Who is Fred Fleitz?

    Curt Mills

    Politics, Americas

    A tourist wearing an FBI jacket stands outside of the White House during a rainy day in Washington, U.S., May 17, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

    The ex-CIA analyst is the former point man for Bolton in the Bush era, as well as the deeply controversial Frank Gaffney.

    Upon publishing the article, “Iran Hardliners Are Lining Up Behind The Bolton Plan to Leave the Deal,” in the National Interest last fall, I was immediately attacked, on Twitter, by one man: Fred Fleitz.

    Fleitz, an ex-CIA analyst turned policy aide turned think-tank grandee, now returns to the political realm. The former top aide to John Bolton at the State Department under George W. Bush now enters the White House as National Security Council Chief of Staff to John Bolton. His hiring was formally announced Tuesday after weeks of speculation.

    My article in question detailed how Fleitz’s employer, the Center for Security Policy, had aligned itself with a hardline plan on Iran authored by Bolton, then outside the White House, at the urging of former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. I had interviewed Fleitz’s boss, Frank Gaffney, weeks before.

    The article detailed parts of the interview, as well as noting the unusual alliance with Bannon, who was at times referred to in the press as “Trump’s dove.”

    For his part, Gaffney has harbored a long-standing fixation with the Muslim Brotherhood, going so far as to accuse prominent Washington figures as being agents of the group—including Center for the National Interest board member Grover Norquist.

    I alluded to these obsessions in the piece and didn’t expect much of a response because it was an old feud.

    Fleitz went ballistic. In tweets that now appear to be deleted, he referred to his C.V. as a CIA veteran, and attacked my standing to report on the established fact of Gaffney’s wacky crusade against Norquist because of my lack of intelligence community experience.

    His other comments aren’t worth relaying.

    It is this figure that will succeed the staid Gen. Keith Kellogg as NSC chief of staff.

    Kellogg now works for Vice President Pence, as of late April, after being passed over for the National Security Advisor job itself in favor of Bolton. Kellogg’s scuttled candidacy was relayed to me by a former senior White House official.

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