On Wednesday, Donald Trump was asked whom he consults with on matters of foreign policy. “I’m speaking with myself, No. 1, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things,” Trump replied.
So, Trump’s top national-security adviser — his own reflection shouting back at him from a mirror — doesn’t inspire much confidence. Ted Cruz’s top national-security adviser inspires even less.
On Thursday, Cruz revealed his national-security advisory team. The first name on the list? Frank “Obama is a Muslim” Gaffney, Bloomberg reports. Gaffney is the Joe McCarthy of Islamophobia. His think tank, the Center for Security Policy, is dedicated to raising awareness about the jihadist infiltration of the American government. For Gaffney, Barack Hussein Obama is but the tip of the iceberg — in truth, the Muslim Brotherhood has placed operatives throughout the federal government. Among their top agents: Clinton adviser Huma Abedin and anti-tax zealot Grover Norquist. In conservative circles, it’s one thing to accuse liberals with foreign-sounding names of “stealth jihad.” It’s quite another to say the same of a white male libertarian who has devoted his life to the noble cause of widening the income gap. After Gaffney wrote a full book on Norquist’s alleged sharia schemes, he was banned from the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference. (The strongest verifiable evidence of Norquist’s jihadist sympathies appears to be that his wife is a Muslim-American).
Here are some other things that Gaffney believes:
1. Saddam Hussein was behind the Oklahoma City bombing.
2. Obama incorporated the Islamic crescent into the logo of a new missile-defense group.
3. By appointing a Muslim-American to New Jersey’s state judiciary, Chris Christie may be complicit in treason.
Gaffney isn’t merely a disseminator of conspiracy theories; he’s also a disseminator of methodologically flawed studies, including a poll that Donald Trump has used to justify his Muslim ban.
Cruz’s other advisers are nearly as alarming. His list includes three other employees of Gaffney’s think tank, along with former assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy, author of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America; Iran-Contra schemer Elliott Abrams; and Michael Ledeen, a former Reagan official who once said, “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.”
It’s a little surprising that Cruz has assembled this rogue’s gallery of aggressive neoconservatives. Just a few months ago, the Texas senator told Bloomberg, “If you look at President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and for that matter some of the more aggressive Washington neocons, they have consistently mis-perceived the threat of radical Islamic terrorism and have advocated military adventurism that has had the effect of benefiting radical Islamic terrorists.”
By embracing neoconservative foreign policy, Cruz may be trying to win over the GOP pooh-bahs who could crown him the official anti-Trump. Or he may simply feel he has no better options — there aren’t a whole lot of neo-isolationist think tanks in D.C. But just about anyone would make for a more responsible national-security adviser than Frank Gaffney — perhaps even a fascist former reality star who constantly touts his “very good brain” and ability to “say many things.”