Apparently one of the nation’s most dangerous anti-Muslim demagogues attended an official White House-sponsored dinner–and not just on any regular evening.
Brigitte Gabriel, the founder and president of the largest and most active anti-Muslim grassroots organization, ACT for America, has built a career fear mongering about Islam. She has previously claimed, among many other things, that “every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim.”
And according to Gabriel, she was dining with Donald Trump while he bombed Syria.
Several social media accounts associated with Gabriel suggest she attended an April 6 dinner at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private club in Palm Beach, Florida. The dinner was notable for featuring Chinese President Xi Jinping and being held on the evening a U.S. air strike on a Syrian airbase was initiated.
Gabriel posted a picture of herself at the estate with the caption: “Having dinner at Mar-a-Lago!”
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) April 7, 2017
On April 12, Gabriel did an interview with CBN News where she defended Trump’s use of military force, calling it “necessary.” She noted the president made the decision at Mar-a-Lago during Jinping’s visit.
By the way I was there. I had no idea we had initialed the bombing of Syria because everything looked normal. Everybody’s sitting around eating dinner. The Chinese president is smiling. President Trump is smiling. Melania and Ivanka are walking by. And I’m thinking, you know, I’m trying to get Steve Bannon’s attention to say hi and I’m thinking, how come Steve is not, you know, he’s very cold. Well little did I know they were bombing Syria.
During the interview, Gabriel also lauded Trump for being the “unpredictable president” that he is and said of the airstrike, “he needed to send a message to the world that you do not know what to expect from me.”
In late March, Gabriel made headlines when she announced she had an official meeting at the White House. She reportedly met with White House staffer Paul Teller to deliver a petition organized by ACT in support Trump’s Muslim ban.
This is also not the first time Gabriel has been in the same room as Trump at Mar-a-Lago. In February 2016, she was photographed with then-candidate Trump while apparently there to give a “national security briefing.”
Gabriel’s decision to seek out Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, is also unsurprising. Gabriel is connected to Bannon during his time as Breitbart News’ executive chairman. Bannon previously interviewed Gabriel on his radio show, including one segment where she claimed, “Europe is Eurabia right now.”
Gabriel has connections to others associated with the Trump administration. In a 2016 fundraising email, ACT touted having “a direct line” to Trump through their allies in the administration such as CIA Director Mike Pompeo, foreign policy adviser Walid Phares, and former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Both Flynn and Phares serve on ACT’s advisory board.
Flynn appeared to be ACT’s most strident ally in the White House, provided how well-connected to the group he is. But despite Flynn’s ouster, it appears Gabriel is still welcome at presidential events.