Tuesday, it was reported that Frank Gaffney, president and founder of theCenter for Security Policy, had been named as an adviser to Donald Trump’s transition team. Wednesday morning, Trump officials are reportedly strenuouslydenying Gaffney’s on board. The slipperiness of what’s been happening with Trump’s transition suggests we should take their denials with a grain of salt. Tuesday, for instance, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell tweeted that Trump had requested a top secret clearance for his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Wednesday morning, however, Trump denied those reports, contradicting a Trump official who had earlier said a low-level Trump staffer requested the clearance. If it is always hard to know what to believe when covering politics, it is now even more so. But even if Frank Gaffney’s not officially on the team technically speaking, it seems likely that he is or at least was in Trump’s transition orbit.
So just who is Gaffney and why would his hiring matter?
Anyone unsure about the extent to which Trump will follow through on proposals like the ban on Muslim immigration should be deeply troubled by Gaffney’s name floating around Trumpworld. For nearly two decades now, Gaffney has been one of America’s most successful professional Islamophobes, pushing wild conspiracy theories about Muslim infiltration through columns and regular appearances on Fox News that have acquired wide currency on the right-wing fringe. Like Trump, Gaffney was a birther. In a 2008 column for theWashington Times written weeks before Obama had even been elected, he advanced the idea that Obama had been born in Kenya and outlined his alleged ties to dangerous “Islamists.” These themes would be revisited again in an MSNBC appearance in which he claimed that Obama bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia was a code for submission to Sharia law that would be received in “the Taliban headquarters and in al Qaeda’s cave and in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” as well as a column following Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech in which Gaffney suggested Obama could well be a Muslim himself, in part because he had said the words Holy Quran four times during his address. The following year, he would claim that the logo of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency had been changed to a fusion of Obama’s 2008 campaign logo and an Islamic crescent, an accusation so ridiculous he was forced to make a rare retraction and apology.
Gaffney and the Center for Security Policy spend perhaps most of their time warning the gullible about the spread of creeping Sharia and the machinations of the Muslim Brotherhood, which they claim has ties to Hillary Clinton throughHuma Abedin and anti-tax zealot/brave vaper’s rights crusader Grover Norquist, whose wife is Palestinian-American. It was the latter claim that got Gaffney banned from the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2010. Gaffney, CPAC chairman David Keene said, had “become personally and tiresomely obsessed with his weird belief that anyone who doesn’t agree with him on everything all the time or treat him with the respect and deference he believes is his due, must be either ignorant of the dangers we face or, in extreme case [sic], dupes of the nation’s enemies.” But Gaffney was back at CPAC for this year’s conference to head a panel on—what else?—“Countering the Global Jihad,” which featured prominent European Islamophobes.
This isn’t actually the first time Gaffney and his work have been connected to Trump. When he announced his Muslim ban proposal last year, Trump cited a debunked poll from the Center for Security Policy that suggested significant numbers of American Muslims backed the imposition of Sharia law and violent jihad within the United States. Given all this, Gaffney’s going to be a figure to watch during the new administration whether or not Trump employs him. He’s one of the voices that’s brought us to this point, and is likely to be sounding the alarm against Muslims even more loudly in the next four years.
Reports are coming in that Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions will be Donald Trump’s nominee for Attorney General. From Bloomberg:
It wasn’t immediately clear if Trump has formally offered the job to Sessions, a lawyer who was an early and ardent Trump backer, but the people familiar said Trump wants Sessions in the role.
Donald Trump, as you may recall, is mulling over a policy that would ban Muslims from entering the United States and is considering tracking ones already here in a database. He has endorsed shutting down mosques anddefamed thousands of Muslims in New Jersey—”Arabs,” he said—by claiming, repeatedly, that they had celebrated the deaths of 3,000 Americans on 9/11. He said that the Mexican undocumented population in the United States—11 million or so people in total, all of whom he has pledged to deport—is comprised of rapists, murderers, and “some” morally upstanding people of indeterminate number. He said this past March that as president, he would be able to force the United States military to torture prisoners and commit any war crimes he deemed justifiable and necessary. He is nuclear massacre-curious. He responded to reports that overzealous supporters of his had beaten and urinated on a homeless Hispanic man by saying that they had simply “loved their country.” He called for the execution of five black and Hispanic menfound to be innocent of the crime for which they had been convicted. He is being sued for fraud. He has done business with the Mafia. He has been accused of sexual assault by around a dozen women.
For over a year, Democratic Party politicians and leaders have told the American people that for these and endless other reasons, Donald Trump could never be countenanced as the president of the United States. Now that he’s won, it seems that many have changed their minds. Donald Trump, the New York Timesreported last night, is someone Senate Democrats think they can work with:
To the casual observer, Donald Trump’s leakier-than-the-Titanic transition effort might seem like it’s been a chaotic job fair for right-wing blowhards, alt-right boogeymen, Islamophobes, Hispanophobes, and Trump’s own family. Of course, not everyone thinks it’s been a disaster. One of the Trump supporters that thinks the transition’s going great: former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and professional also-ran David Duke, who’s been gleefully chronicling every twist and turn of the president-elect’s hiring process:
Mr. Trump’s appointment of Bannon, Flynn and Sessions are the first steps in the project of taking America back.http://davidduke.com/duke-bannon-flynn-sessions-the-1st-steps-in-taking-america-back/ …
Duke: Bannon, Flynn, Sessions: the 1st Steps in Taking America Back!
Editorial by Dr. David Duke – Trump appoints men who will take America back! President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Bannon Flynn, and Sessions are the first steps in the long an…
The Obama administration is in its final days, so the window for obscure public officials to hurl racist insults against the first family—a pastime that hasdelighted many over the years—is rapidly closing. Monday, West Virginia’s WSAZ Channel 3 reported on two in Clay, West Virginia, who thought they’d be able to get in a few last digs from the privacy of Facebook. They were wrong:
Two Clay County women are under intense criticism after a Facebook post launched outrage on social media. Screenshots of the post have been shared thousands of times.
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