- Pamela Geller, a well-known anti-Islam activist, says she has had “positive” interactions in recent years with the president’s new national security adviser, John Bolton.
- Bolton and Geller have long associated with each other, but it’s unclear the extent to which they’ve interacted in recent years.
- Geller, a promoter of anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, called Bolton “a fierce patriot … who has a clear and accurate understanding of the nature and magnitude of the threats facing us.”
Pamela Geller, a well-known anti-Islam activist, says she has had “positive” interactions in recent years with John Bolton, President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser, who has publicly associated with Geller in the past.
In an email to Business Insider, Geller called Bolton “a fierce patriot who will do what it takes to defend the nation, and who has a clear and accurate understanding of the nature and magnitude of the threats facing us.”
Geller added that she is “very happy” Bolton, who she called “an extraordinarily intelligent man,” was selected for the top administration post.
“John Bolton knows what he is doing,” she said.
Geller and Bolton’s relationship goes back at least to 2005, when the activist celebrated Bolton’s 2005 appointment as US ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush. (In an hour-long interview in 2007, Bolton said he agreed with Geller’s charge that the UN is an anti-Semitic institution).
Bolton appeared in Geller’s video blog and radio show four times between 2006 and 2009, according a CNN report, and wrote a foreward to her 2010 book, “The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America,” in which Geller and her co-author, fellow anti-Islam activist Robert Spencer, argue that “Europe is committing slow cultural and demographic suicide” and that the US and Europe are threatened by “creeping Sharia.”
But it’s unclear how much the two have been in touch in recent years. Geller would only say that all of her recent interactions with Bolton have been “cordial” and “positive.”
“Mr. Bolton has nothing to apologize for in writing a Foreword for my book or in maintaining a friendly association with me,” she said. “[He] is an experienced public servant with a long record that speaks for itself.”
- Mike Stone/Reuters
Geller denies the charge that she is Islamophobic or bigoted, telling Business Insider that the claim is a result of “media distortions and lies.”
But in her writings and public statements Geller claims there is no such thing as “moderate Islam” and argues “there really is no difference between Muslims and radical Muslims.”
The far-right Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in 2011, cited Geller and Spencer dozens of times in a manifesto Breivik wrote describing his animosity toward Muslims and desire to provoke a European civil war.
And Geller, who famously campaigned against the construction of an Islamic community center near the 9/11 memorial in Manhattan, has long promoted conspiracy theories that American Muslims are trying to implement Sharia law in various parts of the US – a concern she says Trump takes seriously.
“President Trump has wisely included a focus on Sharia in his new national security strategy,” Geller said. “Clearly he is in favor of a more realistic approach to the jihad threat than that of the Obama administration, which banned all mention of Islam and jihad from counterterror training.”
Bolton has a history of endorsing anti-Muslim views. Between 2013 and last month, he chaired a think tank, Gatestone Institute, that regularly publishes articles promoting unsubstantiated claims about Muslims, including that an “army” of “jihadists” is taking over Europe, that “native” Europeans are on the cusp of a “Great White Death,” and that immigrants and refugees are perpetrating mass rape in Europe.
Gatestone’s work has been spread by Russian troll factories, and many of the group’s authors have appeared on Russian state-funded media, including Sputnik and RT News, according to an NBC report.
Trump brought Bolton on as his third national security adviser in early April, replacing H.R. McMaster, and the move is viewed by many as a harbinger of a rightward shift on foreign policy and national security issues.