Quick Takes: Is Trump’s National Security Advisor an Islamophobe?

A roundup of news that caught my eye today.

* NBC News has the story on John Bolton’s job before he became Trump’s national security advisor.

John Bolton, President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser, chaired a nonprofit that has promoted misleading and false anti-Muslim news, some of which was amplified by a Russian troll factory, an NBC News review found.

The group’s authors also appeared on Russian media, including Sputnik and RT News, criticizing mainstream European leaders like French President Emmanuel Macron.

From 2013 until last month, Bolton was chairman of the Gatestone Institute, a New York-based advocacy group that warns of a looming “jihadist takeover” of Europe leading to a “Great White Death.”

The group has published numerous stories and headlines on its website with similar themes. “Germany Confiscating Homes to Use for Migrants,” warned one from May 2017, about a single apartment rental property in Hamburg that had gone into temporary trusteeship. Another from February 2015 claimed the immigrants, for instance Somalis, in Sweden were turning that country into the “Rape Capital of the West.”

Gatestone is “a key part of the whole Islamaphobic cottage industry on the internet,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights and advocacy group.

* Dana Milbank asks, “Is it a coincidence that Trump uses the language of white supremacy?”

* “There is a Revolution going on in California. Soooo many Sanctuary areas want OUT of this ridiculous, crime infested & breeding concept,” the president tweeted on Tuesday.

What could he mean? Immigrants are breeding thoroughbred horses? Prize-winning cattle?

Or perhaps Trump was using “breeding” in the sense now popular among white supremacists?…

White nationalist Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute frets about white “displacement by the subject race through differential fertility rates and interracial breeding.”

Alex Jones’s Infowars, which Trump has also celebrated, has published headlines saying things such as “Top Imam: Muslim Migrants Should Breed With Europeans to ‘Conquer Their Countries.’ ”

Dive into the fever swamps of the Internet and social media and you will find the conspiracy theory that minorities’ higher birthrates are designed to bring about “white genocide” in America: “We can’t let the Muslims and Mexicans outbreed us . . . Their goal is to come here and breed whites out of existence . . . What they will do is breed like rats and displace white people and white culture. . . . They’re outbreeding us and outvoting us.”

* One might also ask how Trump really feels about people who are addicted to drugs.

* The founders of Fusion GPS offer Mueller some lines of inquiry.

We pored over Donald Trump’s business records for well over a year, at least those records you can get without a badge or a subpoena. We also hired a former British intelligence official, Christopher Steele, to look into Mr. Trump’s possible ties to Russia. In that 2015-2016 investigation, sponsored first by a Republican client and then by Democrats, we found strong indications that companies affiliated with Mr. Trump, then a presidential candidate, might have been entangled in foreign corruption…

Indeed, from New York to Florida, Panama to Azerbaijan, we found that Trump projects have relied heavily on foreign cash — including from wealthy individuals from Russia and elsewhere with questionable, and even criminal, backgrounds. We saw money traveling through offshore shell companies, entities often used to obscure ownership. Many news organizations have since dug deeply into the Trump Organization’s projects and come away with similar findings.

This reporting has not uncovered conclusive evidence that the Trump Organization or its principals knowingly abetted criminal activity. And it’s not reasonable to expect the company to keep track of every condo buyer in a Trump-branded building. But Mr. Trump’s company routinely teamed up with individuals whose backgrounds should have raised red flags.

* Dylan Matthews writes a warning about the myth that removing Trump from office will save our democracy.

This yearning is for something, anything, to end the death loop that American democracy appears to be trapped in, for a big, dramatic blowup to fix the system’s ills. In the liberal imagination, that blowup typically takes the form of Trump’s removal from office, an event that sets us back to a path of normalcy and sane politics.

This yearning is understandable — but it is both dangerous and misplaced. Ending the Trump presidency will not fix, or even substantially ameliorate, most of the problems plaguing the American political system. They were mounting for years before he took office — indeed, they made him possible — and they will continue to plague us for years after he leaves.

* Finally, remember when Trump said that he could shoot someone in broad daylight on 5th Avenue and his supporters wouldn’t abandon him? Jay Bookman runs with that one. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry.

Congressional Republicans and conservative leaders rallied around President Trump Friday, attempting to minimize political damage after Trump shot down a man in the middle of Fifth Avenue in New York City.

“I’m not going to put myself in the position of having to respond to every presidential shooting,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a hastily called press conference at the Capitol, surrounded by members of his leadership team. “I just happen to think it’s important to keep our focus where it belongs, on enacting a conservative, pro-growth agenda that regular Americans care about, such as tax cuts for the rich and the repeal of Medicare.”

Privately, however, at least some Republican members expressed concern about the long-term political impact of such incidents, especially with midterms looming in less than seven months.

“I think that each elected Republican has to make a series of decisions, day in and day out, about whether they find the president’s conduct acceptable and to what extent it’s appropriate to work with him,” as one frustrated GOP congressman put it, demanding anonymity so he could speak freely. “This shooting is fine for Trump — he’s not on the ballot this fall — but he’s putting the rest of us in a really tough position.”

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.