Frank Gaffney, a former Reagan administration official known for his anti-Muslim views and conspiracy theories, is reportedly advising Donald Trump’s inner circle on building his national security team. Gaffney is not part of the transition team, but he has been helping to shape Trump’s national security lineup, according to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Quartz contacted Trump’s transition team for further insight into Gaffney’s role and will update this post with any response.
Gaffney is the head of the Center for Security Policy, a controversial foreign policy think tank that put out a poll last summer claiming that 25% of US Muslims agreed that violence against Americans is justified, and that 51% said that they should have the choice of being governed by sharia law. The report was discredited by Georgetown University researchers, but was cited by Trump when he called for a ban on all Muslims entering the US in December of last year following the Paris terrorist attacks.
Gaffney, who during the primary season served as Ted Cruz’s foreign policy advisor, is known for spreading conspiracy theories. Among them are repeated claims that Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s long-time aide, is a Muslim brotherhood operative, and that Barack Obama is a Muslim because he uses phrases like “Holy Koran.”
Writing for the conservative website Breitbart.com in 2010, whose executive chairman Stephen Bannon has been named Trump’s chief of staff, Gaffney said that the new logo of the Missile Defense Agency looks like the “morphing of the Islamic crescent and star with the Obama campaign logo.”
Trump’s transition has been chaotic, with firings and fighting within his team, according to published reports. Reports of the disarray led to a stream of early morning tweets from the president-elect today, starting at 7:12am: