Donald Trump

58 Donald Trump Conspiracy Theories (And Counting!): The Definitive Trump Conspiracy Guide

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump not only surrounds himself with conspiracy theorists, he has spent years pushing conspiracy theories himself, much to the delight of his supporters.

At times, Trump tries to remain evasive about whether he actually believes these conspiracy theories, insisting that he simply “heard” or “read” them somewhere or is just asking a question.

We found at least 58 instances of Trump promoting false conspiracy theories on everything from immigration to President Obama’s birthplace.

The number is certain to rise in the coming months.

Topics:

President Obama
Assasinations
Muslims and Terrorism
Syrian Refugees
Christian Persecution
Guns and Crime
Immigration
Science
The Media
Miscellaneous

 

President Obama

1) Birtherism

For years, Trump has suggested that President Obama fabricated his birth certificate in order to be eligible to run for president. As evidence of this, he has cited the work of Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, “Israeli Science,” the conspiracy theory clearinghouse WorldNetDaily and an unnamed “extremely credible source.”

Trump has falsely claimed that the president spent millions of dollars “to keep this quiet” and wrongly suggested that the president’s grandmother confessed to witnessing his birth in Kenya.

“He cannot give a birth certificate,” he told radio host Laura Ingraham in 2011. He added: “He doesn’t have a birth certificate or, if he does, there’s something on that certificate that is very bad for him. Now somebody told me, and I have no idea whether this is bad for him or not but perhaps it would be, that where it says ‘religion’ it might have ‘Muslim,’ and if you’re a Muslim, you don’t change your religion by the way, but somebody said, ‘Maybe that’s the reason he doesn’t want to show it.’ I don’t think so. I just don’t think he has a birth certificate and everybody has a birth certificate.”

“When I hear he took an ad in the paper, his parents, these are poor people, when did you ever hear of anybody taking an ad in a paper?” Trump said in the same interview, casting doubt on the announcement of Obama’s birth in a Honolulu newspaper. “I see so much fraud in the world. An ad like that could’ve been staged. I don’t mean staged at the time. I mean could have been computer-generated five years ago, eight years ago, two years ago, it could’ve been computer-generated.”

“The Rockefeller family doesn’t buy ads in a newspaper and now you’re going to have two poor people putting an ad in a newspaper that their son was born? There’s something fishy about the whole thing. Very fishy,” he continued.

Trump went on to hail birthers as “great American people” and described himself as a “proud” birther, noting that he “went to a great college, the best” and “was a very good student” and “a very smart guy.”

“Either it’s fine, or he was born in Kenya, or, in my opinion there’s a very good chance he was born here and said he was born in Kenya,” Trump said in 2014. “Because if you were born in Kenya, you got into colleges and you got aid. Very simple.”

Trump has also claimed that Obama himself “said he was born in Kenya” and promised to “write a book” laying out his birther theory.

2) Bill Ayers Wrote ‘Dreams From My Father’

Trump has embraced the far-right conspiracy theory — which initially started as a joke — that Obama didn’t write his book “Dreams From My Father.”

In a 2012 Fox News appearance, he explained:

He had a book, whether he wrote the book or not, but that book pushed him very hard and very strongly. And then they get into who really penned that book. It would be an interesting question for people to figure out. I don’t believe — I think somebody else had a lot to do with that book. I think he wrote the second book, which was certainly not a masterpiece. I'm very good at books, and it certainly wasn't a masterpiece.

“Bill Ayers wrote the book,” Trump said in 2011, explaining that “Barack Obama wouldn’t be president” if it weren’t for the “super-genius” Ayers. “A lot of people have said he wrote the book.”

“Now it’s coming out that Bill Ayers wrote it,” he told Ingraham in 2011.

3) Hawaii Official Was Murdered In Birth Certificate Cover-up

Detective Trump is on the case.

4) Obama Was ‘Born Barry Soetero’

On different occasions, Trump has referred to the president as “Barry Sotoro,” “Barry Soetoro” and “ Barry Sowoto.”

Indeed, Trump claims that “Soetoro” was Obama’s last name since his birth.

“Look, he was born Barry Soetero, somewhere along the line he changed his name,” Trump told Sean Hannity in 2011, despite the fact that, as Eric Kleefeld points out, Soetero is the “surname of Obama’s mother’s second husband, Lolo Soetoro, whom she married four years after Obama was born.” Soetoro came to Hawaii in 1962. Obama was born in 1961.

5) Obama Never Attended Columbia

In 2014, Trump offered “$50 million for charity” if Obama released his college records, arguing that Obama “came out of nowhere” and “the people that went to school with him, they never saw him.”

He may have been referring to the claim posed by his friend and campaign surrogate Wayne Allyn Root, a right-wing pundit who simultaneously claims that Obama never attended Columbia University and that he was radicalized at Columbia by the school’s left-wing professors.

Oddly, Trump has also said that Obama was a “terrible student” at Columbia.

He urged hackers to find the truth:

6) Obama May Start A War To Win Re-election

Just weeks before the 2012 election, Trump predicted that Obama, upset about his “really bad” poll numbers, would “start a war or major conflict to win.”

After the election, Trump predicted that Obama would “do something really bad and totally stupid to show manhood” or “do something irrational and dangerous for our country in order to save face.”

7) Obama Is Persecuting Me

Trump tried to make himself a victim of the debunked conservative conspiracy theory that the IRS targeted conservative groupssuggesting that President Obama urged New York State Attorney General Eric Schneidermann to sue him for political reasons:

He appears to be referring the ongoing lawsuit over the Trump University scam.

8) Obama Will Target Conservative Websites

Conflating net neutrality with the Fairness Doctrine, Trump made the bogus claim that somehow Obama will “attack” the internet to “target conservative media.”

Net neutrality has been a focus of many conservative conspiracy theories that have no basis in reality.

9) Obama Doesn’t Want To Fight Terrorism

In one of his regular interviews with right-wing talk show host Michael Savage this year, Trump thundered that the president may not want to fight terrorism.

“It’s radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump said. “We have a president that won’t even use the words and if you don’t use the words, you’re never going to get rid of the problem. We have a — maybe he doesn’t want to get rid of the problem. I don’t know exactly what’s going on.”

Savage read between the lines: “Ah ha. Now you’re going as close to the board as a hockey player can go without hitting the puck into the stands. I get it.”

10) Obama Wears An Arabic Ring

In 2012, Trump posted on Twitter a WorldNetDaily article claiming that Obama wears a secret Muslim ring.

“Why does Barack Obama’s ring have an arabic [sic] inscription?” he asked. “Who is this guy?”

In the article, birther investigator Jerome Corsi claimed that Obama’s wedding ring states “There is no God but Allah” in Arabic. Corsi believes that Obama was previously secretly married to a male Pakistani roommate.

The design on Obama’s ring is actually just a series of loops.

11) Obama Is Aiding ISIS

Trump has falsely accused Obama of arming ISIS terrorists, citing a discredited claim that the administration was running guns from Libya to Turkey.

He has also claimed that the U.S. tried to stop Russia from bombing ISIS.

The U.S., in reality, has been arming rebels that fight against ISIS, and has questioned why the majority of Russian targets in Syria are anti-ISIS rebels.

12) Obama Is A Muslim

Trump has tied his birther conspiracy theory to the related right-wing allegation that Obama is a secret Muslim.

“People have birth certificates,” he told Bill O’Reilly in 2011. “He doesn't have a birth certificate. He may have one but there's something on that, maybe religion, maybe it says he is a Muslim. I don't know. Maybe he doesn't want that. Or he may not have one. But I will tell you this. If he wasn't born in this country, it's one of the great scams of all time.”

He also seized on the news that Madonna jokingly called Obama a Muslim, tweeting: “Does Madonna know something we all don't about Barack? At a concert she said 'we have a black Muslim in the White House.'”

Following Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, he similarly tweeted:

Assassinations

13) Was Scalia Murdered?

Days after Scalia’s death, Trump spoke with Savage, who asked him if he agreed that the justice was likely “murdered” and that a Warren Commission-type panel should investigate his passing.

Trump, naturally, was happy to raise suspicions about the justice’s death: “Well I just heard today, just a little while ago actually, I just landed and I’m hearing it’s a big topic, the question, and it’s a horrible topic but they say they found the pillow on his face, which is a pretty unusual place to find a pillow.”

14) Was Vince Foster Murdered?

Just as Trump has found Obama’s birth certificate to be “fishy,” he has alleged that the 1993 death of Vince Foster, an aide to then-President Clinton, was “very fishy.” Trump insists that he doesn’t necessarily believe that Bill and Hillary Clinton were involved in Foster’s death, merely noting that “there are people” who “think it was absolutely a murder.” TPM reports:

“He had intimate knowledge of what was going on,” Trump told the Post about Foster’s relationship with the Clintons before his death. “He knew everything that was going on, and then all of a sudden he committed suicide.”

Trump also said about Hillary Clinton: “It’s the one thing with her, whether it’s Whitewater or whether it’s Vince or whether it’s Benghazi. It’s always a mess with Hillary.”

But in his typical fashion, the billionaire mogul claimed he didn’t know enough about Foster’s death to bring it up in the first place.

“I don’t bring [Foster’s death] up because I don’t know enough to really discuss it,” Trump said. “I will say there are people who continue to bring it up because they think it was absolutely a murder. I don’t do that because I don’t think it’s fair.”

Several investigations have found that Foster’s death was a suicide.

15) Was Rafael Cruz Involved In The JFK Assassination?

In at least three separate interviews this year, Trump has claimed that Rafael Cruz, the father of his GOP presidential rival Ted Cruz, was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Trump said he got this information from the National Enquirer, hailing the supermarket tabloid as a reliable source of information. He even argued that neither Cruz denied the story (they both did).

Finally, when Cruz dropped out of the race, Trump told CNN host Wolf Blitzer that he never actually believed that the elder Cruz was involved in the assassination.

The National Enquirer has consistently praised Trump and gone after his opponents. Trump is close friends with its CEO.

 

Muslims And Terrorism

16) 9/11 Attackers Had Girlfriends Who Fled To Saudi Arabia

Trump defended his plan to commit war crimes by murdering the family members of terrorists by falsely claiming that the girlfriends of the 9/11 plotters left the U.S. shortly before the attacks occurred.

Trump said in a GOP debate last year that “people were put into planes that were friends, family, girlfriends, and they were put into planes and they were sent back, for the most part, to Saudi Arabia. They knew what was going on. They went home and they wanted to watch their boyfriends on television.”

At another event, Trump made a similar but slightly different claim.

“The wife knew exactly what was happening,” he said. “They left two days early with respect to the World Trade Center and they went back to where they went and they watched their husband on television flying into the World Trade Center, flying into the Pentagon and probably trying to fly into the White House except we had some very, very brave souls on that third plane.”

As PolitiFact makes clear, the 9/11 Commission found that “not a single hijacker had a wife, girlfriend or family member in the country in the days and months before the terrorists executed their plan. Only two of the 19 hijackers were married and only one had a girlfriend. Ziad Jarrah had a girlfriend in Germany, and hijackers Marwan al-Shehhi and Abdul Aziz al-Omari were married” to women who were not living in the U.S. The commission also “found no evidence that any of these women knew about the plot in advance,” as the terrorists had “broken off regular contact with their families.”

17) Thousands Of Muslim-Americans In New Jersey Celebrated On 9/11

Trump has repeatedly asserted that “thousands and thousands of people were cheering” were cheering in Jersey City, New Jersey, as “the World Trade Center came tumbling down,” making it clear he was referring to the city’s Muslim residents.

“I know it might be not politically correct for you to talk about it, but there were people cheering as that building came down, as those buildings came down, and that tells you something,” he said last year. “It was well covered at the time.”

Trump cited as sources a blog post on the conspiracy theory outlet InfoWars, his fans on Twitter and an activist and a reporter who both contradicted his claim. His campaign also released a video that ended up debunking the claim.

All assessments of what happened in Jersey City found that Trump’s allegation was completely inaccurate.

Nonetheless, Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, has insisted that there is footage of the (nonexistent) celebrations but every single media outlet refuses to air it because they all want to hurt Trump.

18) 100 Percent Of Mosques Preach Hate

In March, when CNN host Chris Cuomo asked Trump if he believes that all Muslims are “part of the hatred,” Trump responded, “If you look at the mosques and you go to various places and you look at what’s going on there and it’s virtually 100 percent. Certainly you can say radical Islam is a disaster right now, it’s causing tremendous problems worldwide, not just here. But the question was asked about Islam and there’s a great hatred, there’s no question about it.”

“I think Islam hates us,” Trump said in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “There is an unbelievable hatred of us.” He went on to say that it is impossible to separate radical versions of Islam from the faith as a whole.

While Trump didn’t mention how he knows this, there have long been right-wing rumors claiming that most mosques in America preach hatred.

19) Around One-Third Of Muslims Would Wage War Against America

While speaking with Fox News host Chris Wallace in March, Trump alleged that studies have found that anywhere from 27 to 35 percent of the world’s Muslims “would go to war” against the U.S.

Trump, in this case, did cite a group: The Pew Research Center.

A Pew spokeswoman told FactCheck.org, however, that the group “has not issued a survey saying that 27 percent of Muslims would go to war with the US, nor has the Center asked a question of Muslims about ‘going to war.’”

Trump later cited “an unscientific, opt-in online poll conducted by the Center for Security Policy,” a far-right anti-Muslim group, to substantiate his claim that a large segment of the Muslim community in the U.S. supports anti-American violence.

20) Philippines Massacre

On several occasions, Trump has regaled audiences with the chain-email-inspired tale of an American general in the Philippines who supposedly solved the country’s “tremendous” terrorism problem by massacring a large group of Muslim detainees with bullets washed in pigs’ blood. Trump likes to tell the story to fondly recall a better time when American leaders were “tough” and didn’t stand for political correctness and rules against committing war crimes, rules that Trump wants to change.

Aside from the fact that it is troubling to see the presumptive GOP nominee praise a massacre, the story isn’t even true.

But that hasn’t stopped Trump from telling it. In fact, he has relished the fact that journalists have called the story into question, urging his supporters to trust his historical expertise: “The press was saying it was a rumor; it’s not a rumor, it’s a true story.”

21) ISIS Tried To Attack Me

After a man tried to rush the stage of a Trump rally in Dayton, Ohio, in March, the candidate immediately claimed that the man “has ties to ISIS,” citing what Jim Dalrymple II of BuzzFeed described as “an old, fake video meant to mock the man.” For example, the “alleged ISIS video” includes “badly garbled” Arabic that “appears to say ‘Tommy D’ was trying to look ‘cool,’” and the footage was taken from a separate video where the man was at a protest.

When asked on “Meet the Press” why he was so quick to cite a “hoax” video, Trump didn’t back down: “He was playing Arabic music; he was dragging the flag along the ground; and he had Internet chatter with ISIS and about ISIS... He's dragging the flag, the American flag, which I respect.”

“All I know is what's on the internet,” he said.

 

Syrian Refugees

22) Syrian Refugees Are Mostly Young Men

Trump has repeatedly claimed that Syrian refugees are typically “young, strong men” who “look like prime-time soldiers,” suggesting they are part of an ISIS “Trojan Horse” as there are “very few” women and children refugees.

In fact, the majority of refugees are women in children.

23) Syrian Refugees Bill ISIS For Their Phones

Trump apparently believes that ISIS pays the cell phone bills of Syrian refugees, using his typical just asking the question style of speaking to wonder: “So they don’t have money, they don’t have anything. They have cell phones. Who pays their monthly charges, right? They have cell phones with the flags, the ISIS flags on them. And then we’re supposed to say, ‘Isn’t this wonderful that we’re taking them in?’”

24) Syrian Refugees Aren’t Vetted

At a Rhode Island rally, Trump warned supporters that they should be afraid of the Syrian refugees being resettled in the state:

We don't know who these people are. We don't know where they're from. We don't know where they're from. They have no documentation. We all have hearts and we can build safe zones in Syria and we'll get the Gulf states to put up the money. We're not putting up the money, but I'll get that done. But you know what? We can't let this happen. But you have a lot of them resettling in Rhode Island. Just enjoy your — lock your doors, folks.

We don't know where they come from, who they are. There's no documentation. We have our incompetent government people letting 'em in by the thousands, and who knows, who knows, maybe it's ISIS."

The refugees, however, are thoroughly vetted, with the process often taking “two years or longer.”

25) Syrian Refugees Only Sent To GOP-led States

Trump has also suggested that the federal government tries to “send [refugees] to the Republicans, not to the Democrats, you know because they know the problem,” referring to states with Republican and Democratic governors.

But as FactCheck.org notes, “nongovernmental agencies, such as World Relief and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, place the refugees, not the government, and those decisions are based on family ties, employment and other factors, not politics.” Not to mention the fact that the majority of states have Republican governors.

The idea that the Obama administration is trying to put Muslim refugees in conservative areas has been circulating in the right-wing media for years.

26) Syrian Refugees In U.S. To Number 250,000

On the stump and in interviews, Trump has repeatedly alleged that the administration is trying to resettle 200,000 to 250,000 Syrian refugees, “and it could very well be ISIS.”

“Our president wants to take in 250,000 from Syria,” he said last year. “Think of it, 250,000 people. And we all have heart, and we all want people taken care of and all of that, but with the problems our country has, to take in 250,000 people — some of whom are going to have problems, big problems — is just insane.”

In fact, President Obama has planned to accept only 10,000 refugees and, according to The New York Times, “the United States has let in less than a fifth of that number” as of April.

The 250,000 figure appears to come from a fake news article.

27) Syrian Refugees Are Part Of Evil Plot

In his just asking the question style of conspiracy theorizing, Trump said last year that President Obama is bringing in refugees for nefarious reasons: “Obviously some people think it’s evil intentions, I think it's incompetence, regardless, a lot of people think it’s evil intentions.”

In one speech, Trump said that Obama was deliberately ignoring terrorism for reasons we don’t know about, as one attendee shouted “He’s a Muslim!”

“I don’t know what’s wrong with Obama,” Trump said. “He wants to close his eyes and pretend it’s not happening. Why is he so emphatic on not solving the problem? There’s something we don’t know about. There’s something we don’t know about.”

28) U.S. Importing Terrorists

“This is a war against people that are vicious, violent people, that we have no idea who they are, where they come from,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in March. “We are allowing tens of thousands of them into our country now. Some of them happen to have cellphones with the ISIS flag on them. So, I think it's something that we have to be very tough and very vigilant and very smart or we will be in big trouble.”

Seeing that the U.S. accepts only 70,000 refugees from the entire world annually, PolitiFact notes that “this would mean that Trump is saying that all or nearly all refugees are terrorists, including the many who are not even Muslim and who don’t come from the Middle East.”

Not to mention that refugees allowed to resettle in the U.S. are thoroughly vetted.

 

Christian persecution

29) Christians Can’t Come Into America

Last year, Trump told the Iowa National Security Action Summit that Christians are prohibited from coming into the U.S.: “Muslims can come in but other people can’t. Christians can’t come into this country but Muslims can. What’s that all about? What is that all about? Something has got to be coming down from the top. When I heard that, I couldn’t believe it. And that is one of the top people in the world on immigration having to do with this country. Muslims can come in but Christians can't, and the Muslims aren't in danger and the Christians are.”

Trump didn’t identify his “top” source, but has continued to repeat this myth.

“If you're a Muslim, you can come into the country very easy,” he said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody last year. “If you're from Europe and you're a Muslim, you can come in. But if you are from Europe and you’re a Christian, you can't come in.”

Speaking in Nevada last year, Trump said: “I heard something the other day that’s hard to believe, it’s hard to believe. Believe me. If you’re from Syria and you’re a Christian, you cannot come into this country, and they’re the ones that are being decimated. If you’re Islamic and you come in, if you, I mean, it’s hard to believe, you can come in so easily. In fact, it’s one of our main groups of people that are coming in. Now, not that we should discriminate against one or the other, but if you’re Christian, you cannot get into the country. You cannot get into the country. I thought that was unbelievable.”

There is, of course, no policy prohibiting Syrian Christians, or Christians from anywhere else, for that matter, from entering the country. While there have been far fewer Syrian Christian refugees resettled in America compared to Syrian Muslim refugees, the Syrian population has a large Muslim majority.

While Trump said he doesn’t believe in discrimination, he later proposed a temporary ban on all Muslims “from entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

30) ‘They’ve Shut Christianity Down’

“Christianity is being chipped away at in this country,” Trump said at a campaign stop in March, citing tax regulations that prevent churches from engaging in partisan electoral activity. “I mean, really, they’ve shut Christianity down.”

Trump said he would have “less difficulty” advocating a ban on Christians from entering the U.S. as he did for Muslims.

Of course, Christians continue to make up the vast majority of the American population and continue to have freedom of religion in the U.S.

31) No ‘Lobby’ For Christians

Trump believes that there is no one in politics representing Christians, telling supporters that groups like Muslims have been able to “band together better or something.”

“You actually have less power, and yet if you look at it, I was talking to someone, we probably have 250 million, maybe even more, in terms of people, so we have more Christians than we have men or women in our country and we don’t have a lobby because they’re afraid to have a lobby because they don’t want to lose their tax status,” he said.

“So I am going to work like hell to get rid of that prohibition and we’re going to have the strongest Christian lobby and it’s going to happen.”

In fact, many denominations from across the religious divide have advocacy arms, and many lobbying groups represent the Christian Left, Right and center.

32) Christmas Has Disappeared

“Remember the expression ‘Merry Christmas?’” Trump has asked. “You don’t see it anymore.”

He has claimed that “the progressives” are trying to expunge Christmas from American society and once floated the idea of boycotting of Starbucks because their seasonal holiday red cups didn’t say “Merry Christmas.”

Christians’ “power is being taken away,” he said last year in an interview with Religious Right leader Tony Perkins. “You know,” he said, “you go from one thing to the next to the point where it’s not politically correct to say ‘Merry Christmas’ to anybody, or you go to stores and you don’t ever see the word ‘Christmas’ anymore. You don’t see that term anymore.”

Aside from the fact that the so-called War on Christmas is nothing but a right-wing myth, and we are not sure what constitutional provision gives the president the power to order department stores to post “Merry Christmas” signs.

33) I Am Being Persecuted For Being A ‘Strong Christian,’ Maybe

Following a CNN debate in February, Trump insisted that he is facing a government audit because he is being targeted by the IRS and “maybe because of the fact that I’m a strong Christian.” Trump cited the audit to justify his refusal to release his tax returns.

However, in a letter released by his campaign one month later, Trump’s own lawyers debunked his claim that he was the victim of politically motivated, anti-Christian bureaucrats, explaining that the businessman had faced “continuous examination” by the IRS since 2002, “consistent with the IRS’ practice for large and complex businesses.”

 

Guns and Crime

34) Obama Wants To Take The Guns

While campaigning in South Carolina last year, Trump told supporters about a planned move by Obama to “take your guns away”: “You know, the president is thinking about signing an executive order where he wants to take your guns away. You hear this one?”

The next day, he once again insisted that he had “heard” from “somebody” that Obama was going to try to take people’s guns through an executive order. He never mentioned who that “somebody” was, but said he had “read it in the papers.”

While conservatives have been predicting for years that Obama is on the verge of implementing a massive gun grab using his powers as president, none of his executive orders, or ones that he has considered, have come anywhere close to taking people’s guns.

“Whenever I see gun-free zones, that’s a flag for the wackos to come in and start shooting people,” Trump told CNN in January, despite the fact that several of his properties are gun-free zones.

35) Hillary Wants To Take The Guns

Trump has repeatedly claimed that Hillary Clinton is coming to seize guns and bullets by eliminating the Second Amendment.

“Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment, she wants to abolish it,” he said at a rally in Washington state. “Hillary Clinton wants to take your guns away, she wants to abolish the Second Amendment, she wants to take the bullets away, she wants to take it.”

Trump told the NRA convention this month that Clinton will “overturn the Second Amendment” and “release the violent criminals from jail.”

While Clinton has called for expanded background checks and a ban on assault weapons, a ban once supported by Trump, she has not advocated for the elimination of the Second Amendment or anything close to mass gun confiscation.

36) Hillary Wants To Release Violent Criminals From Jail

At the NRA conference, Trump insisted that President Obama and Hillary Clinton are determined “to release the violent criminals from jail.”

“She wants them all released,” he said. “She wants people released that you wouldn't want to walk on the street with, you wouldn't want to look at.”

However, Clinton’s proposals to reform the criminal justice system focus on nonviolent offenders, PolitiFact points out: “If anything, Clinton’s policy page bends over backward to focus her attention on ‘nonviolent,’ rather than violent, offenders. Proposals specify ‘nonviolent’ offenders no fewer than seven times. This consistent focus on nonviolent offenders undermines the notion that Clinton wants to release violent offenders at all, much less to do so willy-nilly.”

37) Fake, Racist Crime Statistics

Trump loves his racist Twitter fans, so it was no surprise to see him retweet an image last year showing racist, fabricated “statistics” comparing black and white crime rates that originated with a neo-Nazi outlet.

He defended the decision by saying in a Fox News interview that he doesn’t have to “check every statistic” while insisting that the information “came from sources that are very credible.” The source, however, was a nonexistent “Crime Statistics Bureau — San Francisco.”

Trump himself once said that “the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our major cities is committed by blacks and hispanics [sic].”

38) Oakland And Ferguson Among The Most Dangerous Cities In The World

“There are places in America that are among the most dangerous in the world,” Trump said this month. “You go to places like Oakland. Or Ferguson. The crime numbers are worse. Seriously.”

Trump has frequently claimed that American cities are beset by crime due to immigration .

Philip Bump of the Washington Post notes that while Oakland does have a high crime rate, it is far from one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Ferguson, Missouri, meanwhile, had only “the 23rd-highest crime rate of all cities in Missouri.”

“Overall, no American city is ‘among the most dangerous in the world,’” according to PolitiFact.

 

Immigration

39) Immigrants Are Mostly Criminals And Rapists

In his speech announcing his presidential campaign, Trump declared that most immigrants are “rapists” and people who are “bringing drugs” and “crime,” adding that “some, I assume, are good people.” He later said that many immigrants are “killers.”

Michelle Ye Hee Lee of the Washington Post points out that “a range of studies show there is no evidence immigrants commit more crimes than native-born Americans…. The Congressional Research Service found that the vast majority of unauthorized immigrants do not fit in the category that fits Trump’s description: aggravated felons, whose crimes include murder, drug trafficking or illegal trafficking of firearms. CRS also found that non-citizens make up a smaller percentage of the inmate population in state prisons and jails, compared to their percentage to the total U.S. population.”

40) Mexico Deliberately Sends Criminals To The U.S.

Trump believes that criminals are “pushed” into the U.S. by foreign governments because other countries don’t want to “put people in jail and spend a fortune taking care of them for 40 years when the United States will do it for them for nothing after they go and they kill people.”

“The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States,” Trump wrote in a press statement after his announcement speech. “They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.” He lamented that the U.S. “has become a dumping ground for Mexico and, in fact, for many other parts of the world.”

“Our leaders are stupid, our politicians are stupid, and the Mexican government is much smarter, much sharper, much more cunning, and they send the bad ones over because they don’t want to pay for them, they don’t want to take care of them. Why should they, when the stupid leaders of the United States will do it for them? And that’s what’s happening, whether you like it or not,” he said at a Republican debate.

Immigration experts say that there is no evidence that Mexico or other governments are sending criminals into the U.S.

41) U.S. Government Funds Unlawful Immigration

Not only does Trump believe that foreign governments are sending criminals into the U.S., he also believes that the U.S. government “funds illegal immigrants coming in and through your border, right through Phoenix.” He has said that the federal omnibus spending bill is the source of this funding.

However, the omnibus bill signed in 2015 did not include any appropriations for unlawful immigration. In fact, it funds the border patrol.

42) True Immigration Numbers Are Being Suppressed

While the Department of Homeland Security, the Center for Migration Studies and the Pew Research Center have said that the undocumented immigration population in America is just around 11 million people, Trump believes that this figure is a fabrication and that he has been “hearing it’s 30 million, it could be 34 million.”

Trump didn’t say who he “heard” that from, but it may have been from Ann Coulter, who claims to have shaped Trump’s immigration views and who estimates that the undocumented population is 30 million.

Trump has said that every single undocumented immigrant must be deported.

43) Obama Manipulated Immigration Numbers

In 2014, Trump accused Obama of manipulating data on deportations:

The claim, touted by conservative commentators, is false.

44) Border Patrol Letting Terrorists In

Last year, Trump said that border patrol agents refuse to stop anyone from entering the U.S., including terrorists:

I saw the other day on television, people are just walking across the border, they’re walking, the military is standing there, holding guns and people are just walking right in front, coming into our country. It is so terrible, it is so unfair, it is so incompetent and we don’t have the best coming in, we have people that are criminals, we have people that are crooks, you can certainly have terrorists, you can certainly have Islamic terrorists, you can have anything coming across the border. We don’t do anything about it.

In fact, America’s undocumented population “has dropped by about 1 million” in part due to increased border security, and agents are not instructed to simply let people, including terrorists, into the country.

While he wasn’t clear in his remarks, Trump may have been referring to a law signed by President Bush in 2008 which said that “children from non-contiguous countries” apprehended at the border must be “transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for trafficking screening, and placed into formal immigration court removal proceedings.”

45) Immigrants With Ebola Crossing Into America

Speaking with radio host Steve Deace in 2014 about Obama’s “disgusting” response to the Ebola outbreak, Trump said “there’s something going on and it’s not good.”

He linked his fears about Ebola to his reasons for preferring Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King’s extreme anti-immigrant stance: “He’s opposed to amnesty, secure the border, which is another one that’s like a no-brainer that I don’t understand, there are certain things you don’t even understand how the other side can fight it and yet there are people out there, believe it or not, that don’t want to secure our border. Now, especially with Ebola, how about when that starts happening down in that area and people just walk into the country?”

 

Science

46) CDC Lying About Ebola

While only two people contracted Ebola in the U.S. during the 2014 outbreak, Trump insisted that Ebola was a tremendous crisis in America. He even tweeted that the Centers for Disease Control were lying to the public:

He also repeatedly claimed that Obama was badlymishandlingthesituation, calling him “nuts” and “stupid” and demanding his resignation. “President Obama has a personal responsibility to visit & embrace all people in the US who contract Ebola!” he tweeted.

He even questioned “psycho” Obama’s mental state:

47) Vaccines Cause Autism

For years, Trump has alleged that autism became an “epidemic” due to childhood vaccinations. He said in 2007: “My theory, and I study it because I have young children, my theory is the shots. We’ve giving these massive injections at one time, and I really think it does something to the children.” In 2014, he pledged that he would promote this theory from the White House if he were elected president.

While a 2013 CDC study “found no connection between the number of vaccines a child received and his or her risk of autism spectrum disorder,” a finding backed up by other studies and accepted by medical institutions, Trump has continued to cite uncheckable personal anecdotes to defend his view, saying in one Republican presidential debate that “just the other day, two years old, two and a half years old, a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.”

“It is totally insane,” he said in 2012 about vaccines, “a baby cannot handle such tremendous trauma.”

Trump insists he doesn’t oppose vaccinations in principle but only wants them spaced over longer periods of time, something that would actually bemuchmore harmful to children. (For example, the recent Disneyland measles outbreak was linked to children whose parents decided to delay their shots).

Nonetheless, Trump said he has been “proven right” about the issue and that “the doctors lied.”

48) Climate Change Hoax

Trump is a longtime critic of “this whole global warming hoax,” alleging that the “concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

“This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop,” he tweeted, arguing that the “planet is freezing” and facing “record low temps.”

His criticisms of climate science, however, didn’t stop him from requesting aid from the Irish government to build a wall to protect his golf resort from the effects of climate change.

 

Elections

49) Voter Fraud Myth

Back in January, Trump declared that America’s “voting system is out of control.”

“You have people, in my opinion, that are voting many, many times,” he said. “They don’t want security, they don’t want cards.”

Several months later, Trump told NBC host Chuck Todd that noncitizens are voting in U.S. elections because “you have places where people just walk in and vote.”

However, studyafter study has shown that claims of rampant voter fraud, including claims that noncitizens are voting in elections, are nothing but a right-wing myth.

50) Obama Won With Voter Fraud

Trump appears to be pretty confident that dead voters helped Obama win re-election in 2012.

He didn’t cite any source to corroborate his claim, but allegations of votes being cast in the name of dead people are typically based on clerical errors rather than actual fraud .

51) Obama Lying About Health Insurance Figures

Following the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, uninsured rates have reached record lows. But Trump, seemingly citing his gut feeling, believes the numbers were manipulated to help Democrats before the 2014 election:

52) Obama Made A Deal With Saudi Arabia To Win Re-election

In a 2012 video blog, Trump said that “President Obama made a deal with the Saudis to flood the markets with oil before the election, so he can at least keep it down a little bit.”

He predicted that if Obama won reelection, gas and oil prices would skyrocket: “You’re going to see numbers like you’ve never seen if he wins. Let’s hope he doesn’t win. Remember I said it — if he [Obama] wins, oil and gasoline through the roof like never before. I believe a deal was made. It’s a sinister deal, but let’s see whether or not I was right.”

There is no evidence that Obama made such a deal with the Saudis and gas prices have remained low in his second term.

 

Media

53) Fox News Doing Saudi Arabia’s Bidding

During his since-patched-up feud with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, Trump tweeted a photoshopped image of her standing with a Saudi prince and a woman in a niqab, suggesting that Kelly was going after Trump on behalf of the Saudis.

54) The Washington Post Is Out To Get Trump

In an interview with Bill O’Reilly this month, Trump said that he is the subject of critical stories from the Washington Post because its owner, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, is “worried about me, and I think he said that to somebody, it was in some article, where he thinks I would go after him for anti-trust, because he's got a huge anti-trust problem because he's controlling so much. Amazon is controlling so much of what they're doing, and what they've done is he bought this paper for practically nothing, and he's using that as a tool for political power, against me and against other people. And I'll tell you what, we can't let him get away with it.”

 

Miscellaneous

55) Cover-up Of 42 Percent Unemployment Rate

“Don’t believe those phony numbers,” Trump said in February regarding the unemployment rate. “The number’s probably 28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent.”

Trump has repeatedly touted the 42 percent figure to show that the unemployment rate is “a phony number.”

While Trump is correct that the unemployment rate does not factor in all Americans, his figures are astronomically higher than country’s jobless rate, and seem to be predicated on the notion that every single American, including stay-at-home parents, students and retirees, are all looking for jobs.

56) Benghazi

Trump has accused Hillary Clinton of lying after the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, when she said that a video depicting the Prophet Mohammad had provoked anti-American protests and violence around the world.

However, although more information later came to light, intelligence and media sources at the time did mention that assailants were motivated by the video’s appearance, as did the ringleader of the attack.

57) Whitewater

After Trump brought up the Whitewater faux-scandal in the same breath as the Vince Foster conspiracy theory, his campaign accidentally revealed to Politico that he plans to go after Clinton by bringing up the 1970s land deal. Republicans have spent years attacking Bill and Hillary Clinton over Whitewater, even after Clinton-hunter Kenneth Starr said that he found no evidence of wrongdoing. Other GOP-led investigations also “failed to produce any evidence with which to charge the Clintons of any crime.” TPM notes:

The Whitewater controversy originated as a failed real estate venture that Hillary and Bill Clinton were involved in during the late 1970s and mushroomed during the Clinton presidency into a whole series of highly politicized and loosely connected scandals, subscandals, and pseudoscandals. Protracted investigations by special prosecutors and Congress of the many side dramas that came to be known collectively as Whitewater consumed much of the Clinton years. Several members of the Clintons’ circle were convicted for various levels of involvement, but the Clintons were ultimately cleared of wrongdoing.

Whitewater, Benghazi and Vince Foster’s death will hardly be the only Clinton conspiracy theories touted by Trump.

58) Rubio And Cruz Eligibility

Trump has cast doubt on the presidential eligibility of not only Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada to a U.S. citizen, but also Marco Rubio, who was born in Miami, Florida.

As Garrett Epps writes in The Atlantic, Trump did so in the same evasive way that he floats other conspiracy theories:

Trump’s challenge to the U.S. Constitution is only one subchapter of that story; but the damage he is doing is real, and he’s not finished yet.

Consider that last weekend, Trump began to deploy his birther libel — first wheeled out against Barack Obama and then Ted Cruz—against Marco Rubio. His claims are only increasing in scope. Obama, Trump claimed, was not born in the United States. (He was.) Cruz was born (to an American citizen mother) in Canada. Trump says that means he’s not a natural-born citizen. (He is.) No one questions that Rubio was born in the United States. His parents were lawful permanent residents. The Constitution, on this point at least, is blessedly clear. To be born in the United States is to be born a citizen. Trump doesn’t question that. Not quite. Not yet. But late last week, he retweeted a supporter who suggested that Rubio is ineligible for the White House. When George Stephanopoulos asked him why he had done that, Trump responded: “Because I’m not sure. I mean, let people make their own determination.”

This is the way that Trump insinuates lies and libels into the discussion. It’s not me, he feigns, others have questions about Rubio, I’m just saying it could be a problem, and maybe we should look into it. Similarly, after repeating a supporter’s invective against Cruz, Trump shrugs:Hey, I didn’t make the indecent and sexist comment about Cruz. What can I do? My supporters are passionate. But that was just the start. By the Iowa caucuses, he was calling the Texas senator “the Canadian anchor baby.” Rubio can expect the same treatment.

Trump, for his part, says he was simply asking the question.

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/26/16

  • Warren Throckmorton: Information and Misinformation on Gender Dysphoria from Wallbuilders and the American College of Pediatricians, Part One.
  • Sam Reisman @ Mediaite: Ginsburg: Having Only Eight Justices Means SCOTUS Can’t Do Its Job.
  • Dara Lind @ Vox: Trump campaign chair: We’ll pick a white man for VP. Anything else would be “pandering.”
  • Alan Colmes: Klayman: Baylor Sexual Assault Scandal Makes Starr ‘Sympathetic’ To Bill Clinton.
  • Jose Medina @ TFN: Bruner: I Ran to Expose the ‘Evil’ Actions of ‘Cock-Roaches’.
  • Oliver Willis @ Media Matters: Trump’s Kitchen Cabinet: What The Media Needs To Know About The Nominee’s Top Advisers And Supporters.
  • Tom McKay @ Mic: The Haunting Of Ted Cruz: These 5 Sinister Extremists Are His Dark Legacy From 2016.
  • Charles Johnson @ LGF: Definitive Video Proof That Donald Trump Is a Minion of Satan.

RNC Faith Liaison: Supreme Court Will Bring Religious Right Voters To Trump

The Republican Party’s faith outreach director, former South Carolina GOP chair Chad Connelly, says conservative Christians will vote for Donald Trump based on the future of the Supreme Court.

The biggest thing on evangelicals’ minds, I think, is the fact that we’re gonna be looking at a Supreme Court that could be vastly different going forward. And electing somebody like Hillary Clinton, who is obviously biased against the things that most evangelicals, Christians believe in, would be disastrous for religious liberty, for property rights, gun rights, religious freedom and stuff like that. I think it’s gonna settle out just fine and our folks will go our way.

Connelly told CBN’s Heather Sells that his friends and fellow church members had been split among Republican candidates, but that voters have now “given us two choices.” Trump’s plans to meet with Religious Right leaders and activists next month are, said Connelly, a sign that Trump knows you “don’t leave anybody out, especially not the base.”

Connelly travels the country encouraging pastors to register their congregants to vote and convince them to cast ballots based on a “biblical worldview.” Like speakers at virtually every Religious Right gathering, he said that what’s happened to the country “is literally our fault” because pastors haven’t preached aggressively enough. “Voting is not political,” he said, “it’s spiritual. It’s our witness and testimony to the community of what we believe in.”

He said he doesn’t think conservative pastors going to sit on the sidelines any more. He tells pastors, “Get your people registered and talk to them about the issues of the day and then make sure they go vote those issues in the voting booth.”

I spoke at a church…not long ago where the pastor kind of apologized to his congregation before he introduced me. He said he’d been preaching for 39 years and had never tried to connect the dots of the things going on with biblical worldview, and he said, “that’s gonna change.”

Asked whether Trump should apologize to Latino Christians who have been offended by his rhetoric, Connelly said, “I’ll leave his campaign decisions to him” and pivoted back to the Supreme Court.

I’ve been with Latino and African American and Anglo pastors all over the nation and they see this Supreme Court deal as a very big thing. You know the next president’s gonna probably appoint two, maybe three, and potentially four Supreme Court justices. That’s a 50-year decision for Christians out there.

To those conservative Christians who aren’t happy with their choices, Connelly says, “no man’s perfect.” But he says that people who are upset about Planned Parenthood and “judges rewriting God’s definition of marriage” should realize that “the Republican Party is the natural home for people of faith.”

Says Connelly, “I mean, let’s face it...it may be 100 years before the other party swings back and pays any attention to Christian values and biblical values like you and I care about.”

Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd also cited the Supreme Court in defending his decision to meet with Trump in June:

This election is about who will appoint as many as four Supreme Court justices. This election is about the dignity of human life from the womb to the tomb. This election is about the most significant religious freedom concerns in American history. I'm not about to sit at home on Election Day because I'm accountable to God and, I believe, I am accountable to my fellow Americans to vote. This is why I am meeting with Donald Trump, and why I would be willing to also meet with Hillary Clinton.

Daniel Lapin: Donald Trump Is God's Plan To Redeem America From The 'Sheer Evil' Of Hillary Clinton

On his television program last night, Glenn Beck sat down with Rabbi Daniel Lapin to discuss Lapin's contention that Donald Trump represents the only hope for saving America.

Beck, of course, has been a consistent and vocal critic of Trump and has repeatedly vowed never to vote for him, but Lapin did his best to sway Beck away from this position by bizarrely claiming that the Bible says that it is okay to behave unscrupulously when dealing with unscrupulous people.

Citing the passage from Genesis where Jacob meets Rachel, Lapin told some story that does not actually appear in the Bible but which he claimed gives believers permission to ignore their own moral principles when confronted with immoral situations. 

As Lapin told it, when Jacob met Rachel, she warned him that her father, Laban, was a notorious scoundrel who could not be trusted. Jacob's response, according to Lapin, was that he would be her father's "brother in scoundrelhood." Lapin said that Jacob then quoted a passage from Scripture that says "do not get involved with unscrupulous people, but should you inadvertently find yourself with unscrupulous people, then you don't have to allow your scruples to bring about your defeat."

The message of this passage, Lapin said, applies directly to the election in November and means that since those who are seeking to defend the Constitution are going up against "someone with limitless ambition, limitless avarice and a complete absence of any kind of scruple" in Hillary Clinton, they are not bound by any moral law that obligates them to play fair if it is going to lead to defeat.

Beck, understandably, couldn't quite believe what he was hearing, which prompted Lapin to explain that he simply refuses to accept that God has given up on this nation and since Clinton is "sheer evil," the only alternative is to believe that God has raised up someone as ruthless as Trump as the final hope for redeeming America.

Donald Trump Is Testing White Nationalists' Dream Electoral Strategy

While Donald Trump has promised that he will “win Hispanics” and “win the African-American vote” in November, a recent Huffington Post interview with Trump’s campaign chairman tells a different story.

Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman and chief strategist, told the Huffington Post yesterday that while the campaign intends to reach out to Latino voters in swing states like Pennsylvania and Florida, its goal is to “get into the high 20s in those states with Hispanics,” which is about how Mitt Romney fared among that population nationally in 2012, a dismal showing that helped to sink his presidential bid.

Trump’s strategy, as summarized by the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman, is to “win with white men and women, plus just enough of everyone else.”

This, incidentally, is exactly what white nationalists have been urging the Republican Party to do for years.

While the Republican National Committee reacted to Romney’s loss by appealing to the party to find ways to attract more people of color — including considering immigration reform — it quickly became clear that GOP elected officials were not behind the project. In September 2013, the white nationalist website VDARE posted an article rejoicing in the Republican Party’s apparent embrace of a whites-only electoral strategy, but complaining that VDARE author Steve Sailer wasn’t getting credit for it.

After the 2000 election, Sailer crunched vote totals from around the country and concluded that moving forward, “the GOP could win more elections by raising its fraction of the white vote minimally than by somehow grabbing vastly higher fractions of the minority vote.”

We wrote in 2013:

…In his [2000] column, titled “ GOP Future Depends on Winning Larger Share of the White Vote ,” Sailer crunched exit poll numbers and outlined a strategy by which the Republican Party could lose “every single nonwhite vote” and still win the presidency by working to increase its share of working class white voters. Sailer and VDARE continued to promote this strategy for over a decade, arguing that Republican attempts to reach out to people of color were not only bad politics, but also a losing strategy.

In the wake of President Obama’s reelection  which relied in a large part on the GOP’s alienation of black and Latino voters – the “Sailer Strategy” has seen a popular resurgence among the Right. While some GOP leaders, like RNC chairman Reince Priebus, have trumpeted the need for the party to expand its base in the face of changing demographics, others  including Phyllis Schlafly, Pat Buchanan, leaders in the anti-immigrant movement, and the editors of The National Review and The Weekly Standard  have argued that the GOP can instead build a lasting strategy by increasing its share of the white vote. These leaders argue that any effort to build a more inclusive Republican Party – and especially any effort to update the country’s immigration policy  would in the long term be futile because, as Schlafly indelicately put it, Latino voters don’t “have any Republican inclinations at all.”

The mostly implicit, but sometimes explicit, subtext in the push for this strategy is that it would be partly achieved by stirring up racial resentments among white voters against the country’s growing Latino population. Buchanan put it most clearly when he called for a renewal of the Southern Strategy – which fundamentally realigned the Republican Party by digging up and egging on Southern white racism against African Americans – only this time with Latinos as the target. (Not coincidentally, Buchanan and Schlafly have both cited Sailer's writings on race in their own work.)

Ann Coulter, who enjoys a cozy relationship with Trump, is also an enthusiastic proponent of the Sailer Strategy, for which she gives him credit.

Trump may not explicitly embrace the Sailer Strategy, but his campaign seems to have embraced its premise: giving up for lost the votes of people of color while trying to effect a marginal increase in the white vote in part by demonizing and scapegoating non-white people.

It’s something that many strategists say won’t work — but, in Trump, white nationalists might finally have a test of their strategy on a presidential level.

Update: Buzzfeed’s Rosie Gray reports that VDARE founder Peter Brimelow told last weekend’s white nationalist American Renaissance conference that Trump has proved that “immigration and economic nationalism and the whole concept of ‘America first’ works electorally”:

This year, white nationalists can barely contain their excitement over the presumptive Republican nominee, and the AmRen conference reflected the moment. “Even if Trump loses, he’s already shown that immigration and economic nationalism and the whole concept of ‘America first’ works electorally,” Peter Brimelow, the founder of Vdare.com, said in his speech to the conference. “There are some elections where losing candidates blaze a trail for the future.” Brimelow asked how many in the audience had been to a Trump rally; about a quarter raised their hands, mostly young people.
 

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 5/25/16

  • The latest column from Bryan Fischer is as sensible as always: "The Gay Gestapo is on a mission from the Dark Lord to relentlessly harass, intimidate, punish, and silence every advocate of sexual normalcy." 
  • David Barton insists that, according to the left, "there’s no greater heel in history, no greater jerk than Thomas Jefferson."
  • Donald Trump's campaign seems to be run by a bunch of real pros.
  • Pator Perry Noble says those Religious Right leaders who are planning to meet with Trump next month are hypocrites because most of them supported Mitt Romney in 2012: "I would bet if you took a survey of many of these same evangelical leaders that are going to the 'Trump Inquisition' next month...concerned about his lack of morality and stance on certain issues...that you would find many of those same leaders did not have to have such a meeting with Mitt Romney ... What's the problem?  Honestly, I see it as a bit of hypocrisy for a group of people to ask Trump to 'prove himself' when the same group were leading the Romney bandwagon!"  
  • On a related note, those organizing that meeting with Trump are laughably insisting that the meeting is "not intended to be political in nature."

Will Donald Trump Pick Fellow Conspiracy Theorist Newt Gingrich For VP?

Whether or not Newt Gingrich has officially joined the likes of Sarah Palin and Jan Brewer on Donald Trump’s vice presidential shortlist, it appears that Gingrich is having a major impact on the presumptive GOP nominee’s campaign.

According to a recent National Review article, the Trump and Gingrich speak to each other every day and the former House speaker has had “his hand in every major policy effort” by Trump’s campaign.

Certainly, the two share an almost unrivaled egomania and are skilled in the art of ridiculing liberal media “elites.” While he has developed a wonky reputation, Gingrich has also joined Trump in engaging in conspiracy theories about President Obama.

Back in 2012, Gingrich alleged that “we know so little about this president,” urging conservative activists to “raise a whole range of questions about Barack Obama.”

“Where’s his senior paper at Columbia?” Gingrich asked. “Where’s his application to go to Columbia? All sorts of stuff that we don’t know. In some ways we know less about this president than almost any president in modern times.”

Gingrich has also attacked the “elite media” for failing to investigate Obama’s past: “Do you think you are going to see two pages on Obama’s Muslim friends? Or two pages on the degree to which Obama is consistently apologizing to Islam while attacking the Catholic Church? Do you see anybody in the elite media prepared to say, gee, isn’t this kind of odd, that we really worry a lot about the Quran and nothing about the Bible?”

He has embraced a line pioneered by Dinesh D’Souza that Obama exhibits “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior,” arguing that Obama “refuses to behave like an American president.”

Gingrich defended birthers, such as his potential running mate, by blaming the president for the rise in conspiracy theories surrounding his birth: “I think that Obama creates very powerful emotions about him, largely because of the radicalism of his views. And I think that that's a key fact. I mean, nobody runs around and asks whether Colonel [Allen] West was born in the United States. He's an African-American, you know. He's a congressman. Nobody runs around and says, 'Is Tim Scott born in the United States?' He's a congressman. He's African-American. So the idea of asserting that any charge against Obama somehow manages magically in the media to get back to racism, I think is just one more device to protect Obama.”

Just as Trump now says that it’s “payback time” for voters who believe that America’s leaders are running the country into the ground and abandoning patriotic values, Gingrich once called on “the 80 percent of the country that actually believes in classical America” to fight “to take back power from the minority elite.” On another occasion, he warned that America would soon turn into “a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.”

Rather than adding intellectual heft to Trump’s conspiracy-theory-ridden campaign, Gingrich would just intensify Trump’s paranoid style of politics.

Dennis Prager Will Support Trump Over Clinton Because Sometimes 'Mature People' Have To Support A Stalin To Defeat A Hitler

On yesterday's edition of "The Hagee Hotline," conservative commentator Dennis Prager explained that he'll grudgingly be voting for Donald Trump in November because "mature people" recognize that sometimes you have to support a Joseph Stalin in order to defeat an Adolf Hitler.

Prager said that he would have preferred any of the other Republican presidential primary candidates to Trump, but since Trump is going to be the nominee, he'll support him despite his terrible character flaws and lack of values because Hillary Clinton, and Democrats in general, don't share the proper American values. 

"I'm going to vote for him because I have no choice," Prager said, asserting that people cannot simply refuse to vote because they don't like the candidates.

"In life, mature people have to recognize [that] most of the time in life, we don't have a choice between good and bad," he said, "we have a choice between bad and worse. The United States supported the mass-murdering Stalin against the mass-murdering Hitler not because we shared Stalin's values but because, at the time, the right thing to do was to support Stalin against Hitler."

"Mature people have to live in a world where you don't get your ideal but you better defeat the worst," Prager asserted.

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/24/16

  • Warren Throckmorton: With David Barton as Principal Officer, Non-Profit Mercury One Again Gave $100k to Barton’s Wallbuilders For Disaster Relief.
  • Peter Montgomery @ Religion Dispatches: Competing Visions of Family & Freedom at UN; Methodists Try to Avoid Schism on Sexuality; Catholic Cardinal Denounces LGBT ‘Demonic Ideology’; Global LGBT Recap.
  • Matthew Yglesias @ Vox: Republican Jewish Coalition won't say where all the anti-Semitic invective is coming from.
  • Allegra Kirkland @ TPM: Great White Hope: Trump Unites Generations Of White Nationalists.
  • Zachary Roth @ MSNBC: Far-right nativists eye Kris Kobach for Donald Trump’s vice president.
  • Robin Marty @ Care2: There May Soon Be No Place Left in the South for Abortions After The First Trimester.
  • Zack Ford @ Think Progress: How A Conservative Law Firm Is Duping Schools Into Passing Anti-Transgender Policies.
  • Ken Meyer @ Mediaite: Sam Bee Breaks Down How the Religious Right Devised Conservative Obsession with Abortion.

Donald Trump To Court Anti-LGBT Hate Groups, 'Prophets' And Televangelists

Next month, Donald Trump will host a meeting with some of the country’s most radical anti-LGBT and anti-choice leaders in New York City.

Trump, who has already recruited a variety of far-right activists and conspiracy theorists to his campaign, is set to take part in a convening organized by Ben Carson, a former rival turned campaign surrogate, aimed at bringing reluctant Religious Right leaders to his side.

According to a copy of the invitation to the event obtained by the National Review, Trump will be joined by Religious Right activists including Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Penny Nance, Jim Garlow, Rick Scarborough, Phil Burress, Ken Cuccinelli, Lila Rose, E.W Jackson, Harry Jackson, Tim Wildmon, Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson and Cindy Jacobs.

The meeting will be cohosted by the Family Research Council, Vision America and AFA Action, the political arm of the American Family Association, three of the most vicious anti-LGBT hate groups in the country.

Trump has already pledged to use nominees to the Supreme Court to pave the way for the reversal of the landmark rulings on abortion rights and marriage equality and has vowed to defund Planned Parenthood, key priorities of right-wing activists.

Here is a brief introduction to some of the far-right extremists Trump will be meeting with next month.

Pat Robertson

Televangelist Pat Robertson has long track record of making derogatory and bizarre statements about LGBT people and others, including remarks that he would rather have the public not know about. For instance, Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network tried unsuccessfully to expunge the web of a video segment in which Robertson said that gay people secretly wear dangerous rings that cut the hands of the people they meet in order to spread HIV/AIDS:

Robertson also joined Jerry Falwell in blaming the 9/11 attacks on gay people, feminists and People For the American Way.

Cindy Jacobs

Self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs claims that she receives direct messages from God about assassination plotsterrorist cells and imminent attackssuch as 9/11hurricanesfloodswarscoups; and Native American-induced curses. She also claims to have the power of bringing the dead back to life.

But Jacobs may be best known for her claim that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell led to the mass death of birds in Arkansas.

Harry Jackson

During the fight over marriage equality in Maryland, Bishop Harry Jackson led a Religious Right rally by lambasting the demonic principalities that he claimed were bringing same-sex marriage into the state. “The Enemy wants it to be a legacy, or a seed that is planted in this generation that corrupts, perverts and pollutes generations to come,” he said of same-sex marriage.

It is no wonder that Jackson has also accused gay people of trying to “recruit your kids” and acting like Nazis.

He was also featured in an anti-gay film where he warned that the “homosexual agenda” is “one of those icebergs that if we don’t navigate around them correctly, will take us under.”

Rick Scarborough

Vision America head Rick Scarborough is an outspoken anti-LGBT activist who once suggested filing a “class action lawsuit” against homosexuality modeled after the successful litigation against tobacco companies.

While his lawsuit still hasn’t materialized, Scarborough continues to lambast LGBT people, declaring that HIV/AIDS is a form of divine punishment against gay people, whom he insists on calling “sodomites” and accusing LGBT people of leading their children “into an early grave called hell.” While railing against President Obama’s appointment of several gay ambassadors, he declared that it would be “perfectly just” if God allowed a nuclear attack to destroy America in response.

Scarborough is so passionate about his contempt for LGBT rights that he said that he is ready to burn to death, “if necessary,” to stop marriage equality:

Tony Perkins

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins likes to pass himself off as a mainstream conservative leader, but is in reality a far-right zealot who has attacked gay people as pawns of Satan and defended Uganda’s “kill-the-gays” legislation.

Prior to the Supreme Court's landmark marriage equality ruling, Perkins frequently predicted that Americans would launch a revolution to block same-sex marriages, warning that advances in LGBT equality would lead to an anti-Christian holocaust and a rise in terrorism.

Perkins, like Trump, has engaged in all sorts of conspiracy theories, everything from birtherism to the belief that the government is behind “the promotion of same-sex relations” as a means of “population control.”

E.W. Jackson

Virginia-based pastor E.W. Jackson has compiled a long record of anti-LGBT and anti-Obama diatribes over the years.

Jackson, who in 2013 was the unsuccessful GOP nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, has said of gay people: “Their minds are perverted, they’re frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally and they see everything through the lens of homosexuality.” Gay people, Jackson said, are “spiritually darkened” and have caused God to stop blessing the U.S. military. It is no wonder that Jackson said at a press conference that he was ready to die to fight gay marriage.

Jackson has similarly attacked President Obama as a man “with an evil presence” who helped influence the Democratic Party to have “an agenda worthy of the Antichrist.”

Jim Garlow

California-based pastor Jim Garlow, as we’ve previously noted, has “claimed his prayers helped secure the passage of California’s Proposition 8, which 'saved us from the bondage and enslavement that would come upon us if gay marriage actually passed in a state'; described the 'radical homosexual agenda' as a tool of Satan and 'almost like an Antichrist spirit'; and warned that marriage equality will lead to America’s destruction, widespread persecution and even death.”

Lila Rose

Lila Rose of the anti-abortion group Live Action has gained widespread notoriety over her smear campaigns against Planned Parenthood, telling supporters that she wants to battle Satan and “take out Planned Parenthood,” while comparing herself to Martin Luther King Jr. and Malala Yousafzai.

Rose has said that abortions should be “done in the public square” until they can be banned.

James Dobson

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson is one of the creators of the modern Religious Right movement. He has:

  • Alleged that Obamacare will deprive the elderly of life-saving treatments.
  • Insisted that bisexuality means “orgies.”

Leading White Nationalist Predicts Trump Administration Will Be Stacked With 'People Who Think The Way We Do'

Earlier this month, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke said that it was the job of white nationalists like himself to give Donald Trump “space” so that he can eventually publicly embrace anti-Semitism.

Jared Taylor, the leading white nationalist who heads the organization American Renaissance, expressed a similar hope in a May 16 interview on an “alt-right” podcast, saying that he could “imagine” a scenario in which Trump, once president, would publicly back “white people wanting to remain a majority in their own country” and endorse bogus theories about racial differences in intelligence. Taylor also predicted that Trump would hire people “at all sorts of levels in his administration” who “think the way we do.”

The blog Hail to the Gynocracy, which tracks the alt-right, captured segments of the interview that Taylor gave to the “This Alt-Right Life” podcast, hosted by Matt Forney.

“I’m more optimistic now than I have been at any point in 25 years of trying to wake white people up to this terrible crisis that they face,” Taylor said. “I think that Donald Trump is certainly an important ingredient in that.

Trump, Taylor said, is saying things that he has been saying for years, only it’s impossible for people to ignore him because he’s raising these questions at “a level at which they’ve never been raised ever before.”

Transcript courtesy of Hail to the Gynocracy:

I’ve been saying for 25 years we don’t need any more Muslims, but I can be ignored. The SPLC can say I’m a hatemonger and then people will ignore me. The SPLC can say all it wants that Donald Trump is a hatemonger, but if he is the Republican nominee, then he is in an entirely different position.

And when people start thinking in those terms, Well, wait a minute, are Muslims really of any use to the United States? Then the next step, of course, is to say, Well, are there any other groups that are of no use to the United States? What do, oh, Guatemalans, for example, bring to our country? What do Somalis bring to our country? What do Haitians bring to America? Do we really need 30,000,000 Mexicans living in this country? When you start thinking in terms of group differences, then the camel’s nose is under the tent. That opens the door to all kinds, all kinds of anti-orthodox, subversive thinking. And so Donald Trump has played a huge role in breaking down the gates of orthodoxy and making it possible to raise these questions in a way that they’ve never been raised, at a level at which they’ve never been raised ever before.

Taylor said that although Trump is not a “sophisticated racialist,” he has “good instincts.” He said he could imagine a scenario in which Trump goes beyond his promises to deport undocumented immigrants and ban Muslims from entering the country and specifically embraces white nationalism.

I think that he has committed himself so strongly to those ideas that it would look very bad if he were to back out on them. Even if he did only those things and nothing more, that would be a radical transformation of the way America does politics when it comes to immigration, and that would be a wonderful thing.

We can then imagine a Donald Trump who goes even further. Donald Trump is the only candidate in the last 50 years of whom I could realistically imagine his tossing off to a group of journalists a question such as, Well, what’s wrong with white people wanting to remain a majority in their own country? I can imagine him saying that. He will not necessarily, but I can imagine it. I cannot imagine any other candidate ever saying such a thing.

I can even imagine him saying, Well you know, ultimately, you just can’t expect as many blacks per capita to be in the advanced placement courses because they’re just not as smart. I mean I can imagine that with a little bit greater difficulty than the remark about being majorities, but that too is not an utterly inconceivable thing for Donald Trump to say. And if the president of the United States makes remarks of that kind, they simply cannot be brushed aside.

Taylor added that he was confident that a Trump administration would be stacked with people who “think the way we do” and “read our web pages” and “listen to our podcasts.”

On the other hand, there is an aspect of this that very few people are talking about. If there actually is a Trump presidency, he will attract, at all sorts of levels in his administration, people who do think the way we do. Even though they’re not publicly associated with racial dissidents, or white advocacy. He will attract people who read our web pages, who listen to our podcasts, and they will work in all sorts of very, very useful ways in all levels of his administration to bring about sensible policies.

I think I can also imagine that some of them, they will be caught out, oh, saying rude things about blacks or rude things about Mexico, and there will be little scandals here and there. But there will be a great number who will infiltrate his administration, his campaign, his advisers in ways that cannot but be extremely useful both to Trump and to us.

Donald Trump Is Just Asking The Question: Was Vince Foster Murdered By The Clintons?

Donald Trump frequently attempts to get away with spouting wild conspiracy theories by claiming that he doesn’t necessarily believe in the conspiracy theories in question, but is simply asking the question.

This rhetorical trick, one perfected by Fox News hosts and right-wing pundits like Glenn Beck, enables Trump to insert a conspiracy theory into the news narrative without taking any responsibility as to whether the allegation is true or not.

Take, for example, his interview yesterday with the Washington Post, where he mentioned the thoroughly discredited claim that Bill and Hillary Clinton murdered Vincent Foster, a former aide who died of suicide. While bringing up the debunked conspiracy theory, Trump insisted that he wasn’t bringing it up, but was only saying that other people have said Foster was killed.

“He knew everything that was going on, and then all of a sudden he committed suicide,” Trump said. “I don’t bring [Foster’s death] up because I don’t know enough to really discuss it. I will say there are people who continue to bring it up because they think it was absolutely a murder. I don’t do that because I don’t think it’s fair.”

“It’s the one thing with her, whether it’s Whitewater or whether it’s Vince or whether it’s Benghazi. It’s always a mess with Hillary,” Trump said in the interview.



One issue on Trump’s radar is the 1993 death of Foster, which has been ruled a suicide by law enforcement officials and a subsequent federal investigation. But some voices on the far right have long argued that the Clintons may have been involved in a conspiracy that led to Foster’s death.

When asked in an interview last week about the Foster case, Trump dealt with it as he has with many edgy topics — raising doubts about the official version of events even as he says he does not plan to talk about it on the campaign trail.

He called theories of possible foul play “very serious” and the circumstances of Foster’s death “very fishy.”

“He had intimate knowledge of what was going on,” Trump said, speaking of Foster’s relationship with the Clintons at the time. “He knew everything that was going on, and then all of a sudden he committed suicide.”

He added, “I don’t bring [Foster’s death] up because I don’t know enough to really discuss it. I will say there are people who continue to bring it up because they think it was absolutely a murder. I don’t do that because I don’t think it’s fair.”

The GOP presidential candidate used the same rhetorical trick when broadcasting the conspiracy theories that the late Justice Antonin Scalia was murdered and that Rafael Cruz, the father of his then-rival Sen. Ted Cruz, was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He did the same thing when he raised questions about the validity of President Obama’s birth certificate.

For a candidate who claims to have a brash, tell-it-like-it-is manner, he sure does try his best to not to be held accountable for the things he says.

Trump Turns To Christian Right To Fund His Campaign

Having already adopted the language of the anti-abortion movement and received the endorsements of its leaders such as Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman, Priests for Life's National Director Frank Pavone, and Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser, along with culture warriors such as Phyllis Schlafly, Donald Trump will now do what Donald Trump does best: get paid.

Bloomberg News reports that Trump has set a goal of soliciting 200,000 contributions from the evangelical community.

The article goes on to describe some odd contortions that some of Trump’s conservative Christian supporters are going through to justify their endorsements of the thrice-married New York businessman.

Bloomberg’s Kevin Cirilli and Jennifer Jacobs write:

At one recent meeting with Trump, evangelical leaders noted how he often flashes a signature hand gesture, with a thumb out and a finger point to the sky, as he enters and exits rallies.  

"You see athletes do it all the time and it's their chance to point to the sky, to thank God for their success," said Pastor Mark Burns, CEO of a Christian television network based in South Carolina. "Trump does this all of the time, too. He's giving reverence to the man upstairs."

"Even with Mr. Trump's billions of dollars, he too still submits himself to God," said Burns, who has become a top Trump surrogate and a staple on the campaign trail, frequently introducing the candidate at rallies. "We should all chip in to help him out. You know, even a billionaire needs some cash flow."

The article also notes that according to Burns, he sees “Mr. Trump's personal and professional connection to his faith at every rally where I introduce him."

The truth is these justifications should be unnecessary. Politically, Trump has bent over backwards to please the Christian Right, which initially had been quite skeptical of his candidacy.

Since becoming the Republican nominee Trump has adopted the language and policies of the antiabortion movement. He also hired former hill staffer John Mashburn as his policy director, to the rave reviews of anti-abortion leaders, and he recently released a slate of Supreme Court picks, any one of whom would shift the court far to the Right and all of whom anti-choice activists seem to be confident would help them to roll back reproductive rights.

Furthermore, Trump’s declaration that “we are going to staring saying Merry Christmas again” is drawn directly from the rhetoric of the Christian conservative movement, which has taken to claiming that sales clerks wishing their customers “happy holidays” amounts to a “war on Christmas.” He also promised to create a Christian "lobby" by removing IRS regulations that prevent churches from engaging in partisan politics. 

This all makes sense in the context of Donald Trump. If he is going to have to cite “two Corinthians” in a speech, he might as well profit from it.

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/23/16

Trump 'Christian Policy' Adviser Is A 'Prophet' Who Stopped A Tsunami, Says AIDS Is Result Of 'Unnatural Sex'

Mario Bramnick, an official with the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, told Time magazine last week that Donald Trump has taken on Frank Amedia of Touch Heaven Ministries in Ohio as his new “liaison for Christian policy” and that Amedia has been arranging meetings for the Republican presidential candidate with conservative religious leaders.

Amedia, who was once implicated in a bribery scandal in which he attempted to help a car-dealer friend avoid prosecution, is now a self-proclaimed “apostle” who says that he once single-handedly stopped a tsunami from hitting an island in Hawaii.

Amedia got his religious training from Miami pastor Guillermo Maldonado, who is associated with the controversial New Apostolic Reformation, a group of self-proclaimed modern-day apostles and prophets. In a 2012 appearance on Maldonado’s TBN program, Amedia referred to Maldonado as his “spiritual father.”

Amedia, who says he is a former Jew, now identifies as an “apostle” himself. Until recently, his biography on his church’s website read:

Frank Amedia is called as an Apostle, Prophet, Pastor, Evangelist, Teacher, and Minister in sound biblical doctrine with gifts of knowledge, healing, and discernment … For over two decades, his clarity of vision, prophetic insight, and revelations of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God in the scriptures have been an enormous blessing to a worldwide audience. Enabled by this extensive experience, Pastor Frank has a unique perspective on the parallel journey of the Church and Israel as he is called as one to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. Thousands of wondrous records of miraculous testimonies of healings, deliverances, re-creative miracles, and physical gifts follow him wherever he goes, even as he gives all of the Glory to God his Father, Jesus his Messiah, and the Holy Spirit.

Like other self-proclaimed apostles and prophets, Amedia claims to be able to control natural events. On Maldonado’s TBN program in 2012, Amedia claimed to have single-handedly stopped waves from the 2011 tsunami in Japan from hitting a Hawaiian island where his daughter was at the time. He boasted that the waves instead moved on to devastate another island:

I stood at the edge of my bed and I said, ‘In the name of Jesus, I declare that tsunami to stop now.’ And I specifically said, ‘I declare those waters to recede,’ and I said, ‘Father, that is my child, I am your child, I’m coming to you now and asking you to preserve her.’ Apostle, it was seen by 400 people on a cliff. It was on YouTube, it was actually on the news that that tsunami stopped 200 feet off of shore. Even after having sucked the waters in, it churned and it went on and did devastation in the next island.

As part of Amedia’s ministry, he runs a North American affiliate of Isaac TV, a Christian evangelist network based in Pakistan. In an undated program broadcast on the station, which was posted on YouTube late last year, Amedia discussed with viewers how faith in Christ could save them from “generational curses,” “traditions and cultures that keep us away from God,” and “an evil lifestyle.”

He went on to discuss how AIDS is the result of “unnatural sex” and can be avoided by practicing a "wholesome life”:

We know that many of the diseases today are avoidable if only we practiced a wholesome life. AIDS is a disease that comes because of unnatural sex. We understand that many of the diseases that we receive is because of exposure that we have to things that we should not be exposed to, lifestyles that are unhealthy or things in our spirit that cause us to become bitter.

He told viewers of a friend of his who “began to hate some people” and then he “lost his mind and he died a horrible death.”

Later in the program, Amedia doled out some faith healings, healing a viewer with “cancer in your tongue” and another who had chapped lips:

True to the spirit of Trump, Amedia has at least one shady business deal in his past. In 2001, he was granted immunity to testify that he had helped try to bribe a prosecutor to drop a case against a car-dealer friend in Ohio who had allegedly been rolling back car odometers. The Pittsburgh Tribune Review recapped the case in a 2011 article about an unrelated case in which Amedia testified:

"Did you not enter into a conspiracy to fix a court case in Mahoning County (Ohio)?" said Jeffrey Wilhelm, a Reed Smith attorney representing BlackRock. He referred to Amedia as "the bag man" in the incident, and said Amedia's admission "demonstrates his dishonesty."

The pointed question referred to Amedia's testimony in 2001 that he tried to bribe a prosecutor in 1994 not to pursue charges against a Youngstown car dealer for rolling back odometers on vehicles.

Amedia admitted he helped arrange a payment of $250,000 through a prominent local businessman, Anthony Saadey. Amedia gave the money to Russell Saddey Jr., Anthony Saadey's nephew, whom Amedia understood was an investigator for the Mahoning County prosecutor's office.

Amedia was never charged in the incident and moved to Florida in 2000. He admitted the attempted bribery in 2001 under grant of immunity for testimony in the prosecution of Russell Saddey on racketeering and other charges.

"I didn't ask for immunity; only that my family be protected," said Amedia yesterday, holding back tears. He said his family members were subjected to "death threats" by mobsters involved in the incident, and noted he received no money for his role in the bribery attempt.

We reported last week on Amedia’s mission work in Haiti after the country was hit by a devastating earthquake, when he linked the country’s troubles to “the curse of Voodoo” and said that he might give up providing aid to Haitians who did not renounce Voodoo.

Trump Offers No Apologies For Rhetoric, But Some Conservative Latinos Warming To Him

As we reported last week, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) president Samuel Rodriguez gave Donald Trump a chance to “redeem the narrative” with Latino voters by showing a videotaped message from the candidate to attendees at an NHCLC gathering last Friday; a video from Hillary Clinton was also played. Rodriguez has criticized Trump’s harsh anti-immigration rhetoric and mass deportation plan, but has also given him political cover, telling the Christian Broadcasting Network last month that Trump is not a racist and blaming such a characterization on “liberal media.”

Rodriguez has said he hopes Trump will apologize for his “hurtful, erroneous, and dangerous statements” about Latino immigrants. And he said earlier last week that he would only show Trump’s video if he deemed it sufficiently conciliatory and respectful.

Conciliatory and respectful are clearly in the eyes of the beholder. Trump’s two-and-a-half minute video, apparently shot on a cell phone while he sat in his private jet reading from a piece of paper, included no apologies for any of the harsh rhetoric that Rodriguez has complained about.

Instead, Trump made the kind of broad promises that have characterized his campaign — creating good schools, safe communities and providing “massive tax cuts” for the middle class — without many details about how he would do so, other than controlling immigration and making “great trade deals.” Hillary Clinton’s video did address Trump’s rhetoric without mentioning him by name, saying, “That is not who we are as a people.”

Trump told Hispanics that poor people would pay nothing under his tax plan: “You’re going to start paying taxes after you’re making a lot of money, and hopefully that is going to be soon.” Other tidbits from his video:

  • “The world is taking our jobs and we’ve got to stop it. We’re going to take care of minority unemployment. It’s a huge problem, it’s really unfair to minorities, and we are going to solve that problem.”
  • “National. Hispanic. Christian. Three great words. We’re gonna to take care of you, we’re gonna work with you, you’re gonna be very happy, you’re gonna like president Trump.”
  • “I’m going to win and we’re going to take care of everybody. Our country is going to be unified for the first time in a long time”

Before the NHCLC conference last week, Trump met privately with some evangelical leaders, in a meeting arranged by Frank Amedia, Trump’s “liaison for Christian policy.” Representing NHCLC at the meeting was Mario Bramnick, who praised Trump’s “genuineness.”

“Donald Trump showed a tremendous understanding and concern for the undocumented immigrants,” he said. “We all came out really sensing his genuineness.”

He added: “We didn’t get into specifics other than that he wants to work with us, work with the Hispanic community, Hispanic leadership on substantive policy regarding immigration.”

Bramnick also said Trump embraced the Religious Right’s “Christian persecution” narrative, telling Charisma:

"He told us in the meeting that he's very, very concerned that Christians are losing their rights in America, that we no longer can even speak or express what we believe," Bramnick said. "And he did say that if he becomes president, he's going to change things to make sure that we as Christians have our religious liberties restored. He said he's concerned about Christians, he's concerned about Jews, and he wants to help."

In March, Bramnick spoke at Liberty Counsel’s “Awakening” conference, quoting Cindy Jacobs’ prophecy that Florida had determined that George W. Bush would be president and that God would use Florida to shift the nation again. “God by his Holy Spirit can appoint the president that God has ordained,” said Bramnick.

At the Awakening conference, Bramnick prayed:

Father, awaken the sleeping the church. Unite us. We come against the diabolic spirit of division in the body of Christ, that spirit that would put us to sleep, spirits of anti-Christ and witchcraft, and we declare out of Orlando, the church of Jesus Christ is arising, not by power, not by might, but by your spirit. And father we declare out of Orlando, shift for Florida, shift for the United States, and the man you have selected to be our next president, shall be elected president of the United States, and shall usher in the Third Great Awakening…

It’s not just the NHCLC giving Trump another look. Some other Latino conservatives are showing some willingness to rally around him. The Hill’s Ben Kamisar noted over the weekend that last October, Alfonso Aguilar, a former Bush White House official who now heads the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, said Trump was “done” in the eyes of the Latino community. Aguilar declared, “If Donald Trump is the GOP candidate, we won’t work to support him and we are sure he will lose the general election because there’s no way a GOP candidate can win the White House if they don’t get more support from Latino voters.” But now that Trump is the nominee, Aguilar is singing a different tune, saying that if Trump were to “seek my support and show he’s willing to change his tone and be open to some form of legalization, I would be willing to reconsider my position.”

BuzzFeed’s Adrian Carrasquillo recently noted that there are a lot of major conferences coming up. The National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) have both sent formal invitations but “have had difficulties getting responses from the Trump campaign.” The National Council of La Raza has not yet decided whether to invite Trump to its July conference.

 

 

At NRA Convention Trump Helps Stoke Fear, Feed Gun Industry Profits

From the moment Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, certain members of the media have been eagerly predicting his pivot away from the far right into the mainstream of American politics.

Today, while collecting the National Rifle Association’s endorsement at the group’s annual convention, he continued to keep both his campaign and his rhetoric firmly rooted in the policies and rhetoric of the far right.  

Trump began his speech by claiming that Hillary Clinton wants to “abolish the Second Amendment.” Politifact rated this Trump claim “false” nine days ago.

In uttering this lie, Trump aligns himself with a longstanding NRA strategy. In both 2008 and 2012, the organization and its leadership made similar claims about Barack Obama, yet none of them ever came to pass. NRA board member Grover Norquist even acknowledged these statements were hyperbole.

Creating a climate of fear around the notion that a Democratic president will strip Americans of gun rights is not only designed to whip conservative voters into a frenzy, it also benefits the bottom line of the NRA’s benefactors in the gun industry.

As Jarret Murphy explained in The Nation:

There is no divorcing the politics of guns from their profits. America’s gun lobby and gun industry both benefit from creating a fearful vision of life in the United States—a picture of criminals constantly menacing our families and a government hellbent on taking our guns—that is very effective at selling weapons. In fact, in large part because of the way anxieties about his gun policies have been manipulated, the Obama era has been a golden age for firearms manufacturers, and the run-up to Election 2012 could be for Glock and Remington what the Christmas shopping season is for Macy’s and Sears: a time to cash in before the narrative changes.

This sentiment was reflected by gun industry analyst Jim Barrett, who told The Blaze in 2012, “The driver [of the gun industry's financial success] is President Obama. He is the best thing that ever happened to the firearm industry.”

The Blaze reported in the run-up to the 2012 election:

Major gun company stock prices are up. The number of federally licensed, retail gun dealers is increasing for the first time in nearly 20 years. The U.S. gun lobby is bursting with cash and political clout.

The NRA’s endorsement, if nothing else, means that Donald Trump will attempt to keep this gravy train of fear fueling the bottom line for gun manufacturers for another four years.

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/20/16

Trump's Christian Liaison Threatened To Withhold Food From Haitians Who Don't Give Up Voodoo

According to a Time report today, Donald Trump is trying to make up with the National Hispanic Leadership Conference, the Hispanic evangelical group headed by Samuel Rodriguez, who has spent much of the presidential campaign cycle criticizing Trump for his anti-Latino, anti-immigrant rhetoric.

An official with NHLC, Mario Bramnick, apparently met with Trump earlier this month and came away thinking that “Donald Trump showed a tremendous understanding and concern for the undocumented immigrants.”

The meeting was reportedly organized by televangelist Frank Amedia of Touch Heaven Ministries, who is the Trump campaign’s “liaison for Christian policy.”

We had never heard of Amedia before, so we did a news search and found an AP story from February 24, 2010, titled “Voodoo practitioners attacked at ceremony for Haiti earthquake victims”:

Angry crowds in a seaside slum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, attacked a group of Voodoo practitioners Tuesday, pelting them with rocks and halting a ceremony meant to honor victims of last month's deadly earthquake.

Voodooists gathered in Cite Soleil where thousands of quake survivors live in tents and depend on food aid. Praying and singing, the group was trying to conjure spirits to guide lost souls when a crowd of evangelicals started shouting. Some threw rocks while others urinated on Voodoo symbols. When police left, the crowd destroyed the altars and Voodoo offerings of food and rum.

Tensions have been running high since the Jan. 12 earthquake killed an estimated 200,000 people and left more than 1 million homeless. More than 150 machete-wielding men attacked a World Food Program convoy Monday on the road between Haiti's second-largest city of Cap-Haitien and Port-au-Prince. There were no injuries but Chilean peacekeepers could not prevent the men from stealing the food, U.N. spokesman Michel Bonnardeaux said.

Religious tension has also increased: Baptists, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientologists, Mormons and other missionaries have flocked to Haiti in droves since the earthquake to feed the homeless, treat the injured and jockey for souls. Some Voodoo practitioners have said they've converted to Christianity for fear they will lose out on aid or a belief that the earthquake was a warning from God. "Much of this has to do with the aid coming in," said Max Beauvoir, a Voodoo priest and head of a Voodoo association. "Many missionaries oppose Voodoo. I hope this does not start a war of religions because many of our practitioners are being harassed now unlike any other time that I remember."



"There's absolutely a heightened spiritual conflict between Christianity and Voodoo since the quake," said Pastor Frank Amedia of the Miami-based Touch Heaven Ministries who has been distributing food in Haiti and proselytizing.

"We would give food to the needy in the short term, but if they refused to give up Voodoo, I'm not sure we would continue to support them in the long term because we wouldn't want to perpetuate that practice. We equate it with witchcraft, which is contrary to the Gospel."

In a YouTube video posted in 2011 of a post-earthquake visit to Haiti, Amedia channeled Pat Robertson by attributing Haiti’s problems to a lack of literal fatherhood and a relationship with God, saying that the country had been afflicted by “the curse of Voodoo”:

The redemption of the country has to be in the fathering of the country. Pastors need fathers; the president need a father; and the families need fathers. There’s a lack of a fathering spirit here. And once that’s restored, the relationship with the Father in heaven and then the fathers here on earth, and there’s a mentoring and a fathering going on, this land will heal.

It’s the curse of Voodoo that has taken away the fathering in this land.

Steve Deace: Conservatives Using Supreme Court As 'Fig Leaf' As They 'Sell Their Souls' To Trump

After Donald Trump released a list of 11 people he would consider nominating to the Supreme Court if he were elected president, some conservatives who had been wary of supporting the presumptive GOP nominee began using it as an excuse to rally behind him. But not all of Trump’s conservative critics are convinced that he would actually pick from the judges on his list, many of whom were hand-picked by the conservative Heritage Society.

Among the skeptics is Steve Deace, the conservative Iowa talk radio host and vocal Trump critic, who said on his radio program yesterday that he did not believe Trump would actually nominate any of those judges when push comes to shove and that conservative activists are just using the Supreme Court list as a “fig leaf” as they “sell their souls” to Trump.

Deace’s guest, Daniel Horowitz of Conservative Review, predicted that Senate Democrats would never allow the confirmation of “a true originalist in the mold of Clarence Thomas” and that Trump would end up compromising on his court picks.

Deace agreed. “Why does anybody believe, anybody, unless they just want to be deceived, why does anybody believe that he would follow through on any of those things?” he asked.

“This is being done to offer a fig leaf to give conservative leaders and conservative voters who supported Ted Cruz permission to cross over and to say ‘We can now vote for Trump,’” he said. “And they have plausible deniability, if he doesn’t nominate any of those guys, then they’re victims later on, ‘Well, we went with his words, we had no other alternative, there’s nothing else we could do, we didn’t want Hillary to win, it’s all on his head.’ That’s what this is. It’s nothing more, nothing less, than a fig leaf to give Ted Cruz’s conservative infrastructure permission to sell their souls and to bow the knee and kneel before Zod.”

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Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump not only surrounds himself with conspiracy theorists, he has spent years pushing conspiracy theories himself, much to the delight of his supporters. At times, Trump tries to remain evasive about whether he actually believes these conspiracy theories, insisting that he simply “heard” or “read” them somewhere or is just asking a question. We found at least 58 instances of Trump promoting false conspiracy theories on everything from immigration to President Obama’s birthplace. The number is certain... MORE >

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Miranda Blue, Thursday 05/26/2016, 1:17pm
While Donald Trump has promised that he will “win Hispanics” and “win the African-American vote” in November, a recent Huffington Post interview with Trump’s campaign chairman tells a different story. Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman and chief strategist, told the Huffington Post yesterday that while the campaign intends to reach out to Latino voters in swing states like Pennsylvania and Florida, its goal is to “get into the high 20s in those states with Hispanics,” which is about how Mitt Romney fared among that population nationally... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 05/25/2016, 5:30pm
The latest column from Bryan Fischer is as sensible as always: "The Gay Gestapo is on a mission from the Dark Lord to relentlessly harass, intimidate, punish, and silence every advocate of sexual normalcy."  David Barton insists that, according to the left, "there’s no greater heel in history, no greater jerk than Thomas Jefferson." Donald Trump's campaign seems to be run by a bunch of real pros. Pator Perry Noble says those Religious Right leaders who are planning to meet with Trump next month are hypocrites because most of them supported... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 05/25/2016, 11:30am
Whether or not Newt Gingrich has officially joined the likes of Sarah Palin and Jan Brewer on Donald Trump’s vice presidential shortlist, it appears that Gingrich is having a major impact on the presumptive GOP nominee’s campaign. According to a recent National Review article, the Trump and Gingrich speak to each other every day and the former House speaker has had “his hand in every major policy effort” by Trump’s campaign. Certainly, the two share an almost unrivaled egomania and are skilled in the art of ridiculing liberal media “elites.”... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 05/25/2016, 11:22am
On yesterday's edition of "The Hagee Hotline," conservative commentator Dennis Prager explained that he'll grudgingly be voting for Donald Trump in November because "mature people" recognize that sometimes you have to support a Joseph Stalin in order to defeat an Adolf Hitler. Prager said that he would have preferred any of the other Republican presidential primary candidates to Trump, but since Trump is going to be the nominee, he'll support him despite his terrible character flaws and lack of values because Hillary Clinton, and Democrats in general, don't... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 05/24/2016, 5:32pm
Warren Throckmorton: With David Barton as Principal Officer, Non-Profit Mercury One Again Gave $100k to Barton’s Wallbuilders For Disaster Relief. Peter Montgomery @ Religion Dispatches: Competing Visions of Family & Freedom at UN; Methodists Try to Avoid Schism on Sexuality; Catholic Cardinal Denounces LGBT ‘Demonic Ideology’; Global LGBT Recap. Matthew Yglesias @ Vox: Republican Jewish Coalition won't say where all the anti-Semitic invective is coming from. Allegra Kirkland @ TPM: Great White Hope: Trump Unites Generations Of White... MORE >