Fox News' Fox & Friends hosted WorldNetDaily writer Aaron Klein to push his latest book filled with baseless accusations and absurd conspiracy theories about the Obama administration. Klein's appearance is the latest example of his repeated attempts to level baseless attacks on the president and his administration.
Klein uses Fox & Friends appearance to push baseless Obama conspiracy theories
On Fox & Friends, Klein claimed that Obama had Communist, Socialist, Marxist ties; that Bill Ayers helped to draft health care reform legislation; and other conspiracy theories. On the May 24 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein pushed the baseless conspiracy theories from his book The Manchurian President. Klein claimed there were "extremists now who are helping to craft legislation from the outside and then those inside the White House." Klein listed White House advisor Valerie Jarret, Rahm Emanuel, Secretary Janet Napolitano, and David Axelrod who he claimed had "actual communist mentors." Klein baselessly claimed the Apollo Alliance "helped craft the stimulus bill" and suggested that Bill Ayers helped to draft health care reform. Klein also described Obama's "college years" as "mysterious" and baselessly claimed that in the '90s Obama "was a member" of the "Socialist" New Party.
Klein's book is full of falsehoods, birtherism, and conspiracy theories
Klein pushes birther arguments on Obama's "eligibility" to be President. While in his book Klein concedes that there is "no convincing evidence that Obama was born in Kenya, nor that his birthplace was any place other than Hawaii, his declared state of birth," he claims that because Obama's father was not a U.S. citizen, there should have been "congressional debate about whether Obama is eligible under the United States Constitution to serve as president." Klein goes on to examine the meaning of the term "natural born citizen" as a qualification to be president, referencing the 1758 book The Law of Nations and Supreme Court decisions such as Minor v. Happersett, concluding under that and "scores of other Supreme Court rulings, Obama may not be eligible to serve as president." As Media Matters has noted, The Law of Nations and the Minor decision have been referenced by attorneys who have filed lawsuits questioning Obama's eligibility to be president. Klein also ignored any legal rulings or views of legal experts contradicting the view that Obama "may not be eligible to serve as president."
Klein promoted absurd theory that William Ayers "may have ghostwritten" Obama book. Klein wrote a section titled "Did Ayers ghostwrite Obama's 'best-written' memoir?" in which he claimed that "Weather Underground terrorist" Bill Ayers "may have ghostwritten most of" Obama's 1995 autobiography Dreams From My Father. Klein's claim is undermined by an Oxford don who, after conducting a computer analysis comparing the book to Ayers' Fugitive Days found the claim to be "very implausible," and further wrote that an analysis to the contrary "seem[s] badly flawed."
Klein suggested that Ayers was "involved in the selection of Obama" to CAC board. Klein dismissed a statement by the Obama campaign that Ayers was not involved in recruiting Obama to the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), by repeating National Review Online's Stanley Kurtz's claim that "[n]o one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his [Ayers'] approval." In fact, the New York Times reported that "according to several people," Ayer's "played no role" in Obama's appointment.
Klein portrays Obama's allegedly seeking endorsement from "socialist party" as "participation with" party. In the chapter "Obama Participated in Socialist Party," Klein writes of Obama's alleged "participation with a U.S. socialist party," the New Party, which Klein claims had an agenda "of moving the Democratic Party far leftward to ultimately form a third major U.S. political party with a socialist agenda" [page 80]. The only evidence Klein provided is that Obama "sought and received the party's endorsement when he successfully ran for the Illinois State Senate in 1996" and that some pieces of contemporaneous party literature called Obama a member [page 84]. Klein's claim is undermined by a denial from both the party founder, and Klein's assertion that Obama "sought and received the party's endorsement" is contradicted by Obama's Fight the Smears website, which states that "The New Party did support Barack once in 1996, but he was the only candidate on the ballot in his race and never solicited the endorsement." Klein does not acknowledge this statement in his book.
Klein preposterously claims Obama was "Tied to Bill Ayers ... At Age 11." In the first chapter of the book, titled "Obama Tied to Bill Ayers ... At Age 11!" Klein claims that Obama received his "earliest exposure to Ayers' ideology" through the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu, where Obama attended Sunday school. Klein offers no direct evidence that Obama was "expos[ed] to Ayers' ideology"; instead, he portrays the church as a "hotbed of antiwar activism" for granting sanctuary to "U.S. military deserters recruited by" Students for a Democratic Society, a group in which Ayers served as a leader. But Klein also reported that SDS had splintered apart well before 1971 -- when Obama was age 11 and supposedly receiving "Ayers' ideology" [pages 4-5].
Klein baselessly ties Jarrett to views of her father-in-law. Klein writes of Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett: "Jarrett's background, her family, and her initial introduction to Obama all tie her to the now familiar radical milieu of this administration" [page 156]. Klein then describes Jarrett's father-in-law, Vernon Jarrett, whom Klein describes has having been linked to a "Communist Party-dominated organization," "the communist-influenced, black-run Chicago Defender newspaper" and to former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, who "was involved in communist-dominated circles in Chicago." Klein provides no evidence that Valerie Jarrett shares "communist" views -- or any other views -- with her father-in-law.
Klein has a history of making false and baseless accusations about the Obama administration
Klein has consistently promoted false and baseless conspiracy theories. As Media Matters has extensively documented, Klein has a history of making conspiratorial accusations toward the president and his administration, including that they "encouraged 'resistance' by Palestinians to protest Israel's presence in eastern Jerusalem," that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan supports flag-burning, that Obama is trying to "bring down the U.S. capitalist system," and other ludicrous attacks.