Meet The Conspiracy Theorist Behind The Trump/Palin/Cruz Iran Rally

Today, conservative reality TV stars Donald Trump, Sarah Palin and Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson will be addressing a rally headlined by Ted Cruz and Glenn Beck in opposition to the Iran nuclear accord.

With such an all-star lineup, it may be easy to miss that one of the rally’s sponsors is none other than the Center for Security Policy, a far-right group led by anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney.

Gaffney’s role in organizing an event headlined by the likes of Cruz, Beck and Palin — who all believe that Sharia law is coming to America — may be fitting, considering that Gaffney is one of the most unintentionally hilarious right-wing conspiracy theorists out there:

1) Birther

Like Trump, Gaffney is a proud birther, citing a made-up quote falsely attributed to President Obama and pushed by Trump as proof that the president was not born in the U.S.

2) Obama Is A Secret Muslim!

Gaffney is positively convinced that Obama is not only bolstering radical Islamists but is also “talking like one and perhaps believing like one,” suggesting that “he isn’t the Christian he claims to be.” He has also alleged that Obama has “a profound affinity for” Islamism and wrote that “Barack Hussein Obama would have to be considered America's first Muslim president.”

3) President Obama Bringing Sharia Law

In the run-up to the 2012 election, Gaffney accused the Obama administration of supporting a United Nations resolution that would have legitimized blasphemy laws. In reality, the Obama administration actually forcefully opposed the resolution in question, with the president personally speaking out against blasphemy laws during a United Nations address.

But that didn’t stop Gaffney from claiming that the exact opposite had happened and warning that the president would begin to ban anti-Islamic speech in the U.S. as he pushes “the Sharia blasphemy agenda of our enemies, that is to say suppressing freedom of expression in this country which is our constitutional right.”

“President Obama, from his first months in office, has been enabling in this country an insidious effort by Islamic supremacists to keep us from engaging in speech, videos, training or other forms of expression that offend Muslims, their god, prophet and faith,” he wrote, warning that Obama has “brought U.S. diplomacy and government practice into closer and closer alignment with the demands of Islamists that such 'slanders' be prohibited and criminalized.” By giving “policymaking and advisory” roles to “persons with extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood,” Gaffney claimed, Obama is going to try to “restrict your freedom of expression.”

Gaffney, who has likened Obama to Osama bin Laden and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, suggested last year that Obama would cave to “stealth jihadist groups” and allow for the criminalization of anti-Islamic speech on the internet.

4) Chuck Hagel Is A Secret Agent

Back in 2013, as Sen. Ted Cruz was wondering out loud if Chuck Hagel, then the nominee to serve as U.S. secretary of defense, was secretly working for North Korea or Saudi Arabia, Gaffney was just asking if Hagel was in fact be an Iranian secret agent.

“You couldn’t find a guy who has been more active in terms of promoting the interests of Iran at the expense of the United States than Chuck Hagel other than somebody who is actually an Iranian agent,” he said. “I’m not suggesting that he is, I don’t know, but I certainly think that’s the point of comparison here because it’s almost that full-throated.”

5) Huma Abedin Is A Muslim Brotherhood Agent

Gaffney helped engineer the witch hunt taken up by several GOP congressmen including then-Rep. Michele Bachmann against Abedin, an aide to Hillary Clinton, and other Muslim-Americans serving in the Obama administration. Gaffney claimed that Abedin “has extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood” and was part of “ this enemy inside the wire.”

“Ms. Abedin was brilliantly placed to run Islamist influence operations for sixteen years under the recently departed Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,” he said.

6) Restore HUAC

In order to find all of these Muslim Brotherhood agents who have infiltrated the U.S. government, Gaffney said that we need “a new House Anti-American Activities Committee” to find the “treasonous” actors inside the administration.

7) Chris Christie Committed Treason

Gaffney was very offended in 2011 when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie derided the “crazy” rhetoric about Sharia law coming to the U.S. In fact, he was so offended that he thought Christie could be committing “misprision of treason,” or the act of concealing treasonous acts against the U.S.

8) Muslim Brotherhood Infiltrated The GOP

Gaffney believes that “folks with the Muslim Brotherhood associations” have been “active even to this day in conservative circles,” particularly within the Republican Party, the National Rifle Association and the American Conservative Union. His claim that the ACU has been taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood even got him banned from CPAC, the group’s annual conference, after the organization released a report debunking his claims that conservative leaders Grover Norquist and Suhail Kahn are Muslim Brotherhood agents. Gaffney also tried to convince Beck to leave the NRA in protest of Norquist’s membership in the group’s board, forcing the NRA to open an investigation into Norquist’s supposed Islamist ties.

But like all of Gaffney’s other conspiracy theories, this one didn’t exactly pan out as Norquist was easily re-elected to the group’s board of directors.