Faith Vander Voort, the newly promoted top spokeswoman at the Interior Department, voiced support for more surveillance of Muslim communities and argued that attacks by radical self-proclaimed Muslim groups pose a far bigger threat to society than climate change during a 2017 interview full of what the Left and anti-American terror-linked Muslim groups such as CAIR like to call “Islamophobic” and anti-Muslim immigration rhetoric.
MotherJones The comments were made during a June 8, 2017, episode of “The Word,” a podcast of the now-defunct right-wing news outlet the Daily Nerv. Vander Voort co-founded the Daily Nerv in early 2017, about a year before she joined the Trump administration, and briefly co-produced and co-hosted the podcast, according to her resume on Interior’s website.
During the episode in question, Vander Voort says she does not believe it is a violation of individual civil liberties for intelligence agencies to monitor phones and internet activities—at least when it comes to surveillance of Muslim communities.
“I think that terrorists attacking us are the real infringement on our freedom,” she said. “Our freedom comes from our safety and ability to follow our dreams and live a happy and free life here in the United States. It doesn’t come from us being able to send whatever we want without anyone looking.”
The episode aired a few days after the deadly London Bridge attack—a slaughter that President Donald Trump used to promote his Muslim travel ban. On the campaign trail, Trump embraced the idea of creating a database to track Muslims in the US and proclaimed, “I think Islam hates us.”
Vander Voort has a history of Islamophobic comments. In a 2015 blog post that has since been deleted, she argued that a Muslim “could never serve” as president “because their own religion strictly prohibits them from taking an oath to anything other than Allah,” as HuffPost reported last year.
She published the post while working as an intern for Rep. Steve King (Iowa), a GOP lawmaker who has repeatedly promoted anti-Muslim and white supremacist views. He has called on the US government to spy on mosques and said Muslims should have to reject Sharia law before entering the country. In another deleted blog post from 2015, Vander Voort called King “a man of principle” and said she “will always be proud to have my name tied to his for the rest of my professional career.”
“I think that it’s completely asinine to say, ‘Oh, just expect terrorism,’” Vander Voort said. “This needs to change. We need to enact policy that changes this. We need to be tougher on immigration. We need to vet our immigrants and instill the ban that stops immigration from those six majority Muslim countries.”