Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I have a theory about why Donald Trump is heading in this direction, and it isn't, or isn't merely, an attempt (as John Cole says) to blow the affirmative action dog whistle:

Donald Trump is upping the ante against President Barack Obama's legitimacy, raising questions on Monday night about how the president was admitted to two Ivy League schools.

Trump openly questioned how Obama, who he said had been a "terrible student," got accepted into Columbia University for undergraduate studies and then Harvard Law School.

"I heard he was a terrible student, terrible," Trump told the Associated Press in an interview, a claim he's made in the past but one he doubled down on by suggesting he's probing that area of the president's life.

"How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard? I'm thinking about it, I'm certainly looking into it. Let him show his records," he said, without providing backup for his claim....

As I said last week, Trump seems to be working in sync with Jerome Corsi, who wrote a bestselling book before the 2004 election peddling the Swift boat lies, and whose new book, Where's the Birth Certificate?, comes out a few days before the final episode of The Apprentice, at which time Trump may or may not make an announcement about his future plans. Matt Drudge says he was told by an unnamed "insider," regarding the birth certificate investigation, "When Donald Trump said he sent PIs to Hawaii to get to the bottom of all this, he meant this book."

So would Trump also be peddling Corsi's other theories? You see, this is how Corsi thinks Obama got into Harvard:

Did radical Muslims help send Obama to Harvard?
White House refuses to release president's law school records

President Obama's unwillingness to allow the American public to see his records at Harvard Law School prevents resolution of a continuing controversy over whether radical Islamic influences promoted his admission and financed his legal education there.

In an appearance on the New York-produced "Inside City Hall" television show, octogenarian Harlem lawyer Percy Sutton -- whose clients included Malcolm X -- explained that Islamic radical Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour, "one of the world's wealthiest men," asked him to write a letter of recommendation to Harvard Law School for then relatively unknown Barack Obama....

Sutton, by the way, isn't just (cue the scary music and watch the white righties tremble) an "octogenarian Harlem lawyer," he's a former Manhattan borough president, and a consummate mainstream political insider here in New York City. So if he did write a letter for Obama, that's hardly evidence of extremism -- except to those who watch Glenn Beck every day and think everyone to the left of Mitt Romney is part of the International Islamo-Communist Conspiracy.

Ben Smith, at Politico, wrote this back in '09 when this story surfaced:

Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt told Politico that "Obama did not know and does not know Khalid al-Mansour."

LaBolt said Obama doesn't have a relationship with Sutton and that "to our knowledge, no such letter was written." Obama was in Chicago, not New York, when he applied to Harvard.

The person to whom Sutton was apparently referring, al-Mansour, is a former Black Panther and an adviser to Saudi royalty who has produced, as Amanda Carpenter noted, some YouTube clips that would light up cable television if he's actually been close to Obama. He's also been quoted backing the Palestinian side in the Middle East conflict, though he has not been quoted supporting violence there....

However, a guy who's an adviser to Saudi royalty is an adviser to people mainstream American politicians regard as friends. Right?

Smith also spoke to Mansour, who said,

"The scenario as it related to me did not happen," he said.

"I’m sure he’s written a letter [to someone else] and he got it confused somehow," he said of Sutton, adding that he'd never asked Sutton to write a letter to any university supporting anyone's admission.


As I said last week, I think Trump and Corsi are trying to create a narrative in which Obama is engaged in a vast web of lies, in which the birth certificate plays a small part.

And think about it: You have one principal allegation (Obama wasn't born in the U.S.) and the mainstream press can bat it away, in a way that's persuasive to much of America. You have a lot of allegations -- as the Swift Boat liars did -- and the press just can't keep up, or doesn't try. And the public thinks, "Well, there are so many allegations, there must be something to them.

So that's where this may be going.

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