Trump nominee to migrant agency apologizes for comments about Muslims

Trump nominee to migrant agency apologizes for comments about Muslims
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE's nominee to oversee the coordination of roughly a billion dollars in relief efforts to migrants across the globe is apologizing for his past social media remarks about Muslims, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

Ken Isaacs, a top official at the Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, claimed on social media that Islam is inherently a violent religion, according to the newspaper's review of the posts. He also reportedly said Christian refugees should be made a priority in certain cases when they are relocating from hostile areas.

Isaacs, who was tapped to become director general of the United Nations’s International Organization for Migration (IOM), apologized for his remarks after the Post asked the State Department for comment. 

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“I deeply regret that my comments on social media have caused hurt and have undermined my professional record,” Isaacs's statement read, according to the report.

“It was careless and it has caused concern among those who have expressed faith in my ability to effectively lead IOM. I pledge to hold myself to the highest standards of humanity, human dignity and equality if chosen to lead IOM.” 

Isaacs in his posts also cast doubt on climate change, according to the report.

The 169-member IOM since the 1960s has voted to give the U.S. — one of the group's top benefactors — the reins to lead the group's mission.

But several sources involved in migrant relief efforts told the Post that Isaacs could break a decades-long streak and lose an election among the IOM's voting members.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told the Post in a separate statement that the agency stands behind Isaacs's nomination.  

“Mr. Isaacs has apologized for the comments he posted on his private social media account. We believe that was proper for him to do so," Nauert said.

"Mr. Isaacs is committed to helping refugees and has a long history of assisting those who are suffering. We believe that if chosen to lead IOM, he would treat people fairly and with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

The Post, citing agency officials familiar with the matter, reported that the State Department was surprised to learn about the posts, which it had not reviewed prior to the announcement of his nomination.