Hawkish former UN ambassador John Bolton, whom President Trump named as his national security adviser yesterday, has had close relationships with a number of U.S. anti-Muslim groups, and anti-Muslim activists celebrated the news that he would be replacing H.R. McMaster in the role.
Frank Gaffney, the anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist who heads up the Center for Security Policy, has been complaining for months about McMaster, whom he has accused of staging “nothing short of a coup d’etat” against Trump, and tweeted this morning that Bolton’s appointment means that now “truly is Morning in America”:
.@RealDonaldTrump has replaced an insubordinate National Security Advisor with a loyal, competent one: John Bolton. It’s a game-changer for his presidency and for our nation. Congratulations Mr. President! It truly is Morning in America. Let’s roll!
— Frank Gaffney (@frankgaffney) March 22, 2018
Appearing on “Breitbart News Daily” this morning, Gaffney rejoiced in Trump ridding himself of advisers “who were endlessly sabotaging his every public policy, certainly in the national security portfolio.”
“I think if you’re an enemy of this country, foreign or domestic, the installation of John Bolton is not a good day for you and it is a good day for our country,” Gaffney said.
Bolton has appeared frequently on Gaffney’s radio program, as recently as last month. In a 2012 interview with Gaffney, Bolton defended Gaffney and Rep. Michele Bachmann’s smears against Muslims working in the Obama administration. At a 2015 summit organized by Gaffney, Bolton called President Obama the country’s “biggest threat to national security.”
Anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller also celebrated Bolton’s appointment. Bolton wrote the foreword to a book that Geller co-wrote with Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer in which they accused President Obama of enabling “creeping Sharia,” defended birtherism and wrote that “Obama went to extraordinary measures to obfuscate his Muslim background.” Geller and Spencer both shared photos of promotional blurbs that Bolton has written for their other books.
Bolton’s embrace of the anti-Muslim movement doesn’t stop with his relationships with Gaffney, Geller and Spencer. Since 2013, he has been the chair of the Gatestone Institute, a “think tank” that makes claims about “no-go zones” in European cities and works to portray Muslims as rapists and criminals. The Intercept’s Lee Fang writes:
A steady drum beat of vitriol is visible on the Gatestone site on almost any given day.
Just this week, the Gatestone Institute published stories claiming that the “mostly Muslim male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East” in Germany are fueling a “migrant rape crisis” and that “Muslim mass-rape gangs” are transforming the United Kingdom into “an Islamist Colony.”
The website routinely portrays Muslim migrants and refugees as an existential threat to Europe and the United States, claiming that immigrants bring “highly infectious diseases,” genital mutilation practices, and terror to any nation that accepts them. The site spent years sharply criticizing the Obama administration for having a “traditional Muslim bias” against Christians.
The lurid headlines, which are translated into multiple languages and distributed widely through Gatestone’s social media page and its partners in the conservative media, are rarely supported by the evidence.
Bolton has also served on the board of advisers of Secure America Now, a group that specializes in sensational ads, including one that had to be pulled down after the family of journalist James Foley criticized its use of footage of Foley’s murder by ISIS. In 2016, when Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul threatened to stop Bolton’s nomination to any role in the State Department, Secure America Now launched an email campaign urging him to change his mind.