NY Times Notes Donald Trump’s Contact with Joseph Farah

The New York Times carries an article on “the Six Weeks Donald Trump Was a Nonstop ‘Birther'”. This was in 2011, during which Trump was in direct contact with Joseph Farah of WND (formerly World Net Daily) and Jerome Corsi:

[Farah] received the first of several calls from a Manhattan real estate developer who wanted to take one of his theories mainstream.

That developer, Donald J. Trump, told Mr. Farah that he shared his suspicion that President Obama might have been born outside the United States and that he was looking for a way to prove it…

…”He was looking for affirmation that he was on the right track,” Mr. Farah said. “He was looking for a smoking gun kind of sound bite that would resonate with people.”

But what most impressed Mr. Farah was just how many hours Mr. Trump was willing to devote to the question. “This was a busy guy, this was a multibillionaire, and I was surprised that he was willing to spend that kind of time on it,” he said.

Mr. Farah also stressed to Mr. Trump that the issue was one of “transparency,” and Mr. Trump began using the phrase.

The article describes Farah as being “on the fringes of political life”, and there’s a mocking reference to a series that WND ran in 2006 on the subject of how “Soy is making kids ‘gay’” (the word “gay” always appears in scare quotes on WND, even for headlines such as “50 Dead in Terror Attack at Flordia ‘Gay’ Nightclub“).

However, while much that appears on WND is either risible or dishonest (or frequently both), the fact of Trump’s personal interest shows that one should not be too dismissive of Farah – his WND website and book imprint publishes a wide range of right-wing authors and commentators, all pushing particular themes and claims. His book author list includes names such as Richard A. Viguerie,  James Inhofe, Judith Reisman, Vox Day, and Wayne LaPierre, among others.

On the main WND website, the anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller is among his more more notorious commentators; other figures include Reza Khalili, a “former CIA operative” who regularly produces extraordinary revelations about Iran’s links with al-Qaida and plans to weaponize smallpox, and Bradlee Dean, whose Sandy Hook trutherism is perhaps the vilest depths to which WND has sunk. Others have monitored WND‘s output in depth, in particular Terry Krepel of ConWebWatch.

WND also publishes on religion, and Farah is a significant link between conservative political conspiricism and the Christian Right. In particular, he works closely with Jonathan Cahn of the apocalyptic Harbinger best-seller, and although Cahn’s book was published by Steve Strang’s evangelical media empire, WND publishes complementary material about Cahn’s thesis about how God is punishing the USA. Farah, Cahn, and Jim Bakker also lead Holy Land tours, and Farah and Cahn participate at “prophecy” conferences where Biblical fundamentalism blends into speculative science fiction theories about demons and UFOs and such.

An article published by Strang’s Charisma news service listed Farah as a “great Christian leader” in its coverage of Trump’s recent meeting with evangelicals:

Amazing grace. That was the tone of Donald Trump’s meeting with more than 1,000 evangelical leaders in New York on Tuesday, hosted by Dr. Ben Carson and sponsored by United in Purpose and My Faith Votes.

…It was humbling to be present among longtime great Christian leaders like James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Bill Dallas, Jim Garlow, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, George Barna, Rick Scarborough, David Barton, David Jeremiah, Franklin Graham, Ralph Reed, E.W. Jackson, Bill Federer, Gary Bauer, Kelly Shackelford, Bob McEwen, James Robison, Carl Lentz, Alveda King, Penny Nance, the Benham Brothers, Joseph Farah, Ken Blackwell, Eric Metaxas and newer leaders and activists like Lila Rose, Leslie Unruh, Marsha Blackburn and Marjorie Dannenfelser as some of them conversed with Mr. Trump on issues of importance to us all.

According to Farah himself:

It was a moving event. Trump hit all the right chords. He was sincere about his plans to fight for religious liberty and name judges who stick to the Constitution – he even shocked many in the audience by suggesting it was time to lift the political gag order placed on pastors getting involved in politics by President Lyndon Johnson so many years ago.

In the heart of Manhattan, the Christians closed the meeting with stirring prayers for the future of the country, complete with calls for repentance and revival.

We look forward to seeing evidence of Trump engaging in the novel activity (for him) of “repentance”; after all, shortly after the meeting, James Dobson stated that Trump “recently gave his life to Jesus Christ as his Savior”.

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