Donald Trump's campaign has been relying on the support of Carl Gallups, a Florida-based pastor and radio host, ahead of the state's March 15 Republican primary; the campaign invited Gallups to speak at a rally and touted his endorsement as a “great honor” from a “prominent” leader. Gallups is a fringe conspiracy host who believes the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT, was a “staged” “hoax” and that the father of one of the victims was an “actor employed by the Obama administration to take away your guns.”
Trump Says It's A “Great Honor” To Be Endorsed By Carl Gallups
Carl Gallups Is A Pastor And Radio Host. According to his biography, Gallups is the senior pastor of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church in Milton, FL. He founded the PNN News and Ministry Network (ppsimmons.com) and hosts Freedom Friday Radio on the Milton station WEBY. [Amazon.com, accessed 3/7/16, via CarlGallups.com; CarlGallups.com, accessed 3/7/16]
Trump: “Great Honor” To Be Endorsed By “Prominent” Leader Carl Gallups. A January 13 press release on Trump's website touted Gallups as “incredible” and one of several “prominent community leaders in Florida” to endorse him. Trump stated in the release that it's a “great honor” to receive Gallups' endorsement. [DonaldJTrump.com, 1/13/16]
Gallups Gave Invocation At January 13 Trump Rally. Gallups gave an invocation at the Trump campaign's January 13 Pensacola, FL, rally. Gallups told a radio program that a representative of the Trump campaign asked him to do the event. [YouTube.com, 1/14/16, 1/19/16]
AP On March 7: Gallups Has Been Having “Conversations With Fellow Conservative Christians About Making A Pragmatic Choice In Favor Of Trump.” In an article about conservative Christian support for Trump, the Associated Press reported that Gallups has been trying to convince Christians to make a “pragmatic” vote for Trump:
The Rev. Carl Gallups, a Southern Baptist pastor from Milton, Florida, who gave the invocation at Trump's Pensacola rally last January, said he has had many conversations with fellow conservative Christians about making a pragmatic choice in favor of Trump.
“I tell them, if you are not thoroughly satisfied with what you might interpret the depth of his faith might be, then the next thing we must look at is the candidate who will best preserve your First Amendment rights and allow you to express your Christian faith,” Gallups said. “We're not electing a priest, a pope or a pastor. We're electing a president, a CEO, a commander in chief. I'm not perfectly happy with Donald Trump either, but I'm a realist.” [The Associated Press, 3/7/16]
Gallups Is A Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theorist: “No Denying” Evidence That Sandy Hook Is A “Hoax”
Gallups' Website Posted Evidence That Purportedly “Proves Newtown Was A Gun-Grab HOAX.” Gallups' web-based PPSIMMONS News and Ministry Network has posted conspiracy theory articles about the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT, by someone with the nom de plume “Barry Soetoro” (a reference to the last name of President Obama's stepfather, Lolo Soetoro). The posts call the shooting “fake” and “a gun-grab HOAX.” The website also attacks Francine and David Wheeler, who lost their 6-year-old son Benjamin in the shooting, as actors who played the part of grieving parents in the staging of the shooting. [PPSIMMONS News and Ministry Network, 1/31/16; 2/8/16; 3/5/16, via CarlGallups.com; New York Daily News, 11/18/14]
Gallups: “There Is No Denying” That Sandy Hook Victim's Parents Are Fakes. Gallups hosted “Barry Soetoro” on his February 5 radio program and unveiled an elaborate conspiracy theory purporting to show that Sandy Hook was staged. As evidence, Gallups claimed David Wheeler and “his so-called wife” are fakes and David Wheeler “played the part” of “an FBI SWAT team member who was at Sandy Hook, and a grieving father”:
CARL GALLUPS: But the bottom line, folks, is if you go look at this article, and look at the pictures and watch the television clips, here's what Barry [Soetoro] has uncovered. This guy named David Wheeler, who was drugged before -- dragged before the nation by -- maybe drugged, too. He was dragged before --
BARRY SOETORO (pseudonym): That's Obama's department. Go ahead.
GALLUPS: Yeah, he was dragged before the nation by Obama after the Newtown school shooting, supposedly, Sandy Hook, and was -- played the part of a grieving father with a woman standing beside him crying, slinging snot, carrying on -- of course, right before he went to the podium, he was laughing and carrying on. But anyway --
SOETORO: No, no, no, that's Robbie --
GALLUPS: -- that was another guy.
SOETORO: Now that's Robbie Parker --
GALLUPS: That's right.
SOETORO: That's a different fake father.
GALLUPS: That's right.
SOETORO: A different fake dead child.
GALLUPS: That's right. You know, you're absolutely right, thank you for correcting me. But this guy, this guy -- he and his so-called wife, they're standing up there and they're grieving and, you know, “My child, my child.” And this and that. And, “We gotta take guns, you gotta get guns.” And that was what the whole thing is about. But in the meantime, Barry has uncovered the fact that this dude is a Hollywood actor, his so-called wife is a Hollywood actor, and then he found footage, television footage of this guy at Sandy Hook in an FBI SWAT team outfit -- it's the same dude, folks. When you look at -- there is no denying it. Every facial feature, and it's the same guy. And then he's got pictures, he's got video of, showing this guy. So how can he be a Hollywood actor, and an FBI SWAT team member who was at Sandy Hook, and a grieving father who's flying around on Air Force One with Obama, and a advocate for gun control. I mean, how can that be?
SOETORO: It's not possible to get any more busted than he is.
GALLUPS: Yeah, it's just not. It is not possible to be any more busted than this David Wheeler is. [WEBY, Freedom Friday with Carl Gallups, 2/5/16]
Gallups Referred To The Sandy Hook Shooting As The “Sandy Hook Hoax.” [WEBY, Freedom Friday with Carl Gallups, 2/5/16]
Gallups: Sandy Hook Father Is “A Sloppy, Sloppy, Sniper Actor Employed By The Obama Administration To Take Away Your Guns.” Gallups asked Soetoro, “Why do you think the regime staged what you were calling the Sandy Hook hoax?” Soetoro responded that they did it to implement gun laws. Gallups added that the evidence showing Sandy Hook was staged is “indisputable” and a “smoking gun.” [WEBY, Freedom Friday with Carl Gallups, 2/5/16]
Gallups On Sandy Hook: “Folks, Something Stinks To High Heaven.” After claiming that David Wheeler acted as an FBI agent during “the supposed shooting,” Gallups said that the whole thing “stinks to high heaven.” [WEBY, Freedom Friday with Carl Gallups, 12/18/15]
Gallups Is A Source Of Conspiracy Theories And Fringe Rhetoric
Gallups: Obama Is “An Anti-Christ.” Gallups said that Obama “is an anti-Christ, he is a depiction of some of the characteristics of the anti-Christ who is to come,” according to Raw Story. [Raw Story, 12/3/13; Media Matters, 5/20/11]
Gallups: Evidence Shows “Barack Obama Was Born In Kenya.” Gallups narrated a YouTube video purporting to prove that “Barack Obama was born in Kenya. The evidence is condemning. In a court of law, the evidence would be practically overwhelming.” He added that Obama's birth certificate appears to be “a fabricated forgery.” [YouTube.com, 9/25/14]
Gallups Suggested Obama Is “An Anti-American And Saudi-Sponsored Muslim” Plant. Gallups narrated a video, asking: “Could it be that Obama's handlers have pulled off the greatest stunt and scam in history? Could it be that they have put an anti-American and Saudi-sponsored Muslim in the White House thanks to a brain-dead American public and news media both obsessed with skin color and with an American Idol mentality?” [YouTube.com, 7/27/10]
Gallups: Homosexuality “One Of The Most Dangerous Sexual Lifestyles On The Planet.” In an interview with WND, Gallups attacked the U.S. public school system for not warning about the purported dangers of “embracing and accepting homosexuality.” He was asked about a new LGBT studies class at a San Francisco high school:
“One has to wonder if that class will include the history of the major civilizations that ultimately met their demise concurrent with the rise of rampant sexual promiscuity and deviancy within those cultures, especially embracing and accepting homosexuality,” said Gallups.
Gallups referenced the treatment of ancient societies in the Bible that condoned homosexuality, including the Canaanites, and Sodom and Gomorrah. “After all,” said Gallups, “those documents have been a monumental part of world history and history classes the world over for many thousands of years.”
Gallups also expressed doubt the writings of the Apostle Paul would find their way into the class.
Gallups asked: “If the complete and unwashed history of homosexuality is to be taught in government schools, with taxpayer money - should not the gay history that is ultimately taught be accurate and comprehensive? Or will it simply be a watered down mishmash of cherry picked topics designed to support, promote, and prop up the new politically correct homosexual lifestyle, despite the historical warnings against it and the health dangers that accompany one of the most dangerous sexual lifestyles on the planet? Sadly, I think we all know the answers to these questions.” [WND.com, 8/23/15, via Right Wing Watch]
Gallups: United States “Is Inviting End Of Days Judgment Upon Itself” When It “Legalizes Homosexual Marriage.” Discussing former Republican Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's comments about President Obama bringing about the “Rapture” -- and Obama's joking response -- Gallups told WND:
“Regardless of how uncomfortable Bachmann's comments might have made some feel, the biblical fact is that when a nation turns its back on Israel and at the same time celebrates, promotes, and legalizes homosexual marriage it is inviting end of days judgment upon itself,” Gallups added. “The Word of God is clear concerning these matters.”
While Obama certainly does not stand alone in mocking the warnings of the Bible, he represents the current leadership position of America, Gallups said.
It's kind of like poking your finger in the eye of a grizzly bear, Gallups said. What is there to be gained by tempting God?
“To those of us who know and contextually understand the Word of God, it is a perilous ledge on which to be standing,” he said. “I truly don't think it was anything a president of the United States should be joking about. Especially in light of the horrendous persecution of Christians currently taking place around the world - and particularly in the Middle East.” [WND.com, 4/27/15, via Right Wing Watch]