By Michael Hernandez,
Washington: President Donald Trump’s recently seated national security adviser chaired a New York-based think tank steeped in “misleading and false anti-Muslim news”, according to a news report published Monday.
John Bolton led the Gatestone Institute from 2013 until he took his White House position earlier this month, NBC News reported.
On its website’s home page, the institute has placed articles with titles such as “Belgium: First Islamic State in Europe?”, and “UK: ‘Teacher Handbook’ Supporting Extremism?”.
The group describes itself as “a non-partisan, not-for-profit international policy council and think tank” dedicated to “educating the public about what the mainstream media fails to report”.
However, Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Muslim advocacy group, told NBC the group is “a key part of the whole Islamophobic [sic] cottage industry on the internet”.
Bolton’s association with Gatestone “is very disturbing” particularly given his now prominent role in the White House, Hooper added.
NBC cited the group as one of the major sources of articles alleging Muslim-controlled “no-go zones” in Europe, which were cited by Senator Ted Cruz during his failed 2016 White House run, and by former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal in 2015.
Moreover, the media outlet found four cases in which Russian social media trolls retweeted from the Gatestone Twitter account.
All of them worked for the Russian government-linked Internet Research Agency, which has been sanctioned by the U.S. government after it was indicted by a grand jury for allegedly working to interfere in the 2016 White House race.
“In fanning anti-Muslim news, Gatestone had a common purpose with a broader Russian disinformation campaign that sought to portray Western society as at risk of ‘Islamization’,” NBC reported.