President Trump has attracted criticism with his nominee to head the United Nations' migrant relief organization, Ken Isaacs, as reporters have uncovered tweets by Isaacs expressing anti-Muslim views and support of conspiracy theories.
Who is Ken Isaacs?
Ken Isaacs is a vice president at Shepherd's Purse, a Christian non-profit relief organization. He previously served as director of foreign disaster assistance for the US Agency for International Development during the George W. Bush administration. In February, Trump picked him to lead the UN's Office of International Migration, which oversees $1 billion in migrant aid worldwide.
In February, the Washington Post reported on several tweets by Isaacs that expressed anti-Muslim sentiments, such as saying the Islamic religion was inherently violent.
Some of the tweets:
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“… if you read the Quran, you will know ‘this’ [referring to the June 2017 London Bridge attack] is exactly what the Muslim faith instructs the faithful to do.”
“If Islam is a religion of peace, let’s see 2 million Muslims in National Mall marching against jihad & stand for America! I haven’t seen it!”
“Refugees are 2 grps. Some may go back and some can’t return. Christians can never return. They must be 1st priority.”
Ken Isaacs apologized to the Post, saying he "deeply regrets" the tweets. "I pledge to hold myself to the highest standards of humanity, human dignity and equality if chosen to lead IOM," he said. Isaacs then made his Twitter profile private.
What does Ken Isaacs believe?
On Mar. 22, CNN's KFile reported on a new trove of anti-Muslim tweets by Isaacs, along with tweets sharing an InfoWars story referring to the "Clinton body count" and his belief that climate change is a "hoax."
In one of the newly discovered tweets, dated in summer 2016, Isaacs said Austria and Switzerland should build a wall to keep refugees out. ""#immigration #wall #Austria #Switzerland consider#buildingawall in #Alps to control their borders from refugees," he wrote, according to CNN. Isaacs also responded to a terrorist attack in Nice, France, by saying that Islam is "not peaceful."
The "body count" tweet referred to a conspiracy theory surrounding the murder of Democratic National Committee member Seth Rich that became a meme among some opponents of Hillary Clinton during the last presidential campaign.
Ken Isaacs hasn't commented on the latest report. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said, "Mr. Isaacs has apologized for the comments he posted on his private social media account. We believe that was proper for him to do so. Mr. Isaacs is committed to helping refugees and has a long history of assisting those who are suffering. We believe that if chosen to lead IOM, he would treat people fairly and with the dignity and respect they deserve. I would refer you to Mr. Isaacs for any information on his statements."
The IOM will vote on Isaacs' appointment in June. Two-thirds of the group's members must approve him.