The Trump campaign ground to a halt yesterday in the aftermath of Trump’s town hall meeting in Rochester, New Hampshire, where he let the first questioner drone on about Obama and Islam. The Trump campaign issued a press release that unsuccessfully sought to change the subject.
Steve Hayward has a better idea. We have somehow come into possession of the working notes from a draft Trump press release seeking to bring closure to the subject. We can’t identify our source, but we can say that it is the same one who helped us listen in earlier this year on John Kerry’s conversation with Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Zarif in “Overheard high on Foggy Bottom.” The bracketed notes on the draft reflect that the press release is a work in progress:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Trump denounces New Hampshire man for calling Obama Muslim
New York, NY — September 19, 2015 — Everyone knows President Obama is not a Muslim. Even Hillary Clinton denied that he is, as far as she knows. So come on.
Obama is obviously not a Muslim. He can’t be. He worships himself. [Not sure we we want to joke about Obama’s narcissism.]
President Obama’s frequent praise of Islam over the years is just a part of his support of the religious belief of others. Of other Muslims anyway. [Work on this.]
His praise of the Muslim call to prayer as the sweetest sound he has ever heard is understandable. He grew up in a Muslim country. He went to a Muslim school. He attended Koranic studies in school. He had a Muslim father. He had a Muslim grandfather. I denounce anyone who draws the conclusion that he is a Muslim. [Source: Daniel Pipes on Obama’s Muslim childhood. Omit source from final draft of press release.]
His support of the Muslim Brotherhood — strategic genius, not personal identification. Obviously.
He bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, okay, but not because the king was Muslim. Come on. He also bowed to the Emperor of Japan. And he’s no Muslim.
President Obama’s partnership with Iran has nothing to do with Islam. Again, strategic genius.
President Obama is obviously a Christian. He’s a member of the same branch of Christianity as Reverend Wright, or of the Wright branch of Christianity. We all know that. Case closed.
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