Glenn Beck promised viewers of his television show Monday that his new investigation into a key figure in the "Republican Party establishment" was "just the beginning."
In an exclusive interview with WND, Beck's target – Americans for Tax Reform founder and president Grover Norquist – responded, calling the broadcaster's allegations "old and sad."
On his show Monday, Beck was joined by Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, and Daniel Greenfield of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Gaffney is a longtime critic of Norquist, alleging the anti-tax activist has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The segment on Beck's program was prompted by Norquist's recent criticism of the effort by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to defund Obamacare. Beck admitted he was skeptical of the rumors swirling around Norquist but said he finally decided to "take this guy on" despite warnings that it could be risky.
Gaffney responded to Beck's assertion that Norquist, famous for his no-new-taxes pledge, "is the guy responsible for a lot of the Muslim Brotherhood stuff that goes on in the White House."
Gaffney said he never would have believed such a thing until he saw the evidence with his own eyes.
"I saw it first-hand as a result of sharing office space for what I think of seven biblically long years with Grover Norquist. I saw terrorists in his office space. I had colleagues come to me and say, 'You know there’s a Muslim Brotherhood front operating out of his office suite?'"
Gaffney identified the front as the Islamic Free Market Institute, founded by Abdurahman Alamoudi, who is serving a 23-year sentence for his role in a 2004 al-Qaida assassination plot.
Gaffney pointed to a video shot at an October 2011 meeting in Dearborn, Mich., that was organized by "George Soros' progressives or leftists, radicals and the Islamists."
"You can't come away from [seeing this video] with any conclusion other than [Norquist] is … advancing the agenda not just of Muslims, but Islamists," Gaffney said.
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Equating the Muslim Brotherhood with "the communists and the Nazis before them," Greenfield said the movement's members set up benign-sounding front groups led by "useful" individuals.
"Norquist was useful to them," Greenfield said, "and in some ways, they were useful to him."
Beck ended the segment by vowing to continue to "clean out our own house" and reveal "exactly who's who" among "establishment Republicans."
Norquist: 'I have ignored this sad person'
On Monday evening, Norquist responded to the allegations via email to WND.
"This is old and sad," he began.
Norquist emphasized his personal experience with Gaffney.
"In the 1990s, a member of Frank's board of directors told me Frank was having trouble. He was not employable with [President George H.W. Bush]; he had problems getting respect in the defense arena and asked that I help him as the movement needed a defense group," Norquist said.
Norquist explained that he tried to help out Gaffney by allowing him to sublet an office from Americans for Tax Reform.
"I introduced him to folks," Norquist said.
But when George W. Bush was elected, Norquist continued, Gaffney was "not employable" by the government for the entire administration.
"Frank blamed me for keeping him from getting a job and began spinning conspiracy theories as he did during [the George H.W. Bush administration] – something no one told me when I befriended him," he said.
Norquist claimed that Gaffney "then lashed out at me," George W. Bush and top Bush adviser Karl Rove.
"The terrorist meeting story is one he has told about September 11, 2001," Norquist continued. "It is a more recent lie. Or at least I only heard/read it more recently. He claims to have seen and heard me meet with terrorists in our joint offices on 9/11/01."
Norquist said the "problem with this lie" is that he was not in his downtown Washington office on that day.
He was flying into Baltimore when the attacks occurred, he said, "and the city was shut."
"So this lie is not only not true, but not possible. Still he tells it and has written it. Very sad," Norquist said.
"The Bush administration recommended I ignore these attacks," he said. "They were brutal in dismissing Frank's conspiracy theories in a talk with Wall Street Journal."
Norquist said Gaffney "also says I am gay – or at least he says that to folks who laugh at the original conspiracy theories if he thinks they might believe it."
Norquist concluded: "I have ignored [this] sad person and his self-absorbed conspiracy theories that revolve around himself.
"Say a prayer for Frank. No one deserves his troubles."
Gaffney: 'Serious, factually based concerns'
Asked to respond to Norquist's comments, Gaffney maintained in an email to WND that Norquist didn't address the main issue.
"Grover's deflections, refusal to answer direct questions and falsehoods are typical of his response to date to very serious, factually based concerns about his past and continuing conduct with and on behalf of Islamists," he said.
Gaffney said Norquist "knows full well that there were at least two men later convicted of terrorism who appeared in his office," Alamoudi and Sami al-Arian.
"He purposefully conflates a meeting he had on 9/11 with his longstanding relationships with those two," Gaffney asserted.
Gaffney said Norquist "championed" al-Arian, introducing him to then-Gov. George Bush, while al-Arian, a Florida professor, was under investigation as the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Before al-Arian was jailed, Gaffney said he "ran into him in Grover's office."
He added that Norquist began his Islamic Free Market Institute with seed-money from Alamoudi.
"While Norquist was taking money from Alamoudi, the confessed Muslim Brother wouldn't hide his radical views," Gaffney said.
Gaffney recalled a 1993 protest outside the White House in which Alamoudi declared publicly: “I have been labeled by the media in New York to be a supporter of Hamas. Anybody support Hamas here?... Hear that, Bill Clinton? We are all supporters of Hamas. I wished they added that I am also a supporter of Hezbollah.”
Gaffney also cited New Republic Editor Franklin Foer's article on Norquist's relationship with Alamoudi, al-Arian and others.
Norquist's relationship with Alamoudi and al-Arian is addressed in parts four through seven of Gaffney's free, 10-part, video-based, online course called "Muslim Brotherhood in America: The Enemy Within."
In part seven, at the 16:25 mark, Gaffney said, Norquist can be seen "regaling a group of leftists and Islamists with his use of his access to senior senators to gain entree for his Islamist clients and friends."
Gaffney insisted Norquist met with Muslim Brotherhood operatives on the morning of 9/11 in the conference room he and Norquist shared.
"I personally witnessed him walking into that room with Suhail Khan after the meeting they were supposed to have with President Bush that day – thanks in part to Norquist's efforts with Karl Rove – was canceled when the Executive Complex was closed," he said.
Khan is senior fellow for Muslim-Christian understanding at the Institute for Global Engagement and director of external affairs at Microsoft Corporation. Critics point out that while he describes himself as a "moderate," Khan has vowed to carry on his father's legacy. The late Mahboob Kahn was a founder of major Muslim Brotherhood groups in the U.S., including the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA, and the Muslim Student Association. ISNA was an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist-financing case in U.S. history.
Called out from House floor
Charges that Norquist is aiding and abetting radical Muslim leaders have come from members of Congress as well as other prominent critics of radical Islam.
In 2011, Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., denounced Norquist from the House floor for "unsavory" connections, including ties to Alamoudi and Al-Arian. Wolf also pointed to Norquist's support for the Ground Zero mosque and his advocacy for transferring Guantanamo detainees to U.S. soil.
"Simply put, I believe Mr. Norquist is connected with or has profited from a number of unsavory people and groups out of the mainstream," said Wolf.
"Documentation shows that he has deep ties to supporters of Hamas and other terrorist organizations that are sworn enemies of the United States and our ally Israel."
Norquist, at the time, called Wolf's speech a "hissy fit" and "a compilation of whack job criticisms," arguing the congressman is one of only six Republican members of the U.S. House who has refused to sign ATR's no-tax pledge.
The congressman did not back down from his remarks, however, asserting: "There's a clear pattern there. You need to look at who he's associated with."
Norquist was regarded as a major influence on President George W. Bush's view of Islam in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, noted Atlas Shrugs blogger and WND columnist Pamela Geller, convincing the president that Islam is a "religion of peace."
WND reported in 2011 that Norquist was a headliner at an Islamic leadership conference along with the director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Michigan branch and the co-author of a report that slanders critics of radical Islam. Among others, the report names Gaffney, Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch; Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum; and Steve Emerson, director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
Earlier this year, Norquist's name came up in connection with a dispute over the influence of Islam in America. Islam analyst and author Spencer was scheduled to be honored at the Conservative Political Action Conference, better known as CPAC, for his widely read blog JihadWatch.org. But it fell apart, he said, because he was told that one of the co-sponsors of the award, TheTeaParty.net, didn't want to allow him to receive it unless he promised not to criticize two board members of CPAC's hosting organization, the American Conservative Union: Norquist and Khan.
"I told the organizer that I couldn't agree to that," Spencer said.