Unofficial Advisor

Walid Phares

    Walid Phares. Photo source: C-SPAN.
    Walid Phares. Photo source: C-SPAN.

    Advisor on Trump campaign’s foreign policy team and board member of the anti-Muslim group ACT for America

    Walid Phares is a self-styled terrorism expert with connections to the organized anti-Muslim movement in the United States, but few legitimate credentials. A Maronite Christian and former Lebanese militant, Phares makes the rounds as a counter-terrorism and national security consultant, mostly among right-wing and anti-Muslim circles. An exposé by Mother Jones revealed Phares spent the 1980s training Christian militants during Lebanon’s brutal civil war. According to some sources, Phares promoted a Christian separatist and sectarian agenda to Lebanon’s right-wing militias. Phares has been serving on Trump’s foreign policy team since the campaign trail. After it was announced he would be advising Trump, The Washington Post published a column with the headline, “The dark, controversial past of Trump’s counterterrorism adviser.”

    • Phares serves on the board of advisors for the anti-Muslim group ACT for America. In a December 13 email, ACT for America wrote: “Two of our board of advisors Dr. Walid Phares and General Michael Flynn were, and will continue to be President-elect Donald Trump’s National Security Advisors.”
    • In a November 29 email, ACT for America touted that it will have “a direct line to President-elect Trump through our allies such as … Walid Phares.”
    • Phares has reportedly previously served as a board member to the Clarion Project, a group known for producing and distributing anti-Muslim films.  
    • Phares appeared on a program associated with ACT for America in 2011 where he told the group’s founder Brigitte Gabriel that Muslims in the United State are working “to disable the public understanding that jihad exists, meaning taking out our radars.” He also claimed there was a plan “to penetrate our society and penetrate our bureaucracy and penetrate our educational system so long term we can not see them coming to us.”
    • He has previously said the Obama administration has “quit the ideological confrontation” with radical groups and “is now being advised and suggested to by Muslim Brotherhood” fronts and sympathizers.
    • In the 1980s, Phares was “a close adviser to Samir Geagea, a Lebanese warlord who rose from leading hit squads to running the Lebanese Forces.”
    • He serves as a contributing editor to the anti-Muslim web publication Family Security Matters.
    • Phares has appeared on anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney’s program “Secure Freedom Radio” multiple times.

    Updates: 12/21/16

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