The Washington Monthly has retracted a scurrilous headline that claimed the National Security Council’s new chief of staff is a neo-Nazi.
The article alleged former CIA analyst Fred Fleitz espoused Neo-Nazi views, but later the publication issued this correction:
“An earlier version of this post ran under the headline ‘Bolton Taps Neo-Nazi as National Security Council Chief of Staff.’ While there are links between the Center for Security Policy and neo-Nazi organizations in Europe, it was wrong to imply that there is evidence that Fred Fleitz is personally a neo-Nazi. We regret the mistake.”
The headline was changed to read, “John Bolton’s New Chief of Staff Has Deeply Alarming Connections.”
The article cites Fleitz’s former position as senior vice president for policy at the conservative Center for Security Policy, saying the organization has ties to far-right movements in Europe, although it “recommends double-checking” the sources used to connect them.
The story also calls Fleitz, an opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, a “raving Islamophobe,” again citing his ties to CSP, which the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center has branded a hate group and “conspiracy-oriented mouthpiece for the growing anti-Muslim movement.”
“Many of the attacks originated from the left Southern Poverty Law Center, which in recent years has raised money by putting out press releases or statements falsely grouping conservative Americans with neo-Nazis and white supremacists,” a senior NSC official told The Washington Times.
National Security Advisor John Bolton tapped Fleitz as NSC chief of staff, and he assumed his position this week.
Fleitz was also chief of staff to Bolton from 2001 to 2005 when Bolton was an undersecretary of state for arms control at the State Department.