New Emails Released by Journalist : Clinton Ally Urged Investigation into Obama's ties to Kenya back in 2008.
- Journalist James Asher says Sidney Blumenthal pitched an investigation into Obama's birthplace, although not in writing.
- Emails show that Sydney Blumenthal sought to plant stories with Asher about Obama’s Kenyan ties, his Kenyan father, and his familial ties to “controversial Muslim groups” in Kenya.
- Asher's released information proves that Obama's ties with "controversial Muslim groups" has been a concern for Democrats.
- Investigative reporting found no evidence to support the claim that Obama was born in Kenya rather than Hawaii.
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) The new emails released by journalist James Asher, the former Washington bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers, prove that the issue of President Barack Obama's ties to Kenya has been a concern to members of Obama's own political party dating back to 2008.
Asher told the LA Times that Sidney Blumenthal a former journalist and Bill Clinton White House aide, suggested he dispatch a reporter to investigate Obama’s connections to Raila Odigna, a candidate for Kenya’s president at the time who claimed to be Obama’s cousin. Asher said that Blumenthal asserted there were links between Odinga and “controversial Muslim groups.”
But on Friday Asher released a tweet that stirred the birther issue up again. He posted that in 2008, Blumenthal told him during a face-to-face meeting that Obama was born in Kenya. Shashank Bengali was the McClatchy bureau chief in Nairobi during that period and was dispatched by Asher to investigate Obama. His reporting found no evidence to support the claim that Obama was born in Kenya rather than Hawaii.
Blumenthal, denied the accusation on Sunday, telling Fox News that what Asher claimed “never happened.” Furthermore, the Hillary Clinton camp has repeatedly denied any inquiry into the president's birth place or religious ties. While Blumenthal’s apparent flirtation with birtherism, was not as public and aggressive as Trump’s, Asher’s claims have cut away at the moral high ground Clinton claims to hold on the issue. It must also be noted that Donald Trump took to the microphones on Friday to reverse himself and declare that President Barack Obama was, in fact, born in the United States.
Asher's emails may not legitimately prove that Blumenthal in fact ignited the movement questioning Obama's birthplace, but they do prove that Democrats did raise questions and concerns. They show that Blumenthal sought to plant stories with Asher about Obama’s Kenyan ties, his Kenyan father, and his familial ties to “controversial Muslim groups” in Kenya. An email from March 17, 2008 from Blumenthal to Asher reads,
“Jim: On Kenya, your person in the field might look into the impact there of Obama’s public comments about his father,”
“I’m told by State Dept officials that Obama publicly derided his father on his visit there and that was regarded as embarrassing and crossing the line by Kenyans for whom respect for elders (especially the father, especially a Muslim father, in a patrilineal society) is considered sacrosanct. Sidney.”
Asher has called Blumenthal out before. In March, he posted a tweet in which he referenced the 2008 office meeting with Blumenthal. Asher repeated that allegation on Friday after Clinton slammed Donald Trump for his 2011 campaign to force Obama to release his long-form birth certificate to prove that he was born in Hawaii.
Clinton said that the voters should not elect a candidate who was involved in birtherism, which she called a racist theory.
Some Clinton critics shot back, alleging that Clinton’s 2008 campaign planted the seeds of the birther theory. But fact-checkers who looked into the roots of the theory have determined that Clinton’s campaign was not involved in peddling stories questioning Obama’s birthplace; rather, it has largely been determined that some within Clinton’s campaign suggested that Obama might be a Muslim.
Asher said that he does not have Blumenthal’s suggestion to investigation Obama’s birthplace in writing because the suggestion was provided in person in Asher’s Washington D.C. office.
Clinton reportedly continues to take advice from Blumenthal, who is referred to by some in the political world as “Sid Vicious.”
Politico reported earlier this year that Blumenthal has stayed in touch with his longtime friend and provides her political advice. He did the same while Clinton served as secretary of state, emailing her intelligence reports, political gossip and advice while she was in office. Blumenthal did that even though the Obama White House blocked him from taking a job at Clinton’s State Department because of his dirty tricks during the 2008 primaries.
Blumenthal regularly forwarded anti-Obama information to his vast network of journalist friends and political operatives during the 2008 campaign.
Blumenthal also worked for the Clinton Foundation during much of Clinton’s State Department tenure. He also worked for Media Matters, a left-wing organization operated by Clinton ally David Brock.
Original report by Daily Caller.