By NAHAL TOOSI
The latest shifts on President Donald Trump’s foreign policy team, including his choice of John Bolton as national security adviser, have rekindled fears among lawmakers and activists that the White House will further damage America’s precarious standing in the Muslim world.
Bolton chairs an organization that produces harshly critical commentary about Islam and Muslim immigrants and he also has close ties to controversial activists often described as anti-Muslim. He succeeds Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who urged Trump to avoid a favorite phrase — “radical Islamic terrorism” — because it offends many Muslims as a blanket condemnation of their faith.
Trump also decided this month to nominate Mike Pompeo, the current CIA director, as secretary of state, replacing the fired Rex Tillerson. Pompeo has accused U.S. Muslim leaders of being “potentially complicit” in terrorist attacks and, like Bolton, has consorted with conspiracy theorists who have peddled false claims about Muslims. Tillerson, on the other hand, generally used cautious language when it came to Islam and had extensive business experience in the Muslim world.