Several Republican presidential candidates are scheduled to participate in an event hosted by anti-Muslim extremist Frank Gaffney.
Gaffney's Center For Security Policy will host a December 14 summit in Nevada covering topics including “Border Insecurity and Illegal Immigration” and “The Threat from Iran, Shariah and The Global Jihad Movement.” The group states that Republican presidential candidates Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Rick Santorum are confirmed to be participating in the event.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has called Gaffney, who is also a radio host and Washington Times columnist, “one of America's most notorious Islamophobes” because he is gripped “by paranoid fantasies about Muslims,” including that Muslim Brotherhood agents have infiltrated the upper echelons of the federal government. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently cited a misleading poll from the Center for Security Policy in attempting to justify his proposal “for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” (Trump is listed as having been invited to the conference, but is not a confirmed attendee.)
Despite Gaffney's disreputable background, Republican members of Congress regularly appear on his radio program. Republican presidential candidates like Ted Cruz, George Pataki, Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Trump have addressed previous Gaffney-sponsored events in person or through video.
The Huffington Post reported that “Fiorina's campaign attempted to distance her from the conference. 'Carly isn't a speaker at this event,' said Anna Epstein, a spokeswoman for Fiorina. 'We're submitting a video and we submit videos to lots of groups that request them.'”
The Southern Poverty Law Center noted that the conference will feature other anti-immigration activists:
Other anti-Muslim activists slated for CSP's event next week include Ann Corcoran, the face of the anti-refugee movement in America. In 2007, she founded the blog Refugee Resettlement Watch (RRW) in response to what she saw as a “grievous error” by the government in taking in Muslim refugees. In the years since, racist groups have increasingly adopted her as one of their own. In 2014, Corcoran promoted an article on Taylor's American Renaissance website calling it a “good commentary” on immigration to Australia. In April, CSP published her “Refugee Resettlement and the Hijra to America.” The 78-page screed calls for Americans to oppose the opening of mosques in their neighborhoods and also calls for a ban on all Muslim immigration to the U.S. Corcoran spoke at Gaffney's Iowa and South Carolina summits earlier this year.
Another speaker will be Rosemary Jenks, a staffer with NumbersUSA, the largest grassroots anti-immigrant group in the U.S. NumbersUSA and its founder Roy Beck have a long track record of working white nationalists to advance their anti-immigrant agenda. On Gaffney's Secure Freedom Radio show in February, Jenks stated, “We know that they are placing terrorists into the refugee camps and we don't have the means to vet them...The FBI says they're very concerned about this, the potential dangers of resettling these folks in the United States because we have no idea who they are.” At a Gaffney event in 2014 she equated gun violence and bank robbery to immigration violations, stating, “If you rob a bank, you're going to jail. Break into a house, you're going to jail. Shoot someone, you're going to jail, and everybody's guns will be taken away.” She added, “But if you break an immigration law, we're going to let you stay, give you a work permit, and we're going to call it a day.”
The summit will also feature former presidential candidate Herman Cain and Fox News contributor John Bolton.