According to NBC News, National Security Advisor John Bolton recently served as the chairman of a nonprofit that shared false anti-Muslim news, some of which a Russian troll factory helped amplify.
Bolton former chairman of the Gatestone Institute, a group that used false or misleading news items about Muslims. He joined the nonprofit in 2013 and resigned last month before being added to Trump’s administration, according to the report.
The group’s site published and promoted stories with headlines like “Germany Confiscating Homes to Use for Migrants,” warned one from May 2017. The article covered a single apartment rental property in Hamburg, Germany, going into temporary trusteeship.
Another article from February 2015 claimed that immigrants in Sweden, such as Somalis, were turning that country into the “Europe: The Great White Death?” The article focused on a study by an author who argues that:
“…The native population — by which he means the white population — of Europe face[s] extinction.”
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the civil rights and advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations said Gatestone is:
“A key part of the whole Islamaphobic cottage industry on the internet.”
Hooper added that Bolton has been associated with Gatestone:
“…And in one of the most powerful positions on the planet, is very disturbing.”
Gatestone website claims it’s a nonprofit organization, says:
“…Dedicated to educating the public about what the mainstream media fails to report.”
They cover issues of free speech, human rights, and energy.
Alina Polyakova, from the Brookings Institution, which 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.”
Polyakova also said:
“We see this kind of pattern emerge where a website puts up something, it looks like a news story, then bots and trolls amplify it.”
Nina Rosenwald, Gatestone’s president said in an email that Bolton was not associated in any articles that have been spread by Russian trolls. According to NBC, Gatestone’s work has been promoted and spread by Russian troll factories through Russia media including Sputnik and RT News.
In early April, when Bolten started as national security adviser, he is on record criticizing Trump’s initial plan, announced in December 2015, to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the United States.
In this video, Bolten speaks of another high-level White House shakeup.
Video and image from PBS News Hour on YouTube.