On Monday morning, former Florida Rep. Allen West was at Trump Tower meeting with President-elect Donald Trump’s team. It was the second time this month West visited Trump Tower for meetings.
The details of West’s latest visit remain unclear, as the Trump transition team didn’t immediately respond to a request for more information about who West met with and what was discussed. But news of West’s presence at Trump Tower raised eyebrows given an extremely Islamophobic post that appeared on his Facebook page on Saturday.
The post featured an image of retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, Trump’s pick for defense secretary, who was dismissed from his post as President Obama’s commander of Central Command in part because of his hawkish views on Iran. It endorsed genocide against Muslims.
The post was subsequently deleted. Shaun King of the New York Daily News reports that the editor of West’s website, Michele Hickford, initially took responsibility and apologized, but posted a new statement on Sunday that said she was “not the one who posted it” and that the post was made “without my knowledge.”
Unknown iFrame situation
Shifting explanations aside, West has a long history of Islamophobia. During his single term in Congress, West said he was concerned about the “infiltration of the Sharia practice into all of our operating systems in our country as well as across Western civilization.” As Right Wing Watch detailed, West characterized Islam as “not a religion” but a “theo-political belief system and construct” that must be destroyed.
At a campaign event in 2010, West said, “Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology; it is not a religion. It has not been a religion since 622 A.D., and we need to have individuals that stand up and say that.”
Trump, who made a proposed ban on Muslim immigration a centerpiece of his campaign, has praised West in the past:
Congratulations to @AllenWest on his fundraising numbers. Cong. West is a superb member.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2012
And the president-elect’s team apparently wasn’t bothered enough by the genocidal post on West’s Facebook page to tell him to stay away from Trump Tower on Monday.
During West’s first trip to Trump Tower earlier this month, he reportedly met with another military veteran and member of Trump’s inner circle who has caused a stir with Islamophobic comments — retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s pick for national security adviser. On separate occasions this year, Flynn has posted tweets saying, “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL” and daring “Arab & Persian world ‘leaders’ to step up to the plate and declare their Islamic ideology sick and must B healed.”
Mattis apparently isn’t as much of a fan of West as Trump is. Mattis once wrote that West’s behavior revealed “a commander who has lost his moral balance or watched too many Hollywood movies,” according to a Daily Beast report. West is a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel.