The Congressional Black Caucus, comprised of Black Democratic Party Congressmen, ordered a photographer to hand over a photo he took in 2005 of then U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and Louis Farrakhan at a CBC event. The photographer, Askia Muhammad, saved a copy of the photo before he handed over the digital disk of the original, only recently releasing the photo with the permission of Farrakhan.
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Talking Points Memo broke the story nationally on Thursday after Muhammad had spoken to smaller outlets.
A journalist announced last week that he will publish a photograph of then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama (D) and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan that he took in 2005 at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting, but did not make public because he believed it would have “made a difference” to Obama’s political future.
The photographer, Askia Muhammad, told the Trice Edney News Wire that he “gave the picture up at the time and basically swore secrecy.”
“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,” Muhammad said.
Asked whether he thought the photo’s release would have affected Obama’s presidential campaign, Muhammad said, “I insist. It absolutely would have made a difference.”
Reached by TPM on Thursday, Muhammad said a “staff member” for the CBC contacted him “sort of in a panic” after he took the photo at a caucus meeting in 2005. TPM has published the photo above with Muhammad’s permission.
“I sort of understood what was going on,” Muhammad told TPM. “I promised and made arrangements to give the picture to Leonard Farrakhan,” the minister’s son-in-law and chief of staff.
Muhammad said he gave away “the disk” from his camera but “copied the photograph from that day onto a file” on his computer.
“Realizing that I had given it up, I mean, it was sort of like a promise to keep the photograph secret,” Muhammad said.
Muhammad said he did not release his copy of the photograph because he thought it would be perceived as a betrayal of that promise: “I was really, I guess, afraid of them.”
The cover-up of the photo by Democrats shows once again how much Obama was protected to be made electable as president. And yet those who questioned Obama’s background and history were smeared as conspiracy theorists.
In this case a photographer was intimidated, made to feel “afraid of them” as he put it, into hiding a photograph that he knew could affect Obama’s political future.
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TPM’s Josh Marshall explained to a concerned fellow liberal about publishing the photo: It doesn’t matter now but it would have in 2008, “I had no second thoughts at all. It never wld have mattered in reality. But it wld have been quite damaging in 2008, I think. But he’s a former Prez now. He walks among the elders. It doesn’t matter. Let Fox and Drudge and whoever else say whatever. It’s too late.”
I had no second thoughts at all. It never wld have mattered in reality. But it wld have been quite damaging in 2008, I think. But he's a former Prez now. He walks among the elders. It doesn't matter. Let Fox and Drudge and whoever else say whatever. It's too late. https://t.co/pYuxE6JDtB
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) January 25, 2018
The Daily Caller reported in 2016 about Farrakhan revealing his ties to Obama–and about a secret photo.
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan recently revealed for the first time the details of a private meeting he had at his Chicago home with Barack Obama just before the then-U.S. Senator announced his run for president.
Speaking to at the Nation of Islam’s mosque in Chicago late last month, the fiery minister said that he gave Obama financial support to help him win pubic office. He also acknowledged that he has withheld details of his relationship with Obama for fear of political consequences for the former community organizer.
“We supported him when he was a community organizer,” said Farrakhan. “We backed him with money and with the help of the [Fruit of Islam] to get him elected.”
Neither Farrakhan nor Obama have discussed details of their relationship in Chicago,…
…Whether Farrakhan and Obama ever met was an open question during the 2008 election. Hillary Clinton pressed Obama on the relationship during a primary debate. Obama distanced himself from Farrakhan and denounced his anti-Semitism. One of Farrakhan’s top lieutenants did say in 2008 that the cleric and Obama were “close.”
“This part of the story I will leave for another time, but he visited me,” Farrakhan, 83, told his flock of Obama.
“I have a picture of myself and Barack together,” he continued. “You never saw it, because I would never put it out to give his enemies what they were looking for to hurt him.”…