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December 16, 2015

Anti-Islam Group Cited by Trump Roils Wisc. Politics

A prominent Wisconsin conservative nonprofit and the state's Republican senator are distancing themselves from an anti-Islam think tank Donald Trump has cited to back up his call to suspend Muslim immigration, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes.

The Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, which has close ties to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, has given $1.4 million to the Center for Security Policy. The Washington, D.C.-based center's leader, former Reagan administration official Frank Gaffney, has publicly linked President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and anti-tax campaigner Grover Norquist to Islamic extremism.

Bradley Foundation CEO Michael Grebe said his group shut off funding for the center in 2013 but declined to give the reason. "I would refute the notion that we are Islamophobic," he added. Senator Ron Johnson, who won praise from Mr. Gaffney and appeared on his radio show, also downplayed the relationship, saying he has "gone on just about every radio show that invites me" but does not "agree 100 percent of the time with any of them."

Mr. Trump, who is leading in national polls for the Republican presidential nomination, has touted a Center for Security Policy survey that claimed to show large proportions U.S. Muslims support jihadist violence and Sharia law. The methodology of the "opt-in" Internet survey has been widely criticized.