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Jerome Corsi, the veteran conspiracy theorist much in the news for being questioned in Robert Mueller's investigation of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, has a history of not only bizarre statements but homophobic ones.
Corsi is best known as a key player in the attack on John Kerry's military record, aimed at undermining Kerry's chances of winning the presidency in 2004, and as a proponent of the "birther" theory that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. and therefore not eligible to be president. But he also has a history of virulently anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.
In 2013 he went on an anti-marriage equality rant after two pro-equality Supreme Court decisions - one striking down a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act and therefore allowing for federal government recognition of same-sex marriages, the other letting stand a lower court decision that invalidated California's Proposition 8. Typical of marriage equality opponents, he said legalization of same-sex marriage would lead to acceptance of pedophilia and polygamy.
"Once the logic of a Judeo-Christian faith is broken down, so that people no longer believe in fundamental issues such as sin or...redemption, then of course why can't you experiment with all these other forms of sexual activity?" he said at an event sponsored by Eagle Forum, a far-right group.
He also said clergy members who preach against same-sex marriage would face prosecution for hate crimes. "Once the LGBT agenda achieves that there is, in fact, a constitutional right to a homosexual marriage ... then anyone who ... preaches a biblical, Judeo-Christian interpretation that anything except marriage between a man and a woman is a sin, that pastor would have been committing a hate crime," he said.
In another speech, earlier that year, he had contended that LGBTQ equality would also lead to acceptance of bestiality and snuff films, in which people are allegedly killed. "Sex is given to human beings by god, as a sacred act for the procreation of children. ... If sex becomes disassociated from a biblical purpose, than all the abuses we saw in paganism are about to return," he said.
In 2012, after President Obama finally expressed unequivocal support for marriage equality, Corsi gave talks and wrote articles saying Obama was gay and that his marriage to Michelle Robinson had been arranged to further his political career.
"The question is not to condemn Obama here for being bisexual or gay, if that's in fact what he is, but to wonder why he's gone to the extent of hiding it ... what's the duplicity? What's the hypocrisy?" he said in a 2012 video, according to The Huffington Post.
Of course, it's clear from Corsi's other comments that he would condemn Obama for being gay or bi. And in articles for far-right site World Net Daily and other outlets, he pushed the story that Obama may have once been married to a man and continued to have same-sex relationships after he married Michelle.
"Michelle was nasty, and most straight guys would never be able to put up with her moods and temperament," he quoted a pseudonymous source as saying in a WND article. "But Obama really didn't care. Michelle had the credentials and she looked the part. Obama wasn't interested in her for sex."
Corsi, a former financial services professional, was a longtime contributor to WND before joining an even more outrageous site, Alex Jones's Infowars, a few years ago. He has been questioned by Mueller's team about whether he knew about WikiLeaks' plan to release hacked emails from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, in the summer of 2016. He recently refused Mueller's offer of a plea deal and said he'd be willing to go to prison instead.
In a Wednesday interview with MSNBC's Ari Melber, he claimed that any knowledge he had of WikiLeaks' plan came from "divine intervention." On Melber's show, The Beat, he gave the following strange explanation of how Roger Stone, another conspiracy theorist with ties to Infowars, learned that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was going to release the potentially damaging emails.
"In July, I was on vacation with my wife in Italy, the 25th anniversary of the family," Corsi said. "I think flying over I figured out that Assange had Podesta's emails. I told Roger in this email and subsequently that I thought it was Podesta's emails. This was my conclusion, my supposition. It did not come from Assange and it didn't connect back to Assange. So there's no link from me to Assange. The link is from me figuring this out and telling Roger. If I was the source, it was because Roger believed me figuring it out, not because I had a source."
Mueller's staff didn't believe he just figured it out, he admitted to Melber. "Jeannie Rhee, one of the prosecutors, said, 'Dr. Corsi, you are asking us to believe, on an extended international flight with your wife for your anniversary, you had divine intervention? God inspired your mind and told you Assange has Podesta's emails and they're going to be dumped in October and dumped in a serial fashion? Is that what you're saying?' I said, 'Yes, Ms. Rhee, that's about what I'm saying.'"