Former Fox News host Heather Nauert could soon be leaving her post at the State Department to become the next U.S. ambassador to the UN, but that path might be more tricky after CNN uncovered a conspiracy-laden discussion Nauert hosted for Fox News on Sharia law in America.
The panel Nauert hosted included anti-Muslim activists Frank Gaffney and Robert Spencer, along with Canadian journalist Tarek Fatah, who CNN noted is “a prominent Muslim critic of aspects of Islam.”
The special webcast was titled “Terror from Within” and remains available on the Fox News website.
In 2009, Nauert introduced the program as exploring "a school of thought that there is a stealthy jihad taking place within the US. And the theory is that some in our country want to destroy our America from within."
They would achieve this destruction, she continued, "by using our own legal system against us, by undermining our financial system and even taking away our holidays. The fact that we are a PC, politically correct country, well that will only be used against us."
Nauert later added that the segment was "not intending in any way to malign the Muslim faith" but was looking at "one school of thought" that was "in part based on some things that are happening overseas, some things that are extremely relevant."
State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino defended Nauert in a statement to CNN:
"TV anchors host debates with guests who hold different, and at times, controversial opinions. That does not mean the moderator agrees with the views expressed. Incidentally, the very same guests she interviewed have appeared on CNN multiple times. Furthermore, Heather repeatedly made clear that she was not maligning any faith; her segment examined taxpayer dollars that went to both churches and mosques," Palladino said.
Palladino did not address any of Nauert’s comments during the segment, which included one point where she seemed to agree with Fatah that American taxpayers are "funding their own society's destruction” by allowing tax dollars to go to Mosques: "Oh, but we are,” was Nauert’s reply.
She then cited the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, which was established by President George W. Bush by executive order in 2001 to help push federal aid to religious charities providing social services.
"Remember what President Bush set up? Everybody remembered this," she said. "In January 29, 2001, President Bush set up the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives."
"And part of the idea was if somebody was trying to combat alcoholism that they could go to the church and go to an AA medium, meeting, held through the church," Nauert added. "But rather somebody could get services through that. What some would argue is that the money that is going to churches and or mosques -- well, money's fungible anyway -- that it could be going to groups that it was not intended for."
Nauert also praised Gaffney’s and Spencer’s books — which include Spencer’s "The Truth about Muhammad," "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam" and "Stealth Jihad," and Gaffney’s “War Footing” — as “quite impressive”.
Many of the claims the two men pushed during the segment, such as alleged “no-go” zones in the U.S. and around the world, are also found in their books.
Nauert's role in the program could complicate what is alre Heather Nauert’s guests included Frank Gaffney, an islamophobe who believes that Muslims have secretly infiltrated the US gov’t for the purpose of destroying it. ady expected to be a contentious confirmation process to become the US ambassador to the UN, a post Trump nominated her to in December. Nauert has already faced criticism for a 2013 appearance on "Fox and Friends" in which she said that "Sharia law is now changing everything" while covering a story on a YMCA private swim class for Muslim girls that accommodated their religious requirements.