Michael Anton

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Michael Anton
Michael Anton (cropped).jpg
Deputy Assistant to the President for Strategic Communications
In office
February 8, 2017 – April 8, 2018
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byBen Rhodes
Succeeded byGarrett Marquis[1][2]
Sarah Tinsley[1][2]
Personal details
Born1969 (age 51–52)
EducationUniversity of California, Davis (BA)
St. John's College, Annapolis (MALA)
Claremont Graduate University (MA)

Michael Anton (born 1969) is an American former senior national security official in the Trump administration.[3] He is known for his right-wing views,[4] his promotion of conspiracy theories,[5] and his pseudonymous essays written during the 2016 presidential campaign in which he supported Donald Trump and collaborated with the pro-Trump Journal of American Greatness blog.[6] Anton was named Deputy Assistant to the President for Strategic Communications on the United States National Security Council. He is a former speechwriter for Rupert Murdoch,[7] Rudy Giuliani, and George W. Bush's National Security Council, and has worked as director of communications at investment bank Citigroup and as managing director of investing firm BlackRock.[8][6]

Anton resigned from the Trump White House on April 8, 2018, the evening before John R. Bolton became Trump's National Security Advisor.[4][9][10][11]

Life and career[edit]

Anton is of Italian and Lebanese descent. He grew up in Loomis, California. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Davis and earned advanced degrees from St. John's College and the Claremont Graduate University.[7]

Under the pseudonym "Nicholas Antongiavanni" Anton wrote The Suit, a 2006 men's fashion guide book, which is parody of Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince.[12]

Anton joined Hillsdale College's Kirby Center Graduate School of Government in Washington, D.C., after resigning from the Trump administration.[13]

In December 2020, Trump appointed Anton to a four-year term on the National Board for Education Sciences, which advises the Department of Education on scientific research and investments.[14][15]


In a March 2016 essay written under the pseudonym Publius Decius Mus (after the ancient Roman consul), Anton said, while defending the "America First" slogan, that the America First Committee (which included prominent antisemites and opposed the U.S. entering World War II) had been "unfairly maligned."[5] Anton also argued that Islam "is a militant faith", and that "only an insane society" would take in Muslim immigrants after the 9/11 attacks.[16]

His pseudonymous September 2016 editorial "The Flight 93 Election" compared the prospect of conservatives letting Hillary Clinton win with passengers not charging the cockpit of the United Airlines aircraft hijacked by Al-Qaeda.[17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24] In the essay, Anton criticized conservatives who were skeptical of Trump.[25] Anton also decried the "ceaseless importation of Third World foreigners," and called for "no more importing poverty, crime, and alien cultures."[25] In Anton's 2019 book After the Flight 93 Election: The Vote that Saved America and What We Still Have to Lose, Anton argued that Trump constituted "the first serious national-political defense of the Constitution in a generation."[25] Trump praised the book.[25]

According to Carlos Lozada, book critic for The Washington Post, Anton's book primarily reprints text from his 2016 editorial, but with a newly added rumination of how dangerous the American left is.[25] Lozada wrote, "Anton spends virtually no time detailing or defending particular policies of the Trump administration; all that matters is the enemy. For Anton, Hillary Clinton is no longer the chief nemesis—the entire left is, along with sellout conservatives and any other forces countering the president. They contribute to a 'spiritual sickness' and 'existential despair' pervading not just the United States but all the West ... Apparently, Flight 93 did not end with the 2016 vote; we are forever on the plane, endlessly in danger, no matter who has seized the controls."[25]

Anton is also known as a critic of birthright citizenship in the United States, arguing that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution does not mandate jus soli ("right of the soil") citizenship, and that the Amendment's use of the provision "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" excludes children born of illegal aliens.[26]

In September 2020, Anton wrote a conspiratorial essay titled "The Coming Coup?" in The American Mind; in the essay, Anton suggested that Democrats, aided by George Soros, were planning a coup d'etat to take over the United States.[5][27] Anton's baseless claims circulated on the Internet and in social media.[27]


Anton is a classically trained chef. After resigning from the National Security Council in 2018, he came back to the White House for a day to work as a line cook in the kitchen, helping prepare a state dinner for President Emmanuel Macron of France.[4]


  • The Suit: A Machiavellian Approach to Men's Style, HarperCollins, 2006
  • After the Flight 93 Election: The Vote that Saved America and What We Still Have to Lose, 2019[28]
  • The Stakes: America at the Point of No Return, Regnery Publishing, 2020

Selected publications[edit]

  • (As Nicholas Antongiavanni) The suit: a Machiavellian approach to men's style. New York: Collins, 2006, ISBN 0-06089186-6
  • "Iran and the Costs of Containment", National Review, May 3, 2010.
  • (As Publius Decius Mus) "Toward a Sensible, Coherent Trumpism". The Unz Review. March 10, 2016. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  • (As Publius Decius Mus) 'The Flight 93 Election', CRB, September 5, 2016.
  • 'America and the Liberal International Order', American Affairs Vol. I, No 1, Spring 2017.


  1. ^ a b Vogel, Kenneth P., "Meet the Members of the ‘Shadow N.S.C.’ Advising John Bolton", New York Times, May 21, 2018. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  2. ^ a b Collins, Kaitlan, "Bolton adds two loyalists to the National Security Council", May 29, 2018. Citation as to appointment not position for Marquis. Tinsley and Marquis were jointly described as 'senior directors for strategic communications'. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  3. ^ Maass, Peter. "Trump official obsessed over nuclear apocalypse, men's style and fine wines in 40,000 posts on fashion site". The Intercept. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Landler, Mark (April 25, 2018). "A National Security Aide's Departing Wish: Cooking for the State Dinner (Published 2018)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 22, 2020. Cite error: The named reference "Landler" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  5. ^ a b c "A former Trump official dreamed up a George Soros-funded 'coup' and QAnon believes it". The Forward. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Nguyen, Tina (February 23, 2017). "Machiavelli in the White House: Is This the Most Powerful Man in Trump's Administration?". Vanity Fair.
  7. ^ a b Maas, Peter (February 12, 2017), "Dark Essays by White House Staffer Are the Intellectual Source Code of Trumpism", The intercept, archived from the original on March 7, 2017, retrieved March 7, 2017, In the beginning, Anton attended Claremont Graduate University, an incubator for conservative thinkers. He became a speechwriter and press secretary for New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, then took a mid-level job at the NSC in the George W. Bush administration. As the Weekly Standard reported, he was part of the team that pushed for the disastrous invasion of Iraq. Anton left the government in 2005 and became a speechwriter for Rupert Murdoch at News Corp., followed by several years in the communications shop at Citigroup, then a year and a half as a managing director at BlackRock, the asset management firm.
  8. ^ Johnson, Eliana; Stokols, Eli (February 7, 2017). 'What Steve Bannon Wants You to Read', Politico.
  9. ^ Cerbin, Carolyn (April 8, 2018). "National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton to leave White House". USA Today. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  10. ^ Borger, Julian (April 9, 2018). "Syria provides John Bolton with first test as Trump's national security adviser". The Guardian. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  11. ^ Dawsey, Josh; Jaffe, Greg (April 10, 2018). "White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert resigns". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  12. ^ "The Dandy". Humanities: The Magazine for the National Endowment for the Humanities. March–April 2008. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  13. ^ https://dc.hillsdale.edu/Profiles/Michael-Anton/
  14. ^ Sparks, Sarah D. (December 14, 2020). "Researchers Balk at Trump's Last-Minute Picks for Ed. Science Board". Education Week. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  15. ^ MervisDec. 11, Jeffrey; 2020; Pm, 9:10 (December 11, 2020). "Researchers decry Trump picks for education sciences advisory board". Science | AAAS. Retrieved December 18, 2020.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  16. ^ Schulberg, Jessica (February 8, 2017), "Trump Aide Derided Islam, Immigration and Diversity, Embraced an Anti-Semitic Past", The Huffington post – via Foreign Affairs.
  17. ^ "The Anonymous Pro-Trump 'Decius' Now Works Inside The White House". February 2, 2017.
  18. ^ Chait, Jonathan. "America's Leading Authoritarian Is Working for Trump". NY Mag.
  19. ^ Schulberg 2017.
  20. ^ Celeste, Katz. "Bannon isn't the only shadowy far-right figure in the White House - meet Michael Anton". Mic.
  21. ^ Leonhardt, David (February 3, 2017). "The Unmasking of a Trumpist". The New York Times.
  22. ^ "Republicans: You must impeach President Trump". The Week. February 3, 2017.
  23. ^ Gray, Rosie. "The Anti-Democracy Movement Influencing the Right". The Atlantic.
  24. ^ Maas 2017.
  25. ^ a b c d e f Lozada, Carlos (2019). "Thinking for Trump: Other presidents had a brain trust. But the intellectuals backing this White House are a bust". The Washington Post.
  26. ^ Anton, Michael. "Birthright Citizenship: A Response to My Critics". Claremont. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  27. ^ a b Davey Alba, Riled Up: Misinformation Stokes Calls for Violence on Election Day, New York Times (October 13, 2020).
  28. ^ Rice, Tim (May 10, 2019). "Reclaiming Our Lost Republic (book review)". City Journal. Retrieved May 12, 2019.

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