Trump’s New Treasury Spokeswoman Pushed ‘Birtherism’ Claims, Called Obama ‘Islamic Community Organizer’
Besides similar ideological beliefs and a commitment to this administration’s economic aims, President Donald Trump’s new Treasury Department spokeswoman Monica Crowley and he have one other thing in common: they both promoted lies and conspiracy theories against former President Barack Obama while he was in office.
Reporting from CNN has dug up Crowley’s old social media and blog posts from when Obama was still president. In them, they found a number of instances in which Crowley, who was appointed last week by Trump to serve as assistant treasury secretary for public affairs, disparaged the former commander-in-chief.
Among the claims against Obama the news network found were comments about Obama’s supposed religious background. Obama has long maintained he’s a Christian, but many on the far-right speculated he was a secret Muslim bent on forcing Islam’s tenets onto the American people.
Crowley, a former Fox News contributor and columnist, was among them. In one post, she claimed Obama was an “Islamic community organizer,” who was trying to force the U.S. to adhere to Sharia law.
She also bought into the “birther” conspiracy theory, the disproven belief that Obama was born outside of the United States and had forged his birth certificate. Crowley stated there were “legitimate concerns” over Obama’s birth records, even though the idea had been debunked several times over by that point.
NEW by @KFILE and me:
Trump's pic for Treasury spokesperson, Monica Crowley, spread conspiracies that Obama was secretly a Muslim who was sympathetic to terrorists: 'Can he be both loyal to Islam and loyal to the United States?'https://t.co/Cx7Jr0XNhZ
— Nathan McDermott (@natemcdermott) July 25, 2019
Crowley’s history as a promoter of conspiracy theories against the former president likely won’t get her into too much trouble with her current employer. Trump himself engaged in such accusations, frequently claiming (on his Twitter account and elsewhere) there was evidence that had surfaced proving him true.
That evidence never bore out, and in September 2016, he acknowledged birtherism was a lie, Politico reported — but not before telling another mistruth about the subject, claiming it was a conspiracy theory that began with Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent in that year’s presidential election. Trump also refused to apologize for his role in promulgating the idea.
A year later, Trump was embroiled in a back-and-forth with ESPN journalist Jemel Hill, who had called him out as a white supremacist following his comments after the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, occurred. Trump demanded an apology out of Hill, but that got others wondering: would Trump apologize to Obama finally?
The answer to that was a definitive ‘no.’ Speaking on behalf of the president, Trump’s then-Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders avoided the question entirely, Deadline reported at the time.
“I think the president has made many comments on that front,” Sanders said.
Trump has not made an apology to Obama since, and other reports later that year suggested he was telling those who would listen to him he privately still believed the 44th president wasn’t born in the U.S.