A photograph of then-Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan that was taken in 2005 at a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, DC, was released Saturday after a 13-year cover-up to protect Obama’s political career.
Journalist Askia Muhammad told TriceEdneyWire.com that he took the photograph after Obama had engaged “in a warm conversation with constituent and fellow Chicagoan Minister Louis Farrakhan.” However, he realized that the photograph could endanger Obama’s presidential ambitions, which were already being widely discussed.
Farrakhan is a black supremacist and antisemite who also holds anti-gay views. Rumors of an association between Obama and Farrakhan circulated during the 2008 presidential campaign in the wake of revelations about Obama’s decades-long membership in the Trinity United Church of Christ, led by the racist preacher Jeremiah Wright.
Those rumors could not be substantiated, however — and the story of Muhammad’s long-hidden photograph explains why.
Asia told TraceEdneyWire.com that he was confronted by a member of the Congressional Black Caucus about the photograph, and that he eventually surrendered it to Farrakhan’s chief of staff. He secretly kept a copy of the image for himself, but he never told anyone and never released the image, for fear of burglary or retaliation against him, he told the left-wing Talking Points Memo website.
He told TraceEdneyWire.com that he believed the photograph would have destroyed Obama’s electoral chances:
“I gave the picture up at the time and basically swore secrecy,” Muhammad said in an exclusive interview with the Trice Edney News Wire this week. “But after the nomination was secured and all the way up until the inauguration; then for eight years after he was President, it was kept under cover.”
As for any debate that the photo could have made a difference in the outcome of the Obama presidential election, Muhammad is emphatic: “I insist. It absolutely would have made a difference.”
Farrakhan, born Louis Eugene Walcott, has led the Nation of Islam (NOI) since 1981. NOI is a cultish new religious movement founded in the 1930s by Wallace Fard Muhammad, a man who claimed to be the the Messiah cometh as well as the “Mahdi” of Islam.
NOI’s primary beliefs, hammered out under the leadership of “the honorable” Elijah Muhammad in the 1940s and 50s, include that white people are inherently “devils,” who exist because a black scientist named Jakub “grafted” them into existence on an island in the fifth millennium B.C.
Whites “devils” were, according to the NOI, bred to be evil for hundreds of years by Jakub, and eventually learned to use “tricknology” to enslave blacks.
Farrakhan and the NOI also have a long history of antisemitism. Farrakhan has, for example, spoken highly of Hitler’s abilities as a leader, and repeatedly indulged in sermons on “Jewish control” of various industries. He also infamously referred to Judaism as a “gutter religion.”
The photograph also includes “Minister Farrakhan’s son-in-law, Leonard Farrakhan Muhammad; His son and security chief, Mustapha Farrakhan; Minister Farrakhan’s son Joshua Farrakhan; and the Rev. Willie Wilson, executive producer of the program for Farrakhan’s Million Man March in 1995 and a chairman of the 20th anniversary,” according to TraceEdneyWire.com.
Muhammad told Talking Points Memo that he felt more at ease about the photograph after Farrakhan publicly revealed in 2016 that he had met with then-Senator Obama, and he obtained Farrakhan’s permission to publish the photograph as he was preparing a memoir last year.
The late NBC journalist Tim Russert asked then-candidate Obama at a 2008 debate in Cleveland, Ohio whether he accepted Farrakhan’s public support. Obama responded by claiming he had denounced Farrakhan and had “consistently distanced” himself from him.
You know, I have been very clear in my denunciation of Minister Farrakhan’s antisemitic comments. I think that they are unacceptable and reprehensible. I did not solicit this support. He expressed pride in an African-American who seems to be bringing the country together. I obviously can’t censor him, but it is not support that I sought. And we’re not doing anything, I assure you, formally or informally with Minister Farrakhan.
I live in Chicago. He lives in Chicago. I’ve been very clear, in terms of me believing that what he has said is reprehensible and inappropriate. And I have consistently distanced myself from him.
Obama did not explicitly reject Farrakhan’s support.
There are other, similar instances in which Obama claimed to have had no association with radicals and was later discovered to have lied.
For example, Obama claimed during the 2008 campaign that he had no continuing links with former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers, with whom Obama had served on a board in the 1990s. Breitbart News discovered that then-Sen. Obama had attended a barbecue at Ayers’s home in Chicago in July 2005.
In 2012, Breitbart News launched an investigative series, “The Vetting,” devoted to uncovering those aspects of Barack Obama’s past that the media had overlooked or deliberately hidden.
The Muhammad photograph proves that there was a rich mine of information that was withheld from the public to protect Obama’s career and policy goals.
Ian Mason contributed to this article.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.