Charles M. Kupperman, the newly appointed deputy national security adviser, has ties to prolific anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney, the founder of the Center for Security Policy (CSP).
Kupperman served on the CSP's board from at least 2001 to 2010, according to the group's tax records. CSP subsequently transformed from a conservative think tank to an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center designated as an anti-Muslim hate group in 2015.
During the years Kupperman was on CSP’s board, Gaffney and his group were pushing out anti-Muslim rhetoric and propaganda. In a 2009 column in The Washington Times, Gaffney speculated that former President Barack Obama might secretly be a Muslim. And in 2010, CSP published its “Team B II” report that sought to drum up fear and hysteria about Islamic law in the United States.
Kupperman formerly served as an executive for defense contractors Boeing and Lockheed Martin, both of which have funded CSP in the past. A report from Salon revealed that CSP received $25,000 from Boeing and $15,000 from Lockheed Martin in 2013.
In 2017, Kupperman co-signed a letter urging Trump to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. Other signatories included anti-Muslim figures Clare Lopez, also of CSP, Phil Haney and Nina Rosenwald, who’s been dubbed the “sugar mama of anti-Muslim hate.” Kupperman’s hiring came days before a report from The Wall Street Journal found that last year National Security Adviser John Bolton sought options from the Pentagon for a military strike on Iran, alarming those in Washington, D.C.
Kupperman is the latest person with ties to CSP to join the administration. Prior to joining the National Security Council, Bolton was a regular guest on Gaffney’s radio program. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also a frequent contributor to Gaffney’s show and spoke at CSP’s 2015 “Defeat Jihad Summit.” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway previously worked with CSP to produce a shoddy poll that was later used by candidate Trump to call for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Last May, Bolton hired Fred Fleitz, a senior vice president at CSP, as his chief of staff. Fleitz left that position in October 2018 to rejoin CSP as president of the group.
Kupperman, a former Reagan administration staffer and defense contractor executive, is a longtime associate of Bolton and has reportedly been working in a temporary position at the National Security Council before his appointment on Jan. 11.
Editor's note: This article has been updated to clarify that during Kupperman’s tenure on the board of Center for Security Policy, the organization had not yet been designated a hate group by the SPLC. The SPLC first listed CSP as a hate group in 2015.