President Donald Trump’s pick for the top spokeswoman job at the Treasury Department repeatedly spread conspiracy theories that suggested then-President Barack Obama was secretly a Muslim who was sympathetic to America’s enemies.
Monica Crowley, who was appointed by Trump last week as assistant treasury secretary for public affairs, made multiple comments spreading these false claims on her personal blog and in at least one tweet between 2009 and 2015, according to a review by CNN’s KFile team.
Crowley also endorsed a story claiming Obama was an “Islamic community organizer” trying to conform the United States to Sharia law and claimed conspiracy theories about Obama’s birth certificate were “legitimate concerns.” During Obama’s presidency, Trump was one of the most prominent voices pushing the so-called birther conspiracy theories questioning Obama’s birthplace. When he was seeking the presidency himself and under continual questioning, Trump finally admitted that Obama was born in the US but offered no apologies or explanation for the years he spent sowing doubt about Obama’s origins.
Crowley, formerly a syndicated radio host, columnist and Fox News contributor, was originally chosen by Trump in December 2016 to be the senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council. She withdrew herself from consideration for that position after CNN’s KFile team uncovered extensive plagiarism in her book and doctoral thesis.
Crowley did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for the Treasury Department also did not respond to a request for comment.
Suggested Obama was a Muslim
Writing on her blog in August 2010, Crowley blasted Obama for supporting the right to build an Islamic community center and mosque in lower Manhattan. Some conservatives seized on the issue making it a flash-point and objecting to, at times using highly inflammatory rhetoric, building a mosque so close to the site of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Crowley wrote that Obama had loyalties to Islam and questioned if he could support both Islam and the United States.
“Maybe politics didn’t have anything to do with it, but Islam certainly did. And does. Obama was born to a Muslim father, which under Islam automatically made him a Muslim. He says he converted to Christianity as an adult, which under Islam makes him an apostate,” wrote Crowley. “He grew up in Indonesia, which is the most populous Muslim nation on earth. His stepfather was also a Muslim. He was steeped in Islam throughout his formative years, so it should come as no surprise that he has loyalties to Islam. During the 2008 campaign, he even slipped and claimed that the United States has ‘57’ states, instead of 50. The number of Muslim states in the Organization of the Islamic Conference is 57.”
“It may not come as a shock that he appears loyal to Islam. The question is: can he be both loyal to Islam and loyal to the United States?” she added.
Crowley added, “How could he….support the enemy?”
Called birther conspiracy theories legitimate
Writing in a blog post in April 2011 after the release of Obama’s long-form birth certificate, Crowley praised Donald Trump for questioning Obama’s citizenship and called concerns about the birth certificate legitimate.
“If the birth certificate were never a big deal, why did No Drama Obama wait nearly 3 years before releasing it? Why endure and stoke all of the drama? To make those raising legitimate concerns about his origins and policies look like kooks? Maybe,” wrote Crowley.
“For over 2 1/2 years, questions have been raised about Obama’s origins and background,” she added. “He was never properly vetted by an adoring press corps, so outstanding concerns existed about his birth certificate (the long-form of which he had never released), where he grew up, his family’s religious background, his parents’ political beliefs, how he got into top schools such as Columbia and Harvard Law, how he paid for his education, what his grades were, etc. The questions were and are legitimate, and yet were never fully answered. In fact, anyone daring to ask them was painted as a fringe moron at best and racist at worst.”
In 2011, Hawaiian officials, at Obama’s request, released the long form of his birth certificate. It indicated that he had, indeed, been born in Hawaii. Conspiracy theorists continue to allege the document was a forgery.
Said Obama was on the side of terrorists
Writing about the Obama administration in June 2013, Crowley said it looked the Muslim Brotherhood was dictating American foreign policy.
“The Muslim Brotherhood is a sworn enemy of the United States. In Obama, they have found an ally. What does that say about Obama? I’m sure you can figure that one out,” she wrote. “What it says about America’s national security is that it looks increasingly like it’s being dictated BY that sworn enemy.”
Writing in a January 2009 blog post, Crowley singled out Obama for using his full name at his swearing in (presidents typically are sworn in using their full names) and decisions related to banning the use of torture and closing of the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center as actions that raised questions about the president’s sympathies.
“Barack Obama insisted on being sworn in as president with his full name, Barack Hussein Obama. One of his very first things he did as president was to order the closure of the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,” she wrote, without noting that Obama had campaigned on this issue, the facility had been a top concern for human rights defenders. “The two things he did along with that was to order a halt to the prosecutions of terrorist suspects there, including the mastermind of the September 11th attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and other top al Qaeda terrorists, like Ramzi Binalshibh. He also issued an order against the use of enhanced interrogation tactics on such terrorists, including waterboarding.
“Now comes word that he is granting his first formal television interview as president to Al-Arabiya,” she added. “Tells you where his head is, and possibly, his sympathies. Just sayin’.”
In February 2015, Crowley shared what she called an “important column,” with the title “Obama’s Two Faces of Islam.” The column, written by author Bill Siegel and still available on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, argues that Obama is an “Islamic community organizer” and is “conforming US policy to Islam and Sharia.”
“The administration, with Obama as Islamic community organizer, is not only placating Muslims and, in particular, our Islamic enemies; it is conforming US policy to Islam and Sharia,” reads the column.
“Obama’s actions may, however, actually betray a more nefarious strategy: do as little as politically possible so as to foment chaos across the region, all to the benefit of his seeming policy “companions” dedicated to promoting Sharia and Islamic statehood- the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic Republic of Iran- while defanging the US’s best ally in the region, Israel. Despite public pressure, resist confronting ISIS/ISIL and Bashar Assad in any truly meaningful way and turn his back on the Christian genocide exploding across the region. In addition, flood the US with Muslim immigrants while keeping it bound to foreign oil despite remarkable innovations at home that can render it virtually energy independent.”