The hiring of Frank Wuco is the latest controversial move by Michael Pack, the new CEO of the taxpayer-funded media group.
The U.S. Agency for Global Media has hired Frank Wuco, a controversial former talk radio host who once called President Barack Obama “a Kenyan” and said Nancy Pelosi was a Botox-using Nazi, according to three USAGM officials.
Wuco recently started as an adviser in the front office of USAGM, which is headed by Michael Pack, who is dramatically reshaping the agency that oversees taxpayer-funded media properties. Pack’s early moves have led to blowback on Capitol Hill, with Democrats and some Republicans furious over what they see as a effort to turn independent news outlets meant to spread American values into vessels for pro-Trump propaganda.
One of Wuco’s responsibilities so far has been to audit USAGM’s office of policy and research, according to one of the officials. A former senior adviser at the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, he also earlier worked as senior White House adviser at the Department of Homeland Security and is a former naval intelligence officer.
But it’s Wuco’s time hosting “The Frank Wuco Show” from 2011 to 2013 that has gotten most of the attention. His hiring has raised eyebrows among USAGM employees, who are surprised that an agency devoted to promoting fact-based news to audiences around the world would hire someone who has spread conspiracy theories with no basis in reality.
In 2017, CNN reported: “Among the conspiracy theories Wuco pushed were claims that former President Barack Obama’s memoir was ghost written by former anti-Vietnam War radical Bill Ayers, claims that former CIA director John Brennan converted to Islam and claims Attorney General Eric Holder had been a member of the Black Panthers.”
On one show in 2011, he called then-House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi “Nancy Nazi Pelosi” and mocked her appearance.
“Seeing her last night, it made me think — I’ll have to ask my brother-in-law who’s a plastic surgeon if this is true,” he said, in comments first unearthed by CNN’s KFile. “But I’m telling you that Botox has got to have an expiration date on it. No, I’m not talking about Botox in the bottle. I am talking about Botox in your face. And apparently from what I saw last night, it’s not a gradual expiration.”
In 2013, during a speech criticizing Obama, Wuco told a crowd of Tea Partiers: “I thought he was a Kenyan!” in reaction to a crowd member telling him that Obama was a plagiarist.
Earlier in his career, Wuco also worked as an adviser to parts of the military about how Islamic terrorists thought. As part of that, he created a jihadist alter-ego named “Fuad Wasul,” an identity he used to dress up in Islamic garb. He also had a radio segment called “Ask the Jihadist.”
“I’m sure that will go over well with our Middle East Broadcasting Networks audience,” quipped one USAGM official.
On Wednesday, Pack removed seven top long-serving officials from the agency for alleged security violations related to the proper vetting of foreign nationals who were hired to be journalists for USAGM’s broadcast networks and the vetting of the agency’s American employees.
Among the people removed was general counsel David Kligerman. In mid-June, USAGM’s front office, at the direction of chief of staff Emily Newman, asked a new senior political appointee to compile negative information about Kligerman to justify his removal. The request came only a few days after Kligerman had raised concerns about the lawfulness of Pack’s mass terminations and reassignments on Pack’s first day. The appointee felt uncomfortable with the instruction and soon left for another part of the Trump administration, according to three people familiar with the matter.
The front office then installed former State Department official Mora Namdar as acting vice president for legal affairs, risk and compliance. According to two of the people, she fulfilled the original request to compile material against Kligerman and worked in tandem with Newman to undermine and sideline him. Newman and Namdar didn’t respond to requests for comment.
More at the link above. Fascism in the open, praise the Dear Leader. Hugs