Anti-Muslim leaders gain influence with new administration

Frank Gaffney is being brought in to advise the Donald Trump transition team, the Wall St. Journal reports. He’ll reportedly advise on national security issues.

The Washington Post’s Philip Bump reports today on why that’s a big deal and indicative of who is going to wield influence in an administration whose plans are still vague.

Gaffney is no fan of Muslims. He’s one of the ringleaders of the effort to spread the rumor that Barack Obama was Muslim.

Once Obama was in office, Gaffney was one of the main drivers of the idea that there was a deep-rooted Muslim infiltration of the government and that Muslims wanted to create an alternative system of law in the United States. Gaffney opposed the “Ground Zero mosque,” a proposed Muslim center that was to be built near Ground Zero in Manhattan. After he opposed a Muslim community center in Tennessee, the largest paper in that state included Gaffney in a report linking anti-Muslim rhetoric to big paychecks.

His insistence that a group called the Muslim Brotherhood had worked its way into the American political sphere (including in the person of top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin) eventually meant accusing prominent conservative Grover Norquist of ties to Islamic infiltrators. Gaffney wrote an entire book — published by the Center for Security Policy — accusing Norquist of links to that group and others, which in 2011 ended up getting Gaffney banned from the high-profile annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

Bump didn’t include one other target of Gaffney’s insistence that Muslims have “infiltrated” the government: Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison, the first Muslim member of Congress. Gaffney’s writing was Michele Bachmann’s source for her own attacks on Muslims serving in government positions, pitting her in a feud with Ellison over the issue.

Gaffney opposed Ellison and another Muslim member of Congress holding seats on the House Intelligence Committee, claiming they would pass the nation’s secrets to the Muslim Brotherhood.

This week, Gaffney targeted Ellison again after the Minneapolis DFLer announced he would run for chairman of the party.

One would think that the last thing Democrats want to publicize after after their wholesale repudiation by American voters is their party’s ties to radical leftists and Islamic supremacists.

Yet, that will be the predictable effect of the expected announcement today by Rep. Keith Ellison of his candidacy to lead the Democratic National Committee. As a new film entitled “The Enemies Within” makes clear, Ellison has longstanding ties to communists and others on the hard Left. He is also allied with Muslim Brotherhood front groups and dissembles about their influence inside the U.S. government, even as he promotes it.

Keith Ellison is the poster child of the “Red-Green axis.” Should Democrats select him as their leader, they will not only be further alienating the electorate from their party. They will underscore why it cannot be trusted to shape our nation’s future.

Gaffney’s views have found favor in darker corners of the Internet, but their amplification to a larger audience has mostly been provided by Breitbart News. The head of that organization, Steve Bannon, was appointed by Trump to be the chief White House strategist.

Related: How a series of fringe anti-Muslim conspiracy theories went mainstream — via Donald Trump (Washington Post)

A transition that is more than anyone bargained for (CNBC)

Amid hate crimes after Trump’s election, Muslims remain resilient (NPR)

  • Rob

    Just the latest example of the incoming kakistocracy, writ large.

  • MrE85

    To borrow a phrase from Grover Norquist, I wish we could shrink this kind of thinking until it was small enough to drown in a bathtub.

    • BJ

      Given what this guy called Grover Norquist, and his family, I’m sure he would like to drown him in a bathtub.

  • I remember when it was us Catholics who were the target of conspiracy theories. Good thing we completed our takeover and silenced the opposition.

    Seriously though, from my limited understanding of Islam/Islamic politics, wouldn’t the MB consider these “agents” pretty terrible Muslims?

    • Jerry

      What kind of Muslim Brotherhood agent marries a Jewish guy? What kind of Jewish guy marries a Muslim Brotherhood agent?

    • jon

      When I was a boy in 7th grade we learned about religions in school… christianity and islam, and judaism, also a few easter religions…

      I had a bit of research to do to find out that the particular brand of protestant I was brought up in was an off shoot of calvinism… my best friend knew he was muslim though did not know if he was shite or sunni… both of us were terrible surprised to find out some of the things we believed.

      For instance I apparently believed in predestination…
      He believed he was supposed to pray 5 times a day, facing mecca…

      It was at this point that we both realized we weren’t particularly observant of our supposed religions.

      Should obama be a secret muslim pushing for sharia law, he is a REALLY bad one…
      He both smoked and drank (Even brewed his own beer) while in the white house… by those standards G.W. was a better muslim than Obama…

  • Jerry

    So I assume by the early precedents, David Duke is going to get Housing and Urban Development and one of the Koch brothers will get Interior.

    • wjc

      Didn’t the Kochs steer clear of Trump?

      • Jerry

        So Cliven Bundy for Interior?

        • wjc

          Nice!

          This is really turning into a freak show.

  • BJ

    How big of a crazy do you have to be to have CPAC ban you.

    This big. Accusing Grover Norquist of being a something for Islamic terrorists.

    Yet.

    President elect hiring him to advise on national security.

  • wjc

    “He’s one of the ringleaders of the effort to spread the rumor that Barack Obama was Muslim.”

    When will Obama finally get around to imposing Sharia law? :^)

    • RBHolb

      He has to take away our guns and SUVs first. There isn’t much time–he’d better get moving!

      • wjc

        Oh I forgot about that. Thanks.

        • rallysocks

          we still keep to keep the phones, though…right?

          • jon

            only the Obama Phone plan (started under GW Bush) will be allowed… all non-socialist phone providers will be turned into state run entities.

          • >>all non-socialist phone providers will be turned into state run entities.<<

            Can you heed me now?

          • jon

            NSA agents will confirm they can hear both parties prior to the phone call being connected.

          • Oh, well played!

    • Rob

      Would’ve happened in his third term, on his way to declaring himself king…

    • Gary F
      • wjc

        Rated “False” – nice try though.

        • jon

          I think this might have been a satirical comment?

          I honestly can’t tell any more… this election has broken my ability to tell when people are attempting irony or satire… because when I laughed thinking some one was just joking it turned out they were dead serious, and when I took them dead serious they claimed to be just joking…

          • rallysocks

            I hope so…otherwise we still have a lot of ‘splaining to do…

          • wjc

            I couldn’t tell. Gary could have at least added a :^) if it was satirical.

      • Rob

        You are in uber-troll mode today, dude. Did you even read the article? It notes that neither Clinton nor anyone on her campaign staff ever advanced the notion that Obama was not born in the U..S.

  • KTN

    Of course he doesn’t like Muslims, none of the sociopaths supporters like Muslims (or brown skin for that matter). Really nothing to see here, just repudiation that the sociopath will not actually drain the swamp, but will continue his mendacious ways to fill it back up with racists and xenophobes. Awesome.

  • Veronica

    NO. NO, NO, NO. Just NO!

    None of this is OK. None of it. This is not acceptable. These are some of the worst people possible to be in charge, period. The stories in the media can’t even to begin to fully explain how truly awful these people are on their own, and how truly chilling it is to think they will all be working together.

    Furthermore, people who are calling their Republican congresspeople’s offices are reporting that Kline’s staff is telling callers they really don’t give a fig, and Paulsen’s office keeps playing dumb, pretending they don’t know what’s going on.

    NO.

    • >> Paulsen’s office keeps playing dumb, pretending they don’t know what’s going on.<<

      To be fair, this transition is such a sh*tshow, they actually might not know what's going on.

  • chris

    It’s not like Trump has a lot of options. If you run a campaign that throws all norms to the side, don’t be surprised when you can’t find respectable people to work for you.

  • Gary F

    While the only Muslim Representative meets with the big money power brokers.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/democrats-soros-trump-231313

    • Veronica

      Squirrel!

      • rallysocks

        Soon to be moose and squirrel.

    • wjc

      From Politico: “Democrats need to invest more in training officials and developing policies in the states, argued Rep. Ellison (D-Minn.) on a Friday afternoon donor conference call.”

      Pretty dangerous stuff.

    • Rob

      Not sure what your point is: the article is talking about progressive leaders and financial backers banding together to fight the T.Rump clusterf+!k. Sounds good to me.

    • crystals

      Better questions: who in Congress ISN’T doing that, what parties are they in, and why do you feel the need to single out a Muslim representative?

      I heard an interview on M(N)PR yesterday with a congresswoman from TN who is on the presidential transition team (#hotmess). She was asked some very good, pointed questions by Robert Siegel about what the president-elect has said about lobbyists and big money special interests and contributes she’s received from corporations. She actually said that “his points apply differently to different people.” So, yeah.

      (LINK: http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=502211130)

      • jon

        Ah so trumps detailed policy plan is like Trumps net worth… it varies depending on how he is feeling that day…

    • BJ

      PS you know is isn’t the only Muslim Representative now (and hasn’t been for a while), right?

      FYI
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%C3%A9_Carson

      • Gary F

        I stand corrected.

  • crystals

    This is terrifying.

  • dukepowell

    Nice hit piece, Bob. I’m sure this morning’s fax from the Southern Policy Law Center and “facts” gleaned from Wikipedia practically wrote this post for you.

    For the record, I’ll say that Frank Gaffney is a serious, sober and very experienced observer of American foreign policy who will help guide the new Administration’s transition.

    After following him for years, my opinion is that he is not always correct in his analysis but is a voice worth listening to. Frankly, I’m willing to bet that few, if any, of the commenters here have ever heard of him.

    • >>Nice hit piece, Bob…[insert rest of screed here]<>Frankly, I’m willing to bet that few, if any, of the commenters here have ever heard of him.<<

      Underestimating the readers of NewsCut is always a good plan.

      • dukepowell

        Not a fan of Alex Jones.

        • And yet you think someone with outlandish conspiracy theories is someone worth listening to…

    • I couldn’t help but notice you didn’t actually provide a reasoned analysis and defense of his writing and assertions, preferring instead just to shout “hit piece” and questioning people’s integrity, hoping that will be a sufficient distraction so that people won’t notice your failure to do so.

      I couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t. For the record, that’s not the same as being surprised that you didn’t.

      • Heh, you said “intelligent debate” in a response to The Dukester.

      • dukepowell

        Fair enough..In his own words.

        https://www.c-span.org/video/?408734-3/washington-journal-frank-gaffney-foreign-policy-campaign-2016

        I’ll also add that it is well understood that the Trump transition doesn’t fit the mold that the NY Times, Washington Post or MPR would find acceptable.

        • X.A. Smith

          It fits the mold that’s growing in a truck shop shower stall.

        • Your words, Duke. Use your words.

        • That’s a feature not a bug.

        • >>I’ll also add that it is well understood that the Trump transition doesn’t fit the mold that the NY Times, Washington Post or MPR would find acceptable.<<

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1b4a54f184a274a46a01c0cd2dfa51f4d5940d6ac21c3a17e8dd869d0fc7a8d1.jpg

          Considering THIS is a graphic representation of said Trump transition, I tend to agree with your assessment.

          • rallysocks

            I can’t upvote this comment enough…

        • Rob

          I don’t think the mendacity, intolerance, incompetence and arrogance that seem so far to be the central elements of the incoming administration fit the mold of what any decent media outlet would find acceptable.

        • rallysocks

          Sarah Palin must be kicking herself really hard right now since Trump has out-mavericked her all the way to the White House!

        • DavidG

          Of course not. It’s not in a mold that anyone should find acceptable.

          We’re over a week into the transition and there has been no contact between the transition team and the Defense, Justice or State Departments. The three most important Federal Departments.

          He’s seeking security clearances for his kids (who are supposedly going to run his “blind trusts”) and his son in law (who is using his role in the transition to settle personal family grudges).

          None of this normal, and shouldn’t be accepted as normal. Its something to be expected in a banana republic or kleptocracy.

          • MikeB

            Trump’s had contact with Vladimir Putin, but not the US Department of Defense. The symbolism will reverberate

    • Rob

      WTF?? I know very well who he is; serious and sober aren’t the adjectives I’d use to describe him.

    • Dan

      He and Pamela Geller are two birds of a feather, conspiracy theorist bigots the both of them. That their defenders would use “SPLC” as a pejorative speaks volumes.