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  • GOP Senate candidate Joe Arpaio praises anti-Semitic publication

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Arizona U.S. Senate candidate Joe Arpaio, who has repeatedly given interviews to the anti-Semitic publication American Free Press, is defending the outlet and refusing to criticize its content.

    Media Matters has documented that Arpaio, who was pardoned by President Donald Trump last year for his criminal contempt conviction, gave an interview to American Free Press in January to promote his Republican Senate bid. That outlet has published blatantly false and anti-Semitic claims over the years, including that the Holocaust is a “hoax” and 9/11 was a “Jewish” plot.

    The Arizona Republic’s Dan Nowicki reported that “Arpaio declined to criticize it or other anti-Semitic content associated with the publication.” Arpaio instead praised the publication, stating that his interviewer -- "roving editor" Mark Anderson, who has a promoted conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic material -- has “written some good stories, especially on my situation. … I think he wrote one a little while back that was very honest. I can't say that for other publications."

    Arpaio -- an extremist who has repeatedly violated people’s rights, especially of those in the Latino community -- also suggested that he doesn’t want to criticize an outlet like American Free Press because he believes in the First Amendment:

    "I'm not going to criticize the news media like you," Arpaio told The Arizona Republic. "I can't believe another news outlet is criticizing a newspaper."

    [...]

    Arpaio said he has never read a print version of the "American Free Press" and doesn't have a computer to read it online. But the First Amendment allows outlets to publish controversial opinions, he said.

    "If I turned down everybody that writes stories I didn't agree with, I probably wouldn't be talking to anybody," Arpaio said. "I can't believe this, how one journalist's organization would criticize another one when we have free speech in this country."

    But that defense is bogus given Arpaio’s background: He’s been an enemy of press freedom and launched his campaign by attacking the purported “fake news media.”

    The Phoenix New Times doggedly reported on Arpaio’s numerous abuses of power when he was the Maricopa County sheriff and noted that he “responded to New Times’ incessant attention by banning its reporters from his press conferences, putting off or ignoring the paper’s requests for county records, and threatening its reporters with arrest.”

    In 2007, Arpaio actually orchestrated the arrest of New Times co-founders Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin on bogus charges. The county attorney later declined to prosecute the case and Lacey and Larkin won a $3.75 million settlement. The settlement money was used to launch "the Frontera Fund, a unique initiative intended largely to benefit the Hispanic community that has borne the brunt of the racial animus and civil rights abuses in Arizona.”

    UPDATE: Arpaio tweeted: “It was brought to my attention I gave interview to publication that supports antisemitism; I was unaware and don't support that view point.”

    But the media has previously informed Arpaio about the publication’s anti-Semitism. In 2014, Stephen Lemons reported in the Phoenix New Times that Arpaio granted an interview to the late anti-Semitic writer Victor Thorn for American Free Press. He also “inquired about the interview with” the Arpaio’s office, which didn’t appear to care:

    I inquired about the interview with the MCSO [Maricopa County Sheriff's Office]. Sheriff's Office spokesman Joaquin Enriquez got back to me with the following statement:

    "The Sheriff does hundreds of interviews with different people and doesn't do background checks on them before he does them. The topic of this interview was immigration, I'm sure you have it.

    "The Sheriff wanted me to point out that Victor Thorn also spoke to Jessica Vaughan a former U.S. State Department Official. The Sheriff has an open door policy and speaks to everyone, except you. So to answer your question yes, he did do the interview."

    Calling Vaughan "a former U.S. State Department Official" may be technically correct (the MCSO apparently is quoting Thorn in doing so), but her bio with the nativist Center for Immigration Studies, for which she works, is more precise.

  • Univision hosts denounce Trump’s characterization of immigrants as criminals at his first State of the Union address

    Univision’s Ilia Calderón: “The president used his speech once again to stigmatize all immigrants”

    Blog ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    Univision hosts Jorge Ramos, Ilia Calderón, and Enrique Acevedo responded to President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address on January 30 by denouncing his attempt to “once again stigmatize all immigrants,” with Ramos noting, “it must be strongly emphasized that a large part of immigrants in the United States is not members of MS-13”:

    JORGE RAMOS (CO-HOST): This is a president that, particularly at the end of his speech, was reading very slowly -- there was a moment, perhaps the most emotional, for me, was between the parents of Otto Warmbier, the young student who died in the United States after being tortured in North Korea. His parents crying in that moment seemed terribly [moving] to me.

    Difficult, also, is the situation, of course, of those who lost their children to MS-13 gang members. But it must be strongly emphasized that the large part of immigrants in the United States is not members of MS-13.

    ILIA CALDERÓN (CO-HOST): That's right, Jorge. The president used once again his speech to stigmatize all immigrants who came to the United States because the first thing he mentioned in his speech were those young people who died at the hands of gang members. And, like you said, all Hispanics are not gang members.

    RAMOS: Exactly.

    CALDERÓN: There are hardworking Hispanics. There are Hispanics doing things right in this country.

    In a dishonest ploy to usher in anti-immigrant policies that would be counterproductive to improving public safety, Trump and his allies routinely depict undocumented immigrants as criminals and gang members. This racist and xenophobic rhetoric is particularly disingenuous when it comes to MS-13, which has American roots. As explained by Splinter News, “Trump failed to mention that MS-13 is actually a gang that was born in Los Angeles in the 1980s. It only spread abroad because of the U.S. government, and experts have found scant evidence that its American branch is primarily made up of immigrants.” Speaking to White House Director of policy and interagency coordination Carlos Díaz-Rosillo, Acevedo called out this tactic, noting that Trump spoke heavily about the criminality of immigrants, but did not mention their “contributions and value”:

    ENRIQUE ACEVEDO (CO-HOST): Even though the idea of reconciliation and unity was discussed, the entire immigrant community was presented through the filter of criminality, of gangs, like Jorge and Ilia said at the beginning of the program. There was not much about the contributions and value of immigrants in the country. Was it not worth it to mention, at the same time, in the speech, both?

    CARLOS DÍAZ-ROSILLO: But he said something even more important, which is that he wants to give, not only a legal status, but also a path to citizenship for more than 1.8 million young people. It was expected that that would only be granted to 690,000. Almost 2 million young people will benefit if the president's proposal is approved by Congress.

    After listening to immigrants and Dreamers respond to Trump’s speech with dismay, Ramos summarized their message. Speaking directly to the camera, Ramos declared, “The message is clear, Mr. Trump. We are not members of the Mara Salvatrucha. We're not”:

  • After launching hoaxes targeting other European elections, far-right 4chan trolls are now aiming at Sweden

    Far-right sympathizers are using 4chan to encourage people to distribute anti-immigrant propaganda and attend rallies in support of Sweden’s xenophobic political party

    Blog ››› ››› NINA MAST


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    A post on 4chan’s “politically incorrect” message board contains instructions to help spread a campaign to influence the upcoming Swedish election by reaching out on Reddit to “redpilled Swedes” (the red pill is a popular “alt-right” meme to describe far-right ideological converts), attending rallies of the anti-immigrant nationalist party Sweden Democrats (SD), and distributing pro-SD propaganda both online and in Sweden.

    Sweden is holding a general election in September 2018 to elect members of Sweden’s law-making body, the Riksdag, led by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, who hopes to win another term. Though Löfven’s party is ahead, his coalition partners are struggling, and the anti-immigrant Nazi-linked Sweden Democrat party, now polling third in Sweden, is slated to make some gains.

    Though many 4chan campaigns are launched primarily to troll the left and create chaos with limited influence outside of the online message boards, this Swedish campaign resembles the far-right strategy to sow global discord through anti-globalist organizing. Last year, in what is now considered a cautionary tale of 4chan’s role in the disinformation ecosystem, a 4chan campaign that disseminated fake documents to smear Emmanuel Macron, the current president of France, was eventually referenced by far-right candidate Marine Le Pen herself. A similar campaign was attempted during the 2017 German elections, though to less effect. In addition to Sweden, 2018 is a crowded election year across Europe, with rising nationalist leaders competing in high stakes elections in Italy and Hungary later this year. Just last week, the Czech Republic elected its xenophobic, populist leader to a second term. His opponent’s campaign was marred by false accusations levied on social media and attacks on his pro-immigration stance with billboards like “Stop immigrants and Drahoš! This country is ours.”

    The ongoing 4chan campaign is characterizing the upcoming Swedish election as “the last chance Sweden has to stop itself from falling over the edge,” stoking fears of immigration and multiculturalism. It’s calling for support of the Sweden Democrats because “we need the SD to start putting Sweden right and push the overton window.” Pushing the “Overton Window” (a concept that describes the spectrum of what’s acceptable to say) to make hate speech that targets ethnic groups or immigrants acceptable again, has become part of the crusade of white supremacists. The 4chan campaign also describes a plan to put up posters in “leftist strongholds and areas with high immigration” on January 31, as well as attend SD leader Jimmie Åkesson’s rallies to show support.

    The post also included “resources” in the form of articles from Swedish hate sites Fria Tider and Samhällsnytt (a site previously known as Avpixlat and linked to Sweden Democrats) and a repository of anti-immigrant posters and memes like “It’s OK to be Swedish,” a take on the American white nationalist meme, “It’s OK to be white,” which was also born on 4chan. The propaganda mirrors the weaponization of memes that has become a popular tactic in the United States, where far-right and “alt-right” trolls have not only deployed memes to attack political candidates they opposed online, but started “meme wars” that translated into real-world harassment campaigns against journalists.

    Although the most recent posting about the campaign is from January 31, a YouTube video embedded in the post discussing the campaign alluded to a similar, archived 4chan post from January 6. There are several additional archived posts on the subject, one of which indicates support for the NMR, the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement, but ultimately identifies Sweden Democrats as a more politically viable choice. The initial campaign appears to have been launched December 16, 2017.

    In the video entitled “Election year in Sweden,” a YouTube personality known as Angry Foreigner commented that the “information war will be taken to new levels” in the run-up to Sweden’s 2018 election, lamented the so-called censorship of “alternative media,” and called for his audience to “get more active in real life,” by spreading propaganda through posters and memes as laid out by the 4chan post. A January 24 edition of the 4chan thread acknowledged Angry Foreigner’s “shout out,” claiming that it’s “really helped the visibility of the campaign.” The campaign also seeks a partner in Swedish YouTube celebrity troll and far-right darling PewDiePie, though the hashtag #PewDiePieForSweden has gotten almost no traction on Twitter.

    Less than three months ago, 4chan trolls launched a hoax campaign to change the Swedish flag in order to mock proponents of multiculturalism, consistent with the online far-right ethos of “triggering the libs.” That campaign spread to the pro-Trump subreddit /r/The_Donald and conspiracy website Infowars before the petition that spurred the campaign was removed.

  • Joe Arpaio promoted his GOP Senate candidacy with a publication that denies the Holocaust

    Arpaio has repeatedly given interviews to the anti-Semitic American Free Press

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    Racist and disgraced former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is now running for the U.S. Senate as a Republican, recently gave an interview to a publication that’s pushed claims that the Holocaust is a “hoax” and 9/11 was a “Jewish” plot.

    The American Free Press wrote in its January 29 & February 5 issue that Arpaio “spoke to AFP Jan. 21 in an exclusive interview about his recently announced bid” for Arizona’s Senate seat. During the interview with "roving editor" Mark Anderson, Arpaio promoted the viability of his candidacy and defended President Donald Trump’s agenda.

    Civil rights groups have heavily criticized American Free Press over the years. The Anti-Defamation League described American Free Press as "an anti-Semitic conspiracy-oriented publication." The Southern Poverty Law Center stated that the outlet is "racist and anti-Semitic."

    The late Willis Carto, an infamous anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, helped found the newspaper.

    Media Matters has documented that American Free Press has repeatedly published blatantly false claims that the Holocaust is a “hoax” and other anti-Semitic content (the site scrubbed some of its posts about the Holocaust following Media Matters criticism). Headlines on the site have included:

    The site’s bookstore has sold The Holocaust Never Happened & The CIA Killed JFK, a book that claims to “destroy the hoax of the 6 million Jewish victims of Nazi Germany,” and another book that claims, "The official narrative of the Holocaust cannot be sustained.”

    Arpaio has repeatedly given interviews to American Free Press, including when Trump pardoned him last year after Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt of court for deliberately violating a judge's order regarding his racial profiling of the Latino community.

    CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski and Chris Massie reported last week that Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), who is also running for Senate, gave an interview to American Free Press in 2006. Mark Anderson conducted that interview as well.

    Jon Feere, a senior advisor at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also gave an interview to American Free Press when he was a legal policy analyst for the Center for Immigration Studies.

    In addition to courting Holocaust-denying publications, the anti-immigrant Arpaio has a long history of racist and corrupt actions.

  • The Muslim ban one year later: 5 ways media can avoid fueling anti-Muslim extremism

    Blog ››› ››› REBECCA LENN & NINA MAST

    A year ago today, President Donald Trump signed the first iteration of the Muslim ban, restricting travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries. Since then, the executive order, which was a core Trump campaign promise, has faced powerful legal challenges, implementation roadblocks and forced revisions -- yet, parts of it still remain intact. Just as important, the ban has become one of the clearest windows into the challenges and harms the Muslim community faces in the era of Trump.

    With more news coverage being devoted to American Muslims’ diverse experiences with Trump in the White House, it is important for journalists and media outlets to avoid aiding and abetting anti-Muslim extremism in the year ahead. Here are five do’s and don’ts for media outlets to consider:

    DO offer appropriate context about the anti-Muslim hate groups behind the Muslim ban and the Trump shills’ dishonest defense of it

    When Trump first called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” as a presidential candidate, he cited a flawed poll from the anti-Muslim Center for Security Policy (CSP) as justification for its implementation. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated CSP a “hate group” for being a prominent “conspiracy-oriented mouthpiece for the growing anti-Muslim movement in the United States.” From the moment Trump enshrined this campaign promise into an executive order on January 27, 2017, white nationalists and neo-Nazis threw their unwavering support behind the discriminatory policy. And as it faced myriad legal challenges, Trump surrogates and anti-Muslim commentators attempted to sweep the ban’s original intent under the rug, framing it as nothing more than a national security precaution -- not a ban targeting Muslims. This year, the Supreme Court will decide the legality of the third iteration of Trump’s ban. It is imperative that media highlight its hateful origins and the extremism of the groups and activists mobilizing to keep it alive.

    DON’T cite or quote anti-Muslim hate groups and their surrogates without identifying their backgrounds of extremism

    As anti-Muslim extremists have found more political legitimacy under this administration (even finding positions directly in the administration), major outlets -- especially Trump’s go-to network, Fox News -- have given them a platform to discuss Trump’s latest policies and rhetoric targeting Muslims. Too often, viewers and readers are not informed of these talkers’ backgrounds of extremism or hate group affiliations. Extremists exploit this lack of disclosure by casting themselves as legitimate talking heads and experts in the fields of national security and immigration. Some media outlets tend to reinforce this by couching their coverage and discussions about Muslims largely in the context of immigration and terrorism, which fuels Trump’s narrative -- and that of anti-Muslim groups -- that Islam is foreign and “other” and the Muslim community poses a threat to national security. As Media Matters and Southern Poverty Law Center note in this journalist’s guide to anti-Muslim extremists, reporters and media outlets are better off seeking other sources. But when they are covering these extremists’ activities, it is imperative that they alert their viewers and readers to their hate-based rhetoric and policy positions.

    DO rely on Muslim leaders, activists, and experts to discuss the Muslim community’s experiences in the Trump era

    While anti-Muslim groups and personalities have enjoyed more media attention, some major outlets have largely failed to turn to Muslim leaders in real time to discuss Trump’s latest anti-Muslim policies and rhetoric. For example, immediately after the administration revealed the first two iterations of the ban, the vast majority of guests brought onto CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News’ prime-time shows to discuss the news were not Muslim. With that lack of inclusion, discussions of the ban on these networks largely revolved around the political and logistical consequences of the executive order -- not its real-life impact on the people affected. It is essential for reporters and outlets to turn to more leaders and experts in the community to inform their reporting.

    Additionally, it is important for journalists and outlets to highlight the tangible and personal consequences of Trump’s anti-Muslim policies and rhetoric. As Muslim Advocates’ special counsel Madihha Ahussain noted on a recent press call with Media Matters and Southern Poverty Law Center, “Whether it has been Muslims walking on the street being called names and threatened with violence, Muslim women wearing headscarves being physically attacked, Muslim children in schools being bullied, or mosques around the country being vandalized, it seems and feels as though no aspect of the community has been spared from the rise in anti-Muslim sentiment and violence over the last year.” Sure enough, in 2016, there was a 20 percent increase in reported anti-Muslim hate crimes. In the first half of 2017, there was a "91 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes ... as compared to the same time period in 2016." And in 2017, there was an average of nine mosque attacks per month from January through August, according to a CNN analysis.

    DON’T resort to false balance, “both sides” reporting in response to anti-Muslim hate

    Anti-Muslim extremists count on the media to cover their talking points and activities as supposedly credible counterpoints to actual experts. In response to the Trump administration’s anti-Muslim rhetoric, too many media outlets have introduced false balance in their reporting and commentary, pitting pro-Trump extremists against Muslim advocates and experts. When Trump retweeted three anti-Muslim videos in November 2017 that were posted by an ultranationalist British leader, CNN, for example, covered these tweets with a series of “both sides” panel discussions stacked with pro-Trump commentators that justified and defended the tweets. By introducing two sides to this debate as valid, the network muddied the truth about these harmful videos and their impact on the Muslim community. “Both sides” reporting and commentary unnecessarily inflames anti-Muslim sentiment and increases its real-life impact.

    DO acknowledge the weaponization of anti-Muslim sentiment online

    Journalists and media outlets can’t ignore the rise and weaponization of anti-Muslim hate on major online platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. Too often, members of the “alt-right” harass Muslims online and fake news websites publish fake news stories demonizing Muslim communities that go viral here in the U.S. and throughout the world. Highlighting this reality and Muslim leaders’ front-line experiences with online hate gives viewers and readers a broader understanding of the challenges the community faces in the Trump era and encourages greater accountability from the online platforms that are exploited to amplify anti-Muslim hate.

  • "Alt-right" troll Peter Imanuelsen defended GOP congressional candidate Paul Nehlen's anti-Semitism

    Imanuelsen, who calls himself Peter Sweden, has denied the Holocaust and called Jews a separate race from Europeans

    Blog ››› ››› NINA MAST


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    Far-right vlogger Peter Imanuelsen jumped to defend the anti-Semitic, “alt-right” congressional candidate Paul Nehlen after Nehlen tweeted that “Jews (and others) who do not acknowledge this fact [that Jesus is the Messiah] will burn in hell.” In two tweets, Imanuelsen argued that Nehlen’s comment actually was “very pro-semitic.”

    Imanuelsen has a well-documented history of Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic commentary, but claims to have renounced those beliefs. But as recently as October, Imanuelsen attended an event held by the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement. The group reportedly gives press passes only to journalists they approve.

    He has also made a name for himself in bigoted and conspiracy theorist circles. He regularly tweets unsourced or unsubstantiated claims that allege Sweden’s immigrants and refugees are responsible for sexual violence, bombings, gang activity, and other criminality, and that such activity is underreported or covered up by the Swedish police. Imanuelsen has also previously said he doesn’t believe in evolution, that feminism “goes against God’s order,” that people should get “capital punishment” as a “consequence” of “being homo,” that Jews are a “seperate (sic) race from Europeans,” and that the moon landing was a hoax perpetrated by freemasons.

  • Fox News happily helps Trump administration in a highly misleading effort to blame immigrants for terrorism

    Blog ››› ››› DINA RADTKE


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    On January 16, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a report in concert with the Department of Justice (DOJ) alleging that, among other things, “three out of every four, or 402, individuals convicted of international terrorism-related charges in U.S. federal courts between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016 were foreign-born.” Fox News immediately promoted the study over criticism from homeland security experts, and then went silent about the report’s integrity after it was revealed that the administration had sidestepped DHS experts and statistics to produce it.

    Reporting on the study on the day of its release, The New York Times noted that “the 11-page report, parts of which were confusing and in some respects misleading, highlighted cases in which immigrants were linked to terrorism plots.” MSNBC security analyst Matthew Miller was one of the first to point out that the report “includes people who committed terrorist acts overseas, were arrested overseas and brought here to face trial” and explained that “it also doesn’t count incidents of domestic terrorism,” meaning terrorists who are American citizens and who perpetrated attacks on U.S. soil were excluded.

    Essentially, the report focused on international terrorism, but the way it was presented suggested that immigrants were disproportionately responsible for domestic terrorism, particularly because it was published amid immigration policy negotiations. Adding to the confusion, President Donald Trump tweeted a deceptive summary of the report, excluding the word “international”:

    As criticism around the study mounted, Fox reported on its findings by uncritically parroting the Trump administration line. Fox’s Bret Baier commented that the report includes “some amazing statistics, and scary ones.” Sandra Smith also promoted the misleading study without mentioning its many flaws. Peter Doocy pointed to the study as justification for why “the White House is not budging on immigration talks.” Fox host Julie Banderas used the report to fearmonger about “convicted terrorists in this country who have come over as young adults, if not children, and their families brought them over here, and they went ahead and killed Americans,” even though U.S. vetting procedures make the possibility of that happening incredibly rare. Tucker Carlson, who regularly uses his platform for anti-immigrant misinformation, also gladly hyped the details of the report, declaring, “According to federal numbers released today, America's terror threat is clearly, among other things, an immigration issue”:

    But yesterday, the Daily Beast revealed that career experts at DHS told DOJ officials that DHS does “not track or correlate international terrorism data by citizenship or country of origin, and have warned the Trump administration that doing so risks a misleading portrait of both terrorism and immigration.” As explained by Spencer Ackerman, “The result was that the document released last week did not include the contributions of those career DHS officials tasked with providing professional and objective analysis. They were not asked to participate, and so the document did not reflect their input.” In short, on top of the flawed methodology and cherry-picked statistics, the Trump administration willfully sidestepped homeland security experts to produce a report that would vindicate the president’s insistence on linking immigration to crime and terrorism.

    Fox News is ignoring this glaring problem with the report, demonstrating once again that the network prioritizes its anti-immigration agenda over honesty in reporting.

  • Video: Mainstream media ignored the Women's March. Here's what Women's March participants said about the media.

    Blog ››› ››› DAYANITA RAMESH & MILES LE


    Dayanita Ramesh / Media Matters

    On January 20 and 21, over a million protesters marched all over the United States and the world for the 2018 Women’s March. Some estimates include: 200,000 marchers in New York City, 300,000 in Chicago, and 600,000 in Los Angeles. But despite the high turnout especially one year after the first Women’s March -- which not only broke records for attendance, but has since grown into a movement -- news outlets largely ignored these historic protests let alone actually interview anyone who organized or participated in them.

    We went to a sister march in Washington D.C. on Saturday, January 20 and spoke to a few of the estimated 10,000 protesters and activists who were there.

    Here’s what they had to say:

  • DHS senior adviser who has worked on travel ban claimed that “true” Muslims can’t peacefully “coexist” or “mingle with other faiths”

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Right-wing pundit Frank Wuco, a senior Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adviser who has worked on President Donald Trump’s travel ban, repeatedly warned audiences during his media appearances that Muslims are dangerous because their core faith purportedly instructs them that they can’t “coexist peacefully with other religions.”

    “[There’s] a critical misunderstanding of the true nature of Islam, which was never intended to coexist, to complement, to mingle with other faiths,” he told one radio program in 2010. “It is clearly stated in the law, in the traditions, in the Quran, that Islam is here to abrogate all faiths that came before, was sent to abrogate and cleanse the corruption of the Jews and the Christians that are found in the previous scriptures.”

    “So many have bought in hook, line, and sinker into the Muslim propaganda, particularly generated by the Muslim Brotherhood, that this is a -- yeah, it’s a religion that seeks cohabitation and tolerance and peace with non-Muslim faith groups and nationalities and it just simply is not true,” Wuco said in 2012 while discussing events surrounding the Muslim Brotherhood.  

    He added: “To say that Islam is willing to coexist peacefully with other religions and other sort of nationalities, if you can have such a thing in Islam, is really antithetical to what the Quran and what Sharia law teaches.”

    Wuco entered the administration in January 2017 as a senior White House adviser at DHS. He has also served as the executive director of DHS’ Executive Order Task Force, which was organized to implement Trump’s orders to the agency, which include his ban on travelers from some Muslim-majority countries. DHS did not reply to a request for comment about Wuco. 

    Earlier this month, Politico obtained DHS records through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit which contained emails about the agency deploying a “‘crisis action team’ to enforce first Trump travel ban” and indicated Wuco's involvement in the department. As Kristin G. Şekerci‏, a research fellow at Georgetown’s Bridge Initiative noted, Wuco was “CCed on many of the DHS emails released through FOIA."

    Wuco has a long history of other anti-Muslims remarks, which is summarized below. He suggested in 2014 that banning visas from “Muslim nations” is “one of these sort of great ideas that can never happen”; warned that Muslims “by-and-large” will “subjugate and humiliate non-Muslim members” and enact Sharia law; and praised the surveillance of mosques as a key tool to finding "out what's going on" in the Muslim community.

    As HuffPost’s Christopher Mathias reported in March 2017, when Wuco was a right-wing pundit, he delivered presentations “as a fictional character he created named Fuad Wasul,” who had a “heavy Arabic accent” and was a “committed jihadist.”

    Wuco has also made numerous anti-LGBTQ remarks as a pundit. He said in 2016 that “societies and nations for millennia have suffered greatly” for LGBTQ acceptance because those places have no "cultural" and "moral center." He smeared transgender people as sick individuals who suffer from a “malady” and lead a “horrible existence," and claimed it would be “great” to pretend to be transgender to “go into the women’s shower” at the gym. Wuco made those remarks during radio appearances with Charles Butler, a virulently anti-LGBTQ host who twice used the anti-gay slur “faggots” during one of Wuco’s segments (Wuco did not directly respond to Butler's use of the slurs but appeared again on the show later that year).

    CNN’s KFile also reported that Wuco repeatedly promoted fringe conspiracy theories about former President Barack Obama and officials in his administration and pushed false claims “that Obama was not born in the US,” made other disparaging comments about the LGBTQ community, and lamented what he called the "Zimbabwe-fication of America."

    Here is a summary of the anti-Muslim remarks Wuco has made over the years.

    Wuco praised the surveillance of mosques as key to finding "out what's going on" in the Muslim community. During a November 2015 Fox News appearance, Wuco said that a "mosque surveillance" program is key to finding "out what's going on behind the walls" of "mosques and Islamic reading centers." He added that after the cancellation of a mosque surveillance program in New York City, he "can only hope that some of these programs continue with other agencies." [Fox News, Fox & Friends Weekend, 11/14/15, via Media Matters]

    Wuco: Muslims “by-and-large” will “subjugate and humiliate non-Muslim members” and enact Sharia law. Wuco warned on his now-defunct radio show website that “Muslim populations by-and-large will become enclave societies that, first, resist assimilation and then, will make every effort to establish independent rule for their enclaves under Shari’ah law.” [Need To Know, 2/27/10, via Internet Archive and Media Matters]

    Wuco: “If you're a Muslim, you believe” that “violence and warfare against unbelievers” is “prescribed by God.” Following the June 2016 mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, FL, Wuco told Breitbart.com of shooter Omar Mateen: “There's nothing radical about him at all. He is a Muslim who is following the strictures of Islam and its guidance and prescriptions for violence and warfare against unbelievers. … If you're a Muslim, you believe it's being prescribed by God and it’s being ordained by the wisdom of Muhammad.” [Politico, 2/7/17; YouTube, 6/13/16, via Media Matters]

    Wuco: “Right-thinking" Muslims “engage in jihad” because of their religion. Wuco said of Islam during an interview on an internet radio program: “If you’re a right-thinking Muslim, the inspiration, the motivation, to engage in jihad doesn’t come from Al Qaeda, or doesn’t come from Inspire magazine. It comes from God himself.” [The Liberty NewsCast with Willie Lawson, 4/30/13, via Media Matters]

    Wuco: “The assertiveness of Muslim communities in western nations is becoming so pronounced. … You don’t even need ISIS in Sweden.” While speaking on a radio program, Wuco warned that Muslims are infiltrating communities in Western nations: “The assertiveness of Muslim communities in Western nations is becoming so pronounced. … You don’t even need ISIS in Sweden, you’ve got every day run-of-the-mill Muslims in massive communities protesting and becoming violent with the Swedish government, saying that they’re going to take over the country. This isn’t even ISIS. These are just peace-loving Muslims who have been allowed to immigrate into these countries.” [The Dougherty Report1/18/16, via Media Matters]

    Wuco in 2014: Halting visas from “Muslim nations” is one of “these sort of great ideas that can never happen.” During an August 2014 Fox News program, Wuco responded to comments from Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) about a ban on visas from the Middle East, saying that the proposed policy is “one of these sort of great ideas that can never happen. ... You're just not going to stop the visa application process into this country from Muslim nations in a blanket type of policy.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/28/14, via Media Matters]

    Wuco frequently delivered presentations “as a fictional character he created named Fuad Wasul,” who had a “heavy Arabic accent.” HuffPost’s Christopher Mathias wrote in March 2017:

    Wuco’s dim portrayal of Muslims has also veered into the bizarre.

    During his work as a security consultant and radio host, Wuco often gave presentations as a fictional character he created named Fuad Wasul ― a “committed jihadist” escaped from an American military prison to help westerners understand what motivates Muslim fighters.

    Wuco, who is from Florida, would role-play as Wasul, delivering the presentations with a “heavy Arabic accent,” according to a 2008 Florida news report.

    “If you think you’re winning this war, if you think that you’re defeating jihad, you’re wrong, dead wrong,” Wasul (Wuco) once told a room full of civilian analysts working for military intelligence at MacDill Air Force Base. [HuffPost, 3/16/17]

    Mother Jones: Wuco has suggested that “terrorism would be consistent with Islamic scripture.” Mother Jones’ Noah Lanard wrote in November 2017: “In the battle with the West, Wuco suggested, terrorism would be consistent with Islamic scripture. After a plot to kill the Pope was foiled in 2010, his website cited two suras, or chapters, from the Koran to explain the plotters’ motivation.” [Mother Jones, 11/1/17]

    Wuco said “the true nature of Islam … never intended to coexist, to complement, to mingle with other faiths.”

    FRANK WUCO: I’m afraid that President Obama is horribly mistaken in his tendency to believe, take at face value everything he learned from his Muslim friends in Chicago, largely an incredible group of apologists and vehement anti-Israelis, anti-Jewish, segment of the population. Whatever he learned when he was in Indonesia, which may not have been much, because he was a fairly young fellow when he was there at the time.

    But I believe it’s culminated in a critical misunderstanding of the true nature of Islam, which was never intended to coexist, to complement, to mingle with other faiths. It is clearly stated in the law, in the traditions, in the Quran, that Islam is here to abrogate all faiths that came before, was sent to abrogate and cleanse the corruption of the Jews and the Christians that are found in the previous scriptures. So Islam abrogates all prior scriptures. Islam abrogates all prior faiths. And the goal of jihad, the goal is to bring as much of the living world, of the material world into the Islamic system as possible before the final day of judgement. So, for us to assume that the reason that the jihadists do what they do is only because they’re emotionally angry with us is really an insult to the commitment to jihad, if i’m the jihadist. [Blog Talk Radio, The Willie Lawson Show, 8/10/10]

    Wuco: It’s “Muslim propaganda” that Islam is “a religion that seeks cohabitation and tolerance and peace with non-Muslim faith groups and nationalities.”

    ERSKINE: So, that’s why we’re having problems with a lot of the Christians being persecuted again in Egypt, and a lot of the situations that are going on right now in the Middle East. So this was nothing that we should have been cheering about as so many in the news service were doing.  

    FRANK WUCO: Well, part of the reason is that so many have bought in hook, line, and sinker into the Muslim propaganda, particularly generated by the Muslim Brotherhood, that this is a -- yeah, it’s a religion that seeks cohabitation and tolerance and peace with non-Muslim faith groups and nationalities and it just simply is not true. To say that Islam is willing to coexist peacefully with other religions and other sort of nationalities, if you can have such a thing in Islam, is really antithetical to what the Quran and what Sharia law teaches. [Erskine Overnight, 7/21/12