Frank Gaffney [above] is credited by the Southern Poverty Law Center with being the intellectual author of Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim statement. Photograph: Paul J Richards/AFP/Getty
Frank Gaffney appears to be the source of Donald Trump’s anti-moslem policy.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate speech, has identified strong connections between Trump and Gaffney running through this year.
The SPLC has found that Gaffney organized summits on national security policy in the three early contesting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and Trump attended each one. The Center for Security Policy also co-sponsored a rally on Iran in September at which Trump and his rival Ted Cruz spoke.
In March, the Center for Security Policy published a pamphlet called Refugee Resettlement and the Hijra to America that reads like a blueprint for Trump’s Muslim immigration blockade. Its conclusion calls for a “moratorium on Muslim immigration to America” and exhorts supporters to “demand a complete halt”.
Mark Potok, senior fellow at the SPLC, said that Trump’s anti-Muslim statement “turns out to be based entirely on the thoroughly un-American proposals of Frank Gaffney”.
Though the Center for Security Policy certainly appears to have influence on Trump’s campaign policies, it would be wrong to see him in any formal advisory capacity. The truth is that while the billionaire real estate developer has built a strong organization on the ground in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire, there is only one person who truly matters in this campaign: Donald Trump himself.
As a Republican familiar with Trump’s efforts said: “He controls all content in his campaign. He dictates the press releases. He decides what reporters he wants to see. He is his own strategist and his own message maker.”
Trump has absorbed Gaffney’s ideas, but Gaffney is apparently not an ‘advisor’ in any official capacity. But he’s the godfather of the immigration blockade idea.