Frank Wuco, a senior White House adviser to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), previously made repeated appearances on an anti-LGBTQ radio program and said that “societies and nations for millennia have suffered greatly” for LGBTQ acceptance because those places have no “cultural” and “moral center.” He also smeared transgender people as sick individuals who 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’s remarks came during appearances with Charles Butler, a virulently anti-LGBTQ host who twice used the anti-gay slur “faggots” during one of Wuco’s segments.
Wuco is a retired naval intelligence officer who worked as a conservative pundit and radio host before joining President Donald Trump’s administration in 2017. He has also headed the DHS’ Executive Order Task Force, which was organized to implement Trump’s orders to the agency, including his ban on travelers from some Muslim countries.
Wuco has a long history of making anti-Muslim remarks, including claiming that Muslims “by-and-large” will “subjugate and humiliate non-Muslim members” and enact Sharia law. He also suggested in 2014 that banning visas from “Muslim nations” is “one of these sort of great ideas that can never happen” more than a year before Trump proposed banning Muslims from entering the United States.
CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski, Chris Massie and Nathan McDermott reviewed “more than 40 hours” of Wuco’s conservative talk radio show and other media appearances and found that Wuco had “mocked the LGBT community,” “criticized gay-straight alliances in high schools,” and said “that gay people hijacked the word ‘gay’ from happy people and that he was going to reclaim the word.”
Media Matters recently found other instances of Wuco pushing anti-LGBTQ bigotry, particularly against transgender people, during his appearances on the right-wing radio program The Reality Check in 2016. The show is hosted by Charles Butler, who frequently smears LGBTQ individuals. According to its website, the show has been syndicated through outlets such as Genesis Communication Network (Alex Jones’ radio syndicator), Red State Talk Radio, and Talk Stream Live.
In February 2016, Butler recounted a story on his show in which he told a woman at his club: “I feel transgender today. I think I’ll come in the ladies’ restroom. ... I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding.”
Wuco, who was a guest on the show, replied to Butler's story: “What a great thing this can be if transgender can just be, rename it just whimsical transgender and one day on a whimsy, you’re at the Y, or you’re at the gym, and you just, 'I feel like, I feel like being a woman today, I’m going to go into the women’s shower.’”
While speaking with Wuco in May 2016, Butler linked then-President Barack Obama’s decision to allow transgender individuals to serve in the military -- which Trump has attempted to rescind -- to “paganism, hedonism, bestiality, Sodom and Gomorrah.” Wuco replied by claiming that the “patterns are clear. Societies and nations for millennia have suffered greatly ... not from just from a biblical, spiritual standpoint, but just from a human engineering standpoint in their ability to sustain a order and a society with no cultural center and no moral center. So this is a pattern that will repeat itself.”
In response to Butler’s comment that “transgenders are sick people,” Wuco said: “How often do you hear or see or encounter somebody who suffers from this malady -- and I have deep sympathy for people like this. I wouldn’t want to spend five minutes inside their heads,” adding that they lead a “horrible existence. How many of them made this transformation and all of a sudden they’re happy?”
Before concluding the segment, Butler twice used an anti-gay slur, calling two people whom he allegedly encountered at a hotel “faggots.”
Wuco did not directly respond to the slurs. After Butler said that Wuco had to go, Wuco stated before signing off: “Charles, you take it easy, my man.” He appeared again on the show after Trump’s election in November, which was shortly before he got his senior job at DHS.
DHS did not respond to a request for comment.
From the February 1, 2016, edition of The Reality Check:
CHARLES BUTLER (HOST): I said to this woman in my club the other day. I said, I was coming out of the bathroom, she was going into the ladies’ restroom. I said, “I feel transgender today. I think I’ll come in the ladies’ restroom.” And she said, “Ah, ah, ah, ah, uh, ah!” I said, “I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding.”
CALLER: That’s a good one, I’ll remember that!
BUTLER: I was sitting in the restaurant, she walked up to me and she said, “Sir, I was all for this transgender thing, and I thought, ‘Oh my god, why shouldn’t they have an opportunity if they feel like a woman,’” she said, “until you hit me in the face with it I’d really never -- I was just taken aback.” I said, “Well, get ready because I’m coming.” And she just cracked up. She cracked up. She said, “Oh, you are so funny.”
FRANK WUCO: Yeah, it’s -- what a great thing this can be if transgender can just be, rename it just whimsical transgender and one day on a whimsy, you’re at the Y, or you’re at the gym, and you just, “I feel like, I feel like being a woman today, I’m going to go into the women’s shower.”
BUTLER: That’s how I feel, baby. That’s how I feel, baby.
WUCO: -- when you depart the plane of common sense insanity.
From the May 10, 2016, edition of The Reality Check:
CHARLES BUTLER (HOST): Paganism, hedonism, bestiality, Sodom and Gomorrah. This is not new. This is nothing new. This is history, this is the Bible. We are allowing this immoral bastard sitting in the White House to destroy this country and it’s unconscionable that people won’t rise up and say something.
FRANK WUCO: Well, Charles, [unintelligible] the patterns are clear. Societies and nations for millennia have suffered greatly if this -- not from just from a biblical, spiritual standpoint, but just from a human engineering standpoint in their ability to sustain a order and a society with no cultural center and no moral center. So this is a pattern that will repeat itself.
But here’s the thing. You and I grew up in a time where some of the list of things that you mentioned, and I’ll add to that list, things like socialism and communism, were considered dangerous, were considered damaging. These days one of the great challenges we face is that the overwhelming majority of young people in this country, and which comprise a large, large number of our population, when we say the word communism, or we say the word socialism, it’s not a red flag anymore. It’s a badge of honor. It’s considered a good thing to them. It’s considered a cool thing that their parents just didn’t understand, that failed in places like the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe only because it wasn’t executed properly. And many of these people are intent on seeing a socialist society prevail and evolution towards communism, only they’re going to be different from generations before that failed in its execution. It’s a very frightening thing. It’s no longer seen as a bad thing.
BUTLER: Mhm, it’s true. That’s true. But this man is saying exactly what -- this doctor -- I’m repeating what this -- I said before I read this article, I said time and time again, yesterday I said that these transgenders need to see a doctor or psychiatrist instead of trying to cater to their B.S. These people are sick. I said that. Now, this is what a doctor said back in last year, in July last year. I missed this article. I didn’t see get this but just common sense tells me that transgenders are sick people.
WUCO: Well listen, Charles, how often do you hear or see or encounter somebody who suffers from this malady -- and I have deep sympathy for people like this. I wouldn’t want to spend five minutes inside their heads, it’s got [unintelligible] horrible existence. How many of them made this transformation and all of a sudden they’re happy?
BUTLER: They’re never happy.
WUCO: Why does the military have to --
BUTLER: I’ve never seen a homosexual that was happy. I’ve never seen a transsexual that was happy. I’ve never seen -- these are some angry, sad, devious, deceitful people. I’ll never forget going in a hotel, the Mondrian Hotel, and I was in -- my girlfriend and I were in an elevator with these faggots. And when I got out of the elevator, walked to my room, they held the elevator to see what room I was in, and then they brought some poop and put it in front of our room. These disgusting faggots. Anyway, hey man, I know you gotta go so I’m going to keep rolling here.
WUCO: Charles, you take it easy, my man.