The lat­est from the Trump con­spir­acy fac­tory

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - Dana Mil­bank

— Film­maker Joel Gil­bert, the con­spir­acy the­o­rist who be­lieves Pres­i­dent Obama has a se­cret Mus­lim prayer in­scribed on his wed­ding ring, made a splash in 2012 when he said Obama had plas­tic surgery to con­ceal that his real fa­ther was la­bor ac­tivist Frank Mar­shall Davis, who raised his son to lead a com­mu­nist rev­o­lu­tion.

Four years later, and just in time for Elec­tion Day, Gil­bert is back with a new film al­leg­ing that Bill Clin­ton has a 30-year-old son he sired with a black pros­ti­tute. And on Tues­day, Gil­bert hauled the young man to Wash­ing­ton and gave him a speech to read to the TV cam­eras at the Na­tional Press Club.

WASH­ING­TON

“As you can see I’m the black son of for­mer pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton and the step­son of Hil­lary Clin­ton,” the young man, Dan­ney Wil­liams, read as Gil­bert, off to the side, mouthed many of the words.

Ac­tu­ally, you could only see him as Clin­ton’s son if you imag­ined Clin­ton six inches shorter, with a dif­fer­ent build and dif­fer­ent fa­cial fea­tures. But no mat­ter.

“At this time I am reach­ing out to Miss Lewin­sky, Mon­ica Lewin­sky,” Wil­liams went on, look­ing to Gil­bert for in­struc­tion and hold­ing up a let­ter. “I’m ask­ing that Miss Lewin­sky al­low me to bor­row her blue dress in or­der to ob­tain a DNA sam­ple of my fa­ther’s, for­mer pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton, in or­der to fi­nally prove that he is my fa­ther.”

In fact, Wil­liams’ DNA was tested, 17?years ago, when his mother sold it and her story to a tabloid, which com­pared the boy’s ge­netic ma­te­rial to Clin­ton’s DNA mark­ers and con­cluded that Clin­ton wasn’t his fa­ther.

That es­sen­tially ended the in­trigue — un­til late last year, when long­time Don­ald Trump ad­viser Roger Stone de­clared: “I will get jus­tice for Dan­ney Wil­liams — stay tuned.” The Trump con­fi­dant had de­cided the orig­i­nal DNA work was wrong, and he teamed up to make that case with con­spir­acy-minded ra­dio host Alex Jones, an avid Trump backer who lent his In­foWars news out­let to the cause.

Gil­bert, who was hired by Stone’s pro-Trump su­per PAC to de­sign a “Su­per Trump” bill­board for Times Square in Septem­ber, made a film about Wil­liams. The pro-Trump out­let Bre­it­bart News, whose for­mer chief Stephen Ban­non now runs Trump’s cam­paign, and the Drudge Re­port be­gan to trum­pet the long-de­bunked love-child story. Gil­bert is a fix­ture on In­foWars, which live-streamed Tues­day’s event.

If past is pro­logue, Trump will, in this fi­nal week of the cam­paign, find a way to men­tion the story of Bill Clin­ton’s love child. Stone to Jones to Ban­non to Trump: This is how Trump le­git­imizes the fringe.

As the web­site Right Wing Watch has doc­u­mented, Jones has boasted that he gives Trump of­fair ad­vice, and he took credit for Trump voic­ing the the­ory that Ted Cruz’s fa­ther was in­volved in John F. Kennedy’s as­sas­si­na­tion. He has been pleased to see Trump re­peat­ing him “word-for-word” on the cam­paign trail. Trump, who has hailed Jones’ “amaz­ing” rep­u­ta­tion, has par­roted claims made by Jones (and of­ten by Stone) that Amer­i­can Mus­lims cel­e­brated the 9/11 at­tacks, that the elec­tion is “rigged” against Trump, that An­tonin Scalia was mur­dered, that Hil­lary Clin­ton used drugs be­fore a de­bate and, of course, that Obama’s birth cer­tifi­cate was fake.

Most omi­nously, Trump has echoed the “glob­al­ist” con­spir­acy the­o­ries em­braced by Stone, Jones and Ban­non, full of anti-Semitic tropes. In Oc­to­ber, Trump blamed a “global power struc­ture” for wreck­ing the econ­omy and said Clin­ton “meets in se­cret with in­ter­na­tional banks to plot the de­struc­tion of U.S. sovereignty.”

Now comes the Bill Clin­ton love-child con­spir­acy, even if it collides with an­other pop­u­lar con­spir­acy the­ory: that Chelsea Clin­ton wasn’t fa­thered by Bill Clin­ton be­cause he’s ster­ile.

Wil­liams seems un­clear on his mo­tives. He said Tues­day that he was seek­ing the for­mer pres­i­dent’s DNA be­cause “I want to know my dad.” But mo­ments later he was call­ing Clin­ton a “dead­beat” and a “big felon.” Wil­liams wants to raise $100,000 for his cam­paign but said he had only $2,800; Gil­bert booked the room and said he funded the film.

Gil­bert quickly lost con­trol of the event. One woman de­clared she was go­ing to bap­tize Wil­liams and then, fail­ing to find oil in her hand­bag, per­formed the rit­ual with bot­tled wa­ter. There were prayers and lay­ing on of hands and shouts from the par­tic­i­pants that the press is “racist” and “bought off.” Con­ser­va­tive ac­tivist Cliff Kin­caid told the gath­er­ing I was there “to write a story mak­ing fun of” Wil­liams.

But I wouldn’t make fun of Wil­liams. The ones wor­thy of ridicule are the pow­er­ful and un­scrupu­lous men ex­ploit­ing him.

Dana Mil­bank is a syn­di­cated colum­nist. Con­tact him at danamil­bank@ wash­post.com.

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