Brigitte Gabriel, a notorious anti-Muslim demagogue, made no secret of her access to power at an ACT for America conference.
Speaking to a group during the Sept. 4 and Sept. 5 gathering in Washington, D.C., Gabriel, the founder and president of ACT, bragged about her influence in the White House. Gabriel said ACT, which peddles in anti-Muslim propaganda and conspiracy theories, works “very closely with the office of the President” on talking points and issues.
“I actually want you to know we have a standing meeting at the White House once a week,” Gabriel said to applause. “We have a president that likes us, President Trump.”
An ACT spokesman did not return messages from Hatewatch seeking comment about who Gabriel met with or what policies were discussed.
The conference drew from across the Republican and right-wing spectrum, including such anti-Muslim mainstays as Ryan Mauro, Stephen Coughlin and Deborah Weiss.
Gabriel has previously bragged about her connections to the White House. In December 2016, her group touted having a “direct line” to the Trump administration through their allies Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Gabriel also made headlines in March 2017 when she met with White House staffer Paul Teller to hand-deliver a petition in support of Trump’s Muslim ban.
Trump and his advisers have taken an extremely hard line on immigration, especially immigration from the Middle East and Muslim countries. After being shot down in court multiple times, Trump finally got the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold his third ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) were two of eight federal lawmakers who spoke at ACT’s conference. Gabriel also gave an award to former Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief Thomas Homan, a fierce defender of Trump’s harsh immigration policies who told Congress in 2017 that undocumented immigrants “should be afraid.”
The conference took place shortly before the release of a new book by Gabriel. The book encourages people to “rise” and “preserve our endangered Judeo-Christian values and freedoms.”
Gabriel has taken on a Joseph McCarthy-esque quality in some of her comments about Muslims.
Gabriel has said that a practicing Muslim “cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America.” In a 2011 appearance on CNN, Gabriel said, “America has been infiltrated on all levels by radicals who wish to harm America. They have infiltrated us at the CIA, at the FBI, at the Pentagon, at the State Department. They’re being radicalized in radical mosques, in our cities and communities within the United States.”
How much influence Gabriel and her group had on that policy remains unknown. The White House has fought battles in court to keep visitor logs from becoming public. The few that have been released don’t cover the office of the President.
Gabriel said the White House meetings are kept quiet because “CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) has infiltrated our email system.”
“We’re very focused on the White House,” Gabriel said. “We have a weekly standing meeting at the White House.”