Donald Trump’s top foreign policy adviser has quietly opened backchannels within Muslim and Middle Eastern communities in the U.S. in an attempt to win over a small but increasingly important voting bloc.
Walid Phares, a top national security adviser for Trump, has been courting prominent Muslim Republicans and conservative Middle Eastern activists in the U.S.
Some Muslim Republicans and conservative Middle Eastern activists have also engaged with other top campaign officials about furthering Trump’s outreach to those communities.
In a Friday phone interview with The Hill, Phares said Trump campaign officials had not directed him to engage with the groups. Rather, he described the talks as a natural extension of the relationships he’s built over decades of policy work on Middle Eastern affairs.