The Center for Security Policy, the organization headed by anti-Islam conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney, honored Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton and right-wing author and pundit Eric Metaxas at the group’s annual gala, which was held in New York City on December 3. Fitton received the 2018 Freedom Flame Award, while Metaxas was honored with the Mightier Pen award.
The Center for Security Policy has been designated an anti-Muslim hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Gaffney is so extreme that he was banned from the Conservative Political Action Conference for a while after he claimed that the group had been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood. He has since been welcomed back, and in 2018 the Center for Security policy hosted a CPAC panel that featured discussion on how to get Muslims to leave the U.S. Last year, Gaffney told Breitbart that mainstream media outlets that fact-check President Trump are waging “information warfare” against the presidency.
In October, Gaffney used his radio platform to slam the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, a refugee assistance group that featured prominently in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter’s anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Gaffney has also used his radio platform to ask whether philanthropist George Soros is the Antichrist or “at a minimum…the Antichrist’s right-hand man.”
Gaffney’s extremism did not bother the honorees one bit; indeed, Metaxas called Gaffney one of his heroes. Fitton, who has seemingly taken up residence on Fox News Channel to bash the Mueller probe, thanked Gaffney and then used his remarks to talk about how Judicial Watch has used Freedom of Information Act requests to get information about Benghazi and the Clinton email scandal. But he used his harshest words to describe individuals involved in the Mueller investigation:
This Justice Department and the FBI, while it was supposed to be prosecuting and investigating Hillary Clinton, was actually working with her campaign to come up with fraudulent reasons to spy on, investigate and target Donald Trump and his team. There’s no scandal like that in American history—not in the history of the FBI, not in the history of the Justice Department.
Fitton was introduced by former U.S. Attorney Joseph DiGenova, who actually outdid Fitton in the apocalyptic rhetoric department:
- “There was and is a brazen plot do to two things: exonerate Hillary Clinton illegally, and if she lost, to frame Donald Trump. That plot continues to this very day.”
- “Make no mistake about it. You are watching a coup d’etat, with the complicity of the former administration, which lied its way through eight years, and then sought to thwart the will of the people by undoing this president.”
- “Don’t let anybody kid you. This isn’t politics. This is an effort at sedition. Sedition, in the truest sense of that word.”
Metaxas was introduced by National Religious Broadcasters President Jerry Johnson, who quoted a news profile that had described Metaxas as “the happy warrior for a muscular Christianity.” In 2016, Metaxas said that the election was as critical a turning point as the American Revolution or the Civil War. Metaxas, whose books include biographies of abolitionist William Wilberforce, Nazi-resisting pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and church reformer Martin Luther, used similar rhetoric when he spoke earlier this year at a conference sponsored by Christian nationalist David Lane.
And he went back to the same well at the Center for Security Policy gala. “We’re in a war,” said Metaxas. “It’s an existential crisis.” Of Trump’s opponents, Metaxas said, “if you don’t actually believe in truth, you will do anything to win.” And to Gaffney, he said, “Frank, I cannot ever thank you enough for all you’ve been doing.”