Newt Gingrich wants new House Un-American Activities Committee

Story highlights

  • HUAC in the 1950s ​launched a series of investigations into communist elements
  • The ex-speaker's comments on Monday echoed Trump's this week

(CNN)Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is calling for the creation of a new House Committee on Un-American Activities, invoking the infamous "Red Scare"-era congressional body as a blueprint for weeding out American ISIS adherents and sympathizers.

"We originally created the House Un-American Activities Committee to go after Nazis," he said during an appearance on "Fox and Friends" this week. "We passed several laws in 1938 and 1939 to go after Nazis and we made it illegal to help the Nazis. We're going to presently have to go take the similar steps here."
Gingrich, a vocal supporter of Donald Trump, has been touted as a potential running mate for the presumptive Republican nominee.
His comments on Monday echoed Trump's, as the billionaire businessman suggested "Muslim communities" should be held to greater account for the actions of their neighbors.
"They know what is going on," Trump said during a speech Monday in New Hampshire. "They know that (the Orlando killer) was bad. They knew the people in San Bernardino were bad. But you know what, they didn't turn them in, and we had death and destruction."
The House Un-American Activities Committee was founded on the eve of World War II but gained greater notoriety a decade later as it ​launched a series of investigations into alleged communist elements inside the U.S. government and other aspects of U.S. society.
Gingrich framed the idea of its revival in some form as part of an inevitable escalation of the conflict with the Syria and Iraq-based militant group.
"We're going to ultimately declare a war on Islamic supremacists and we're going to say, if you pledge allegiance to ISIS, you are a traitor and you have lost your citizenship," he said. "We're going to take much tougher positions."