WND again cites dubious emails to advance claim that Obama "campaigned for Odinga"

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

WorldNetDaily.com again cited dubious emails containing errors and stilted English that Jerome Corsi has said were sent by Sen. Barack Obama to advance the claim that Obama "campaigned for" "radical Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga" during a 2006 trip.

In an October 21 article, WorldNetDaily.com again cited dubious emails that WND staff writer Jerome Corsi has said were sent by Sen. Barack Obama to advance the claim that Obama "campaigned for" "radical Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga" during a 2006 trip.

WND reported that a "new television ad focusing on Sen. Barack Obama's support for radical Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has been produced by a political action committee called Freedom's Defense Fund." The article embedded video of the Freedom's Defense Fund ad making the charge that Obama "campaigned for Raila Odinga" in 2006. The article later stated: "WND also reported Obama campaigned for Odinga during a Senate 'fact-finding' trip, with the arrangements made by Obama Senate staff member Mark Lippert, who Obama designated as the official 'go-between' to coordinate strategy," citing an October 10 "WorldNetDaily Exclusive" article reporting that Corsi obtained two emails while in Kenya. As Media Matters for America documented, in the October 10 article, WND reported that "[t]he e-mails, identified as coming from Obama's Senate office" were sent to Odinga's Yahoo.com email account. WND reported: "One e-mail purportedly from Obama, dated Dec. 22, 2006, read, 'I will kindly wish that all our correspondence [be] handled by Mr Mark Lippert. I have already instructed him. This will be for my own security both for now and in future.' " The second e-mail stated, "Thanks for contacting me about Mr Lippert through email. Contact him through mark_lippert.obama.senate.gov." (The email address contained in the second email, "mark_lippert.obama.senate.gov," does not appear to be valid, because it does not contain an "@." )

In an October 10 post on his Politico blog, Ben Smith wrote of the emails Corsi purportedly obtained in Kenya:

After a bit of a lull, the viral emails and general nuttiness is cresting again, and my favorite "scoop" of the day is Jerome Corsi's WorldNetDaily report on secret emails between Obama -- personally -- and a Kenyan political leader.

A small glitch: These emails, [pictured] above, appear not to have been written by a native English speaker, unless 'I will kindly wish...' is a phrase I'm just unfamiliar with. They have the unmistakable flavor of solicitations from dying African princes, who need only your bank account details to make you wealthy beyond measure.

Further, notwithstanding the dubious authenticity of the emails, they do not actually contain a statement of support for Odinga.

Additionally, as Media Matters has repeatedly noted, PolitiFact.com wrote in an August 20 article that the claim that Obama "supported" Odinga during his bid for the presidency of Kenya is "false." PolitiFact wrote that it "scour[ed] the public record for evidence that Obama supported Odinga" and concluded that "Obama has remained neutral in Kenyan politics."

In the same article, PolitiFact also wrote that Obama "did not support Odinga during his trip" to Kenya in 2006 and quoted from an interview Obama gave a Kenyan newspaper during the trip:

Question: "As you prepared to travel to Kenya you were obviously conscious of two things. One was about being drawn into local politics. The other was the high expectations of what you could do for Kenya now that you are a senator. How did you handle both?"

Obama: "One of the things we try to do is meet with all parties. I met President [Mwai] Kibaki, I met [Kenyan party leader] Uhuru Kenyatta, I was with Raila Odinga. We met the government, met the opposition and met other groups such as human rights activists. What I try to do is give a consistent message on what I think U.S.-Kenya relations should be, but not to suggest somehow that I think one party is better than the other. That's for the Kenyan people to decide."

From the October 21 WND article:

A new television ad focusing on Sen. Barack Obama's support for radical Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has been produced by a political action committee called Freedom's Defense Fund.

The ad refers to the Kenyan government's decision Oct. 7 to prevent WND reporter and author Jerome Corsi from holding a press conference in Nairobi. Corsi had planned to present the result of a week's research in Kenya further documenting the ties between Obama and Odinga first disclosed in Chapter 4 of his No. 1 New York Times best-selling book, "The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality."

Freedom's Defense Fund plans to run the television spot, along with others it has produced, in battleground states during the last two weeks of the campaign.

[...]

WND also reported Obama campaigned for Odinga during a Senate "fact-finding" trip, with the arrangements made by Obama Senate staff member Mark Lippert, who Obama designated as the official "go-between" to coordinate strategy.

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Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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