Clarke announced his new position on Wisconsin radio talk show 1130 WISN Wednesday afternoon, telling host Vicki McKenna, “I’m looking forward to joining that team.” The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that in June, Clarke will serve in the DHS’s Office of Partnership and Engagement “as a liaison with state, local and tribal law enforcement and governments.”
As a former Trump surrogate on the campaign trail, Clarke was among those Trump initially considered to head DHS. However, The appointment has not been confirmed by the Department of Homeland Security, which released this tweet after reports of Clarke’s hire circulated on Wednesday:
However, if the premature reports are true, Clarke’s promotion to federal office would be a major affront to human and civil rights. In 2013, Clarke received the “Sheriff of the Year Award” from Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, an anti-government organization whose founder, former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, believes,“The greatest threat we face today is not terrorists. It is our own federal government.” In 2015, he suggested suspending habeus corpus to charge individuals “on the internet spewing jihadi rhetoric,” charge them “with treason,” and “indefinitely” detain them at Guantanamo Bay—a number that he estimates could be one million people. Since last April, four detainees in his jail have died, including a newborn baby and a mentally ill inmate who was deprived of water for seven days. He has faced two federal lawsuits since December for the deaths. Earlier this month, a grand jury recommended criminal charges against seven staff members at Clarke’s Milwaukee jail.
Clarke has called Black Lives Matter a “domestic hate group,” believes that “there is no police brutality in America,” says there is a “war on cops,” and has called protesters upset about Trump’s election “entitled, coddled, petulant snowflakes.” He also called the Women’s March a “creep show.”
On Twitter, he appears to be just as, or more, unhinged than Donald Trump:
For more on Clarke, read our deep dive here.