Frank Gaffney

Tags ››› Frank Gaffney
  • An Anti-LGBTQ Birther Who Leads An Anti-Muslim Hate Group Reportedly Advising Trump's Transition

    Center For Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney Reportedly Advising Trump’s Transition Team On National Security Issues

    ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Anti-Muslim hate group leader Frank Gaffney is reportedly giving President-elect Donald Trump national security advice for his transition to the White House. Gaffney has a long history of vile statements about Muslims, has embraced white nationalists, flirted with birtherism, and has stridently opposed allowing LGBTQ Americans to openly serve in the military.

  • Trump Transition Adviser Frank Gaffney Heavily Praised White Nationalist Leader

    Hate Group Leader Gaffney To Jared Taylor: “I Appreciate Tremendously The Work You're Doing"

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Frank Gaffney, who is reportedly advising President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, previously praised and promoted the "wonderful" work of leading white nationalist Jared Taylor. Gaffney later retracted the adulation after criticism.

    Trump’s presidential transition period has already been marred by ties to white nationalism. He appointed Stephen Bannon, who has a history of pushing anti-Semitism and white nationalist “alt-right” views, to a senior White House position. Trump's entrance into politics has energized and emboldened the white nationalist movement.

    The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times both reported that Gaffney is advising Trump’s national security team.

    Gaffney is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Gaffney has questioned President Obama's birth certificate; was banned from the Conservative Political Action Conference after accusing prominent conservatives of somehow being Muslim Brotherhood operatives; and has been described by SPLC as "one of America's most notorious Islamophobes." Media Matters and a coalition of civil rights groups last month released a report documenting anti-Muslim extremists who regularly appear in the media, including Gaffney, and called on the media to hold them accountable for their rhetoric.

    Gaffney hosted Jared Taylor on the September 29, 2015, edition of his Secure Freedom Radio program. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which first noted Taylor's appearance, wrote that Taylor is one of the country's "most outspoken and prominent white nationalists." The non-profit group explained that Taylor hosts a conference "where racist intellectuals rub shoulders with Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists" and "founded the New Century Foundation, a pseudo-intellectual think tank that promotes 'research' arguing for white superiority."

    As Media Matters previously documented, Gaffney introduced Taylor by saying, "I'm very pleased to have him with us. He is the editor of a wonderful online publication, American Renaissance ... and the author of six books, including White Identity." SPLC wrote that American Renaissance "has been one of the vilest white nationalist publications, often promoting eugenics and blatant anti-black and anti-Latino racists. In 2005 for example, after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Taylor wrote, 'When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western Civilization -- any kind of civilization -- disappears.'"

    The Anti-Defamation League wrote that Taylor "upholds racial homogeneity as the key to fostering peaceful coexistence," and they called American Renaissance a "white supremacist journal."

    During the interview, Gaffney and Taylor attacked the "invasion" of Muslim refugees worldwide. Gaffney warned about the alleged dangers of Muslim refugees regarding violence and Sharia law, and later suggested such problems could come to the United States "if President Obama has his way.”

    Gaffney concluded by telling Taylor: "I appreciate tremendously the work you're doing at American Renaissance and The New Century Foundation. Keep it up and get back to us again very soon."

    Following the controversy, the Center for Security Policy posted a statement on its website claiming Gaffney "strongly disagrees" with "much" of the American Renaissance website and "Had due diligence been done beforehand, such disagreements would have resulted in Mr. Taylor not being invited on the show, routine compliments to such guests not made and an offer to appear again not extended."

    The Southern Poverty Law Center noted that Gaffney’s backtracking rang hollow since he “wasn’t repulsed by Taylor’s views and complimented American Renaissance [during the interview]. That's not surprising given Gaffney's own comments.”

    UPDATE: Trump spokesman Jason Miller has claimed that Gaffney is not advising the transition team. NBC News reported that though the Trump camp has "denied that Gaffney is advising the team, a source close to Gaffney said while he's not formally involved, he ‘has advised them on nominees and policy through [former UN Ambassador John] Bolton and [Ret. Gen. Mike] Flynn,’ both advisers to Trump's transition.” Gaffney reportedly released a statement that he “had not been contacted by anyone from the team and appreciate the campaign's clarification today.” He added, "I look forward to helping President-elect & the national security-minded team he is assembling in whatever way I can."

  • Media Matters And Civil Rights Groups Release Media “Field Guide To Anti-Muslim Extremists”

    Blog ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN

    Media Matters partnered with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Center for New Community, and ReThink Media to release a journalist's guide to the network of anti-Muslim activists and surrogates spreading vitriolic rhetoric in the media and the best practices for countering these extremists’ misinformation.

    The report “profiles 15 prominent anti-Muslim extremists, many of whom are associated with organizations identified by the SPLC as hate groups,” who appear frequently in the media, “where they spread falsehoods that too often go untested.” Citing the “baseless” propaganda produced by these extremists who “have shamelessly exploited terrorist attacks and the Syrian refugee crisis, among other things, to demonize the entire Islamic faith,” the full report details the way television news networks and leading newspapers have allowed these extremists to “routinely espouse a wide range of utter falsehoods” about Muslims without providing any pushback. The report contends that the media have enabled these extremists to vilify American Muslims by accusing them of conspiring to “impose Shariah religious law,” thereby creating a false impression of the community and resulting in “hundreds of violent hate crime attacks” against them. From the October 26 report:

    Ever since the Al Qaeda massacre of Sept. 11, 2001, American Muslims have been under attack. They have been vilified as murderers, accused of conspiring to take over the United States and impose Shariah religious law, described as enemies of women, and subjected to hundreds of violent hate crime attacks. A major party presidential nominee has even suggested that America ban Muslim immigrants.

    Fueling this hatred has been the propaganda, the vast majority of it completely baseless, produced and popularized by a network of anti-Muslim extremists and their enablers. These men and women have shamelessly exploited terrorist attacks and the Syrian refugee crisis, among other things, to demonize the entire Islamic faith.

    Sadly, a shocking number of these extremists are seen regularly on television news programs and quoted in the pages of our leading newspapers. There, they routinely espouse a wide range of utter falsehoods, all designed to make Muslims appear as bloodthirsty terrorists or people intent on undermining American constitutional freedoms. More often than not, these claims go uncontested.

    [...]

    This misinformation and hateful rhetoric have consequences. When huge numbers of Americans believe that a majority of Muslims are terrorists or terrorist sympathizers, it can hardly be a surprise that some percentage of them engage in hate crime attacks. After all, they learned of the threat they believe Muslims pose from sources who were presented by the media as authoritative experts.

    This country faces an array of complex and daunting problems, the threat of terrorism indisputably among them. Let’s not make them worse by allowing self-described “experts” to propagandize our fellow Americans with defamatory and frightening falsehoods. Our media, in particular, has the opportunity to present an objective picture that illuminates, rather than distorts, reality.

    The 15 anti-Muslim extremists profiled in the report are Ann Corcoran, Steven Emerson, Brigitte Gabriel, Frank Gaffney Jr., Pamela Geller, John Guandolo, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, David Horowitz, Ryan Mauro, Robert Muise, Maajid Nawaz, Daniel Pipes, Walid Shoebat, Robert Spencer, and David Yerushalmi. The report lists various false and extreme claims from the extremists and calls on the media to stop presenting the extremists as “authoritative experts” and allowing them to “propagandize our fellow Americans with defamatory and frightening falsehoods”:

    The anti-Muslim extremists profiled here have, between them, claimed that Islamic extremists have infiltrated the CIA, FBI, Pentagon and other agencies; asserted that there are “no-go zones” in Europe where non-Muslims including police are afraid to enter; suggested that there is a Muslim plot to impose Sharia religious law on U.S. courts; and claimed that President Obama is a secret Muslim. These claims, along with many others, have been shown conclusively to be false.

    According to the report, the media coverage of and interviews with these anti-Muslim extremists fail to contextualize their “defamatory and false rhetoric and their hate group associations” and thus don't tell their audiences that these extremists “are far outside the mainstream, and that their factual assertions are very often completely baseless.” The report includes best practices for media, noting that “too often, television networks, newspapers and other media organizations turn to these groups’ spokespeople as credible sources on national security, immigration and religious liberty, and valid counterpoints to real issue experts.”

    The report’s best practices include:

    1. Research the background of extremist spokespeople and consider other sources.

    2. If you do use anti-Muslim spokespeople, point out their extremism.

    3. Prepare to challenge hateful rhetoric and misinformation.

    4. Don’t rely on opposing guests to challenge extremists.

    To read the full report, click here.

  • Another Muslim Brotherhood Conspiracy Theorist Becomes A Trump Adviser

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    Former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is now advising Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, adding to the list of Trump influencers who have peddled the right-wing media conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin is a “Muslim Brotherhood” operative. Bachmann, who formally requested a federal investigation into Abedin and others in the federal government, joins conspiracy theory-spouting Trump associates Stephen Bannon, Sean Hannity, and Roger Stone.

  • Here Are The Big Players In The Inevitable Smear Campaign Against Judge Merrick Garland

    ››› ››› PAM VOGEL

    As President Obama reportedly prepares to announce Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, media should be prepared to hear from several right-wing groups dedicated to opposing the nominee, no matter who it is. These advocacy groups and right-wing media outlets have a history of pushing misleading information and alarmist rhetoric to launch smear campaigns against Obama's highly qualified Supreme Court nominees, using tactics including, but not limited to, spreading offensive rumors about a nominee's personal life, deploying bogus legal arguments or conspiracy theories, and launching wild distortions of every aspect of a nominee's legal career.

  • Cruz, Carson To Attend Right-Wing Media Convention Featuring Anti-LGBT, Anti-Muslim Extremists

    ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

    Republican presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson are scheduled to attend the National Religious Broadcasters' "Proclaim 16" Convention, which will run from February 23 to 26 in Nashville, TN. The annual convention has a history of anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim content, and this year convention will feature three anti-LGBT hate groups, a panel sponsored by the Islamophobic extremist organization behind Trump's proposed Muslim ban, and multiple notoriously anti-gay extremist speakers.

  • NRA Silent On Ted Nugent's Anti-Semitism As It Abets An Anti-Muslim Smear Campaign Against Another Board Member

    The NRA Is Investigating Grover Norquist's Alleged Ties To Islamists But Not Ted Nugent's Anti-Semitism

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Apparently at the National Rifle Association (NRA), being the target of a conspiratorial, religiously-motivated smear is a good way to get yourself investigated and possibly kicked out of the organization. Putting forward conspiratorial, religiously-motivated smears is not.

    As the NRA continues to avoid addressing an anti-Semitism controversy that has embroiled organization board member Ted Nugent, a recall campaign against another board member -- conservative activist Grover Norquist -- is moving forward, even though the campaign's basis is a conspiratorial and anti-Muslim smear.

    Following a decades-long campaign by anti-Muslim think tank head Frank Gaffney, which in the past year has been amplified by conservative radio host Glenn Beck, ballots to officially recall Norquist from the NRA board will appear in the March editions of the NRA's magazines, according to a report by Right Wing Watch.

    For at least 15 years, Norquist, a well-known tax activist who founded Americans for Tax Reform, has been targeted by Gaffney, head of the anti-Muslim think tank Center for Security Policy, with the claim that he is a surreptitious agent of the Muslim Brotherhood. Critics of Gaffney have alleged that his smear campaign is largely motivated by the fact that Norquist is married to a Muslim woman and has Muslim in-laws. One high-profile conservative group investigated Gaffney's claims in 2012 and found them to be meritless.

    Norquist has called Gaffney his "stalker" and has accused Gaffney of also spreading rumors that he is gay and a member of "the Jewish-Russian mafia."

    Gaffney's smear campaign against Norquist made headlines again in March 2015 after it was repeatedly promoted by Beck on his nationally-syndicated radio show. Beck, a longtime supporter of the NRA, is a frequent keynote speaker at the gun group's annual meeting.

    Following Beck's endorsement of Gaffney's conspiracy theory, the NRA, at the request of executive vice president Wayne LaPierre, agreed to open an investigation into Norquist's alleged ties "to Islamist groups that have ill intent towards the United States and its allies." The findings of the investigation have yet to be released to the public.

    During the NRA's annual meeting in April 2015, Norquist was reelected to the board, but he also issued a statement saying he had "voluntarily suspended his Board activities pending the outcome of the investigation."

    The NRA has handled controversy surrounding Nugent, who posted an anti-Semitic image to his Facebook page and then subsequently made inflammatory posts and statements about the Holocaust, in a much different manner. Nugent's image suggested that laws regulating guns were the result of a Jewish conspiracy and included descriptions of alleged conspirators such as "Jew York city mayor Mikey Bloomberg," and deceased former U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) who "Gave Russian Jew immigrants your tax money."

    After declining to comment on Nugent to several media outlets, the NRA released its only statement to date on the controversy: "Individual board members do not speak for the NRA."

    The NRA's refusal to seriously address Nugent's anti-Semitic post comes as the controversy has begun to become enmeshed with Sen. Ted Cruz's presidential campaign, which continues to tout Nugent's praise. (Cruz has also lavishly praised Gaffney, calling him "a patriot" who is "clear eyed about radical Islamic terrorism.")

    Unlike the controversy surrounding Norquist, the NRA has given no indication that it intends to investigate Nugent.

  • "The Guy Scares Me": Holocaust Survivors Warn About The Danger Of Trump's Right-Wing Media Approved Rhetoric

    Trump's Candidacy And Plans Have Been Hailed By Right-Wing And White Nationalist Media Figures

    ››› ››› LIS POWER

    On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Holocaust survivors warned about the demagoguery and rhetoric espoused by Donald Trump that they say echoes back to Nazi Germany -- the same rhetoric which has been sanctioned by right-wing media and praised by white nationalist media as "wonderful."

  • Anti-Muslim Extremist Cited By Trump Hosting Event With Other GOP Candidates

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Several Republican presidential candidates are scheduled to participate in an event hosted by anti-Muslim extremist Frank Gaffney. 

    Gaffney's Center For Security Policy will host a December 14 summit in Nevada covering topics including "Border Insecurity and Illegal Immigration" and "The Threat from Iran, Shariah and The Global Jihad Movement." The group states that Republican presidential candidates Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Rick Santorum are confirmed to be participating in the event.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has called Gaffney, who is also a radio host and Washington Times columnist, "one of America's most notorious Islamophobes" because he is gripped "by paranoid fantasies about Muslims," including that Muslim Brotherhood agents have infiltrated the upper echelons of the federal government. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently cited a misleading poll from the Center for Security Policy in attempting to justify his proposal "for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." (Trump is listed as having been invited to the conference, but is not a confirmed attendee.)

    Despite Gaffney's disreputable background, Republican members of Congress regularly appear on his radio program. Republican presidential candidates like Ted Cruz, George Pataki, Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Trump have addressed previous Gaffney-sponsored events in person or through video.

    The Huffington Post reported that "Fiorina's campaign attempted to distance her from the conference. 'Carly isn't a speaker at this event,' said Anna Epstein, a spokeswoman for Fiorina. 'We're submitting a video and we submit videos to lots of groups that request them.'"

    The Southern Poverty Law Center noted that the conference will feature other anti-immigration activists:

    Other anti-Muslim activists slated for CSP's event next week include Ann Corcoran, the face of the anti-refugee movement in America. In 2007, she founded the blog Refugee Resettlement Watch (RRW) in response to what she saw as a "grievous error" by the government in taking in Muslim refugees. In the years since, racist groups have increasingly adopted her as one of their own. In 2014, Corcoran promoted an article on Taylor's American Renaissance website calling it a "good commentary" on immigration to Australia. In April, CSP published her "Refugee Resettlement and the Hijra to America." The 78-page screed calls for Americans to oppose the opening of mosques in their neighborhoods and also calls for a ban on all Muslim immigration to the U.S. Corcoran spoke at Gaffney's Iowa and South Carolina summits earlier this year.

    Another speaker will be Rosemary Jenks, a staffer with NumbersUSA, the largest grassroots anti-immigrant group in the U.S. NumbersUSA and its founder Roy Beck have a long track record of working white nationalists to advance their anti-immigrant agenda. On Gaffney's Secure Freedom Radio show in February, Jenks stated, "We know that they are placing terrorists into the refugee camps and we don't have the means to vet them...The FBI says they're very concerned about this, the potential dangers of resettling these folks in the United States because we have no idea who they are." At a Gaffney event in 2014 she equated gun violence and bank robbery to immigration violations, stating, "If you rob a bank, you're going to jail. Break into a house, you're going to jail. Shoot someone, you're going to jail, and everybody's guns will be taken away." She added, "But if you break an immigration law, we're going to let you stay, give you a work permit, and we're going to call it a day."

    The summit will also feature former presidential candidate Herman Cain and Fox News contributor John Bolton.