John Bolton presided over anti-Muslim think tank

The content of the advocacy group Gatestone is part of an echo chamber that includes Russian media.

by Heidi Przybyla /

Image: Donald Trump, John Kelly, John Bolton, Larry Kudlow, Mike Pence

National security adviser John Bolton, second from left, listens to President Donald Trump, far right, speak during a working lunch with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump’ s private Mar-a-Lago club on April 18.Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

WASHINGTON — 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.

Hooper added that Bolton being associated with Gatestone, “and in one of the most powerful positions on the planet, is very disturbing.”

On its web page, Gatestone says it is a nonpartisan nonprofit “dedicated to educating the public about what the mainstream media fails to report” on a variety of topics, including human rights, free speech and energy.

Alina Polyakova, a Brookings Institution fellow who studies far-right populism and disinformation campaigns in the European Union, said Gatestone is “putting out content that was clearly anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and was echoing some of the Russian disinformation propaganda” being spread by internet trolls and on social media.

Polyakova said she and others in the Washington foreign policy community were “surprised” Bolton had chaired the group.

Bolton formally started as national security adviser in early April. He has continued to meet with White House attorneys over possible conflicts of interest, including his political action committee, and his affiliation with Gatestone is a potential focus.

The NSC said it does not respond to inquiries about outside organizations but confirmed Bolton is aware of the story.

Bolton doesn’t appear to have had his name on the anti-Muslim articles at issue on Gatestone’s website, focusing his pieces instead on Iran and other topics. Even so, he has a long association with Pamela Geller, an anti-Islamic activist who organized a campaign against a mosque near 9/11’s ground zero in Manhattan, having written the foreword for a book she co-wrote and appearing on her internet radio show.

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2 replies

  1. What I believe that US or Trump and John Bolton do not hate Islam or Muslim as whole— but they do not like the extremist Muslim who spreading hatred to US, Westren and Christianity— the extremust Muslim has caused a lot of miney, life and energy of US and Other westren coubtries.

    Also the extremist Muslim has caused a lot of lafe and money of Ahmadiyya

    The extremist Muslim is enemy of humanity, let us support Trump effort to defeat the extremist Muslim and terrorist.

    All love ❤️
    I wish you all a blessed and peaceful Ramadhan

    • Bolten with his ‘anti-Muslim think tank’ deliberately distorted and even lied about what is happening. That is not just disliking extremist Muslims but deliberately giving bad name to ALL Muslims. Somi is doing the same thing, although in Bolton’s case it is deliberate and in Somi’s case (probably) unintentionally (may be). The extremist Muslim is enemy of humanity and those who purposely lie and deceive and distort are enemies of humanity too. Every action is judged on the intentions. The Americans, Israelis and others are using extremist Muslims for their own destabilization efforts. We should not help them in that. (Even Somi’s friend Prince Mohammad bin Salman said it).

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