In it, but not of it. TPM DC
Since he started maybe-running for president, Trump has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of President Obama's U.S. birth. Conspiracy theories about Obama's birth certificate have been repeatedly debunked, but that hasn't stopped Trump from speculating that the President's grandparents planted a birth announcement in a Hawaii newspaper to get government benefits like welfare and hospitalization.
According to Marr, Farah said he offered to give Trump a tutorial in birtherism once Trump started publicly asking questions about President Obama's birth certificate. "His people were very quick to respond," Farah said.
If there was any question about Trump's legitimacy as a presidential candidate, his association with Farah should answer it. As the founder and editor of the influential right-wing "news" site WorldNetDaily (WND), Farah has continued to give the birther issue oxygen, long after it was abandoned by mainstream conservatism.
This week Farah admitted WND publishes "some misinformation by columnists." Farah was responding to questions from Salon's Justin Elliott about WND's repeated (and erroneous) claim that Obama has spent $2 million on a legal team to fight the birther lawsuits, a claim that was eventually picked up by Trump.
With Trump, Farah has found someone who gets enough publicity to bring the birther issue back to the forefront. Farah wrote recently on his website: "And so it is in 2011, in the USA, when suddenly, with childlike innocence and a natural-born sense of curiosity, billionaire and would-be presidential candidate Donald Trump shouted from a media pedestal no one could ignore, 'Look, the emperor has no birth certificate!'"
Farah doesn't stop with birtherism, though. He's also questioned whether Obama is a Christian: "Here's the truth: Obama is not a Christian. He doesn't even know what it means to be a Christian."
And he's said a few inflammatory things about gay people too, comparing speaking to the gay conservative group GOProud with addressing the KKK, calling for conservatives to "purge" the movement of GOProud and gay rights supporters, and saying that "German-style Nazism was a pagan, homosexual cult."
Farah and WND have been rejected by the broader conservative movement. They were barred from holding a panel on birther issues at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2009, and haven't been welcomed back since.
This year WND ran an article theorizing that CPAC had been infiltrated by Muslims.
TPM readers may also remember that WND was behind a book
about how the Council On American Islamic Relations (CAIR) allegedly used interns to secretly infiltrate Capitol Hill offices, written by a man who posed as a Muslim to get an internship at CAIR. Four House Republicans picked up the claims from the book, called Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America. As Farah describes it, it exposes the "international cabal working on behalf of Saudi-style Shariah law right here in America."