tease people, isn’t it? They took a comment that I made about the insurrection, and somebody asked, “Is it possible people may end up fighting their neighbor?” I said, “Yeah. It’s possible.” And they were like, “He wants you to attack your neighbors!” The right-wing brag about the guns they have. They’re constantly saying, “We have more guns than the liberals. We have the guns, and you don’t.” Then to come up there and change the words around to something malicious, it’s just utterly amazing. The worst part is, the first comment I got on that tweet (think it might have been deleted) was, “This is why we need to go after those liberals.” (laughs)
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Donald Trump’s tweet on December 19, 2020, read: “Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 election. Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!” Did the far-right extremist groups start assembling and organizing right after that tweet?
Malcolm Nance: Well, you know, the funny thing is that their plan started way before that. Somebody was saying, “Oh, the January 6 commission is talking about conspiracy amongst these militia groups,” and I go, “I have two chapters of that where these guys started plotting in October to be prepared to have enough tactical training, weapons and equipment to be ready to go to war after the election.”
I wrote the book proposal in late October, and I pitched it in November. It got picked up on December 12, 2020. That’s when I got the contract for the book. That’s how prescient it was. But I had been seeing all these websites where people were saying things like, “Hey, we need to go and get more tactical training. We need better body armor.” It was this whole paramilitary pretending they’re Special Operations, and they were going to come and take over everything. The level of their beliefs that they had to be prepared was weird. I had seen that in Oath Keepers’ chats.
The Oath Keepers are pretty active, but there’s one thing I try and make clear. It just wasn’t the named groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, all of these groups who were molding into TITUS (Trump Insurgency in the United States). But for every one of them at these armed protests, there would be nine who were just Trump voters who went and got their guns and gear, came out in what they called patriot groups and turned into these giant armed protestors. Another good example are the Trump parades with hundreds of vehicles, and you saw them change from these named insurgent groups into, “We’re Trump voters. We have guns.” The number swelled to astronomical numbers.
That’s why when I came up with the title, They Want to Kill Americans, it’s really not just about the militia and the terrorism but that deranged ideology of QAnon turning the average Trump voter into a cult-like federation hanging on to his every word. I realized this is a massive group of people. Now, we know that number may be as high as 70 million. In an interview, one guy said to me, “Well, it’s not all Trump voters.” I said, “Yes, it is.” It is. They like him for who he is. They like him for what he does, how he gets in your face and how he abuses people.
So if 70 million people vote for that, then they vote for all of it. They don’t vote for half of it. They don’t vote for a little of it. He was a tribal chief, and as tribal chief he gets to say what is normal. So if you’re in agreement with a Nazi, you’re a Nazi. You’re a Trump cultist. The sale of guns went astronomical for 2020. It was because these people were preparing for civil war. They expected to win that election, and if they won (and I said this to my publisher), they will be hard street enforcers of Trump’s will. If they lose, they will become a paramilitary insurgency.
When I made the book proposal, it had both of those in there (laughs). Win lose or draw. Now, it turns out that I was correct. They’ve become a paramilitary insurgency more constantly talking about using their guns, constantly talking about taking back America. You probably saw the poll where it said 58% of Republicans believe that violence may be necessary to take the country back where they want it.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Yes. It's just unimaginable.
Malcolm Nance: It’s insane. They go out to the shooting range, and the gun isn’t a tool anymore. It’s now an icon. It’s a symbol of how to oppress your neighbors and enforce your will on people. That’s what I’m really afraid of. Their mindset is, “We’re going to whip this out and go after our neighbors, and that’s going to be that.” I carry a firearm every day. I use it as a tool. I defend my state. If the Russians come to fight, they’re going to get a fight. In the states, they are the Russians. They are looking to invade our neighbors’ sanctity. They’re looking to use the threat of firearms as a way of symbolizing their version of the Second Amendment. It’s a way of forcing you to bend to their will, and if you don’t, it’s there to remind you they have the ability to kill people.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: We know that the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazi groups existed before Donald Trump entered the political scene. What pushes them toward extremism?
Malcolm Nance: You’re right that right-wing extremism existed before Trump. The heyday of the right-wing world was 70s and 80s. That’s been blown out of the water completely. The numbers now are astronomical compared to the 80s. Timothy McVeigh was a hero. Back then, you’d go to a gun show and pick up a pamphlet or somebody would have screeds about how the Jews are running the world and how you have to protect the white race. There were The Turner Diaries that incited white supremacists.
The original manual was a picture of a guy with a gun in the mirrored sunglasses and the hot chick in high heels in high boots crouched next to him with an AK-47. It gave you this fantasy world of sexuality and actual physical dominance of other people and the ability to kill with a firearm, which is not our society. But that’s the whole point for a white supremacist to go and control a Black man. That was just a crazy type of thing you might see in an ad in the back of a Soldier of Fortune magazine or something at a gun show or a copy of The Turner Diaries usually stapled together and sold there for like 10 dollars. I’ve seen them many times. I’m a gun collector.
I’ve seen this kind of propaganda. But little did I know that the underground would mature in the Trump era and become very popular, not just amongst the crowd, but Trump had removed a safety to a certain extent. He had removed an ability for people to remain decent. The foundation was laid down during Newt Gingrich’s rise, moving from being politically accommodating to never communicating with your enemy much less cooperating with your political enemy. Then you have Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. These were evangelists of hate. That was all they were with their little winks and nods.
In one of my past terrorism manuals, Glenn Beck made this threat, and he was doing his all roads lead to … He singled out this tiny little non-profit called the Tides Foundation in San Francisco. A man went there to kill all the staff, and his mother called the police. The state police had a massive shootout with this guy on a highway. He admitted he was going there to kill everyone in the Tides Foundation, and then he said when he finished there, he was going to go over to the San Francisco ACLU and kill everyone at that office. At the trial, Glenn Beck said, “No one had to give you orders. You know what to do.” Trump took it from that to where he would say, “You know what to do. You know what we’d do back in the old days.” You mentioned his tweet, “It’s going to be wild!”
Apparently, it was a very well-developed conspiracy to overthrow the government of the United States on January 6. The reason they were able to get up there close to the Capitol and be close with sticks, clubs and flags is that they were told not to bring regular poles but long iron poles for their American flags to do battle with people, to beat people with them. Every person knew what they were going up there for. They knew they were going to take their government back for Donald Trump and install him as the dictator and president for life.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: The January 6 panel has presented a case against former president Donald Trump for dereliction of duty. What are your comments about that?
Malcolm Nance: Dereliction of duty is just an entryway to the door. The dereliction of duty would be for him not to faithfully uphold the laws of the United States. You are way beyond that. Now, you’re into sedition, which is treason against the United States. You’re working to overthrow your own people. That’s way beyond dereliction. Dereliction is what he did deliberately. He ordered the National Guard not be used. He watched for three hours. That’s 180 minutes. He was waiting to see how it went. He was waiting like a football player rooting for his team. He was waiting for that building to be taken and for them to cheer they had taken all the power.
I know precisely what he was doing to do. He was going to order the Secret Service to take him to the Capitol. He was going to march up there, and it would be like the parting of the Red Sea in front of him. He would stand there to be coronated King Donald I.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: In the midst of the crowd chanting, “Hang Mike Pence”?
Malcolm Nance: Yes. Look. I was brought back by Joy Reid later that afternoon. You guys were talking about this the wrong way. What was in that crowd was what we call “murder cells.” A murder cell is a dedicated team that will go through a crowd, use the crowd as cover, and they will hunt and kill individuals of said crowd.
Don’t tell me Nancy Pelosi would’ve come out of there alive. Don’t tell me Chuck Schumer would’ve come out of there alive. Don’t tell me Mike Pence would’ve come out of there alive. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would’ve been stripped naked, possibly raped and scourged, if not killed. They would’ve done that to all women. They would’ve beat them. They would’ve ripped their clothes off. They would’ve abused them, and it would’ve been a successful overthrow of government. If the government were out of control, if the president of the United States had lost his fucking mind … I said this on the air several times … Donald Trump was the only member of the chain of succession that was not in that building. If those people are killed, injured or incapacitated, he is the sole power in America.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: You’ve spoken about a similar attack on the government possibly happening in the future. How can we rein in these insurgents so it doesn’t happen again?
Malcolm Nance: I don’t think there will be any reining in until there’s a critical incident. The kind of thing that would happen would just be unspeakable where they’d actually hang all the Democrats, which was the plan in Michigan or declare that they are “Constitutional Sheriffs” who believe they have the ultimate authority over federal and state government authorities and are encouraged to defy laws they decide are illegal. You will always find yourself in a position where a Shays’ Rebellion-style insurrection is going on. I think we’ll have that critical incident, and when it puts down its death and destruction, you’ll have people say, “Well, I was never a supporter of Donald Trump.”
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Malcolm, thank you for your service in Ukraine. How long will you be there?
Malcolm Nance: Well, I don’t know. It’s a long war. I’ve been here since January, and I’ve been back home just 20 days (laughs). That’s a long time. We’ll see. I have important work here to keep these guys smart and to keep them operating well against the Russians. That’s my job. You know, my wife passed away on September 11, 2019, and I’ve never missed her memorial garden party. I’m not sure I want to now, but this is very important work that I’m doing.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: We haven’t spoken since your wife passed away, so please accept our deepest condolences for your loss. Could that have influenced your decision to use your skills to help the Ukrainian people?
Malcolm Nance: Only that I recognize what’s happening here. This is a country awash with grief. Awash with grief. And I recognized the sacrifices people are making. I’m in the intelligence business. My job is to find the Russians and make them pay. That’s what we do.
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