Updated: A guide to discredited conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi

Special prosecutor Robert Mueller has reportedly been questioning right-wing writer and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi as part of his Russia investigation. Corsi has a long history of producing false research, and he was instrumental in pushing the lie that former President Barack Obama supposedly has a fake birth certificate.

Portions of this guide were originally published in January 2017; it has been revised and updated in light of reported developments in Mueller’s investigation.

Robert Mueller has reportedly been scrutinizing Corsi

Corsi reportedly could face charges related to his comments about WikiLeaks and Trump ally Roger Stone. As CNN reported, Corsi has claimed he expects to be indicted by Mueller and he “could face any number of charges -- spanning from perjury to making false claims to obstruction of justice. The potential charges are related to false statements he made about his relationship with WikiLeaks and Stone. … Corsi injected himself into Stone's situation last year when he claimed that one of his own articles for InfoWars inspired Stone to predict in October 2016 that there would be trouble coming for Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Not long after that, WikiLeaks started releasing thousands of Podesta's hacked emails.” While raising the prospect of his indictment, Corsi has asked followers to give him “donations” through his PayPal account. [CNN, 11/12/18; Twitter, 11/12/18]

Corsi previously worked for leading conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ website. Corsi worked for Alex Jones’ Infowars network in early 2017 to 2018. Jones has pushed conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks and the tragedies at Newtown, Columbine, Oklahoma City, Sandy Hook, and the Boston Marathon, among others. He now runs his own website Corsi Nation. [Media Matters, 1/31/17; 5/3/17; Corsi Nation, accessed 11/13/18]

Corsi previously challenged Mueller to a fight. In March, Corsi stated: “I want to say to Mueller, let's go out in the backyard of the Justice Department. ... Let's duke it out.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 3/29/18]

Corsi helped lead the birther movement

In 2008, Corsi claimed on Fox that the Obama campaign had “a false, fake birth certificate posted on their website.” [Media Matters, 1/24/13]

Corsi suggested in 2008 that Obama got him detained in Kenya because Corsi was investigating his birth certificate. In October 2008, Corsi traveled to Kenya to investigate Obama’s birth certificate and was detained because he didn’t have a work permit. Corsi didn’t believe the reason for his detention, suggesting instead that then-candidate Obama was responsible for his temporary detention. [Media Matters, 1/24/13]

Corsi: “That [Obama's] not a Muslim and that he was born in the United States are both lies.” [WND's Taking America Back 2010 Convention, via Media Matters]

Corsi released 2011 book Where's The Birth Certificate?: The Case That Barack Obama Is Not Eligible To Be President. A publisher’s description for Corsi’s book, which was released after President Obama released his long-form birth certificate, claimed that “Corsi assembles the evidence that Barack Obama is constitutionally ineligible for the office of the presidency.” [WND Books, accessed 1/31/17; Media Matters, 5/18/11]

Corsi: “Obama has usurped the office of the presidency by” suppressing “the facts about his actual birth circumstances.” Corsi stated in his Where’s The Birth Certificate book:

I write in the conviction that Obama has usurped the office of the presidency by waging a skillful public relations campaign to suppress the facts about his actual birth circumstances.

If he is not eligible to be president, he is also ineligible to command the armed forces defending this nation - a challenge several brave members of the military have dared to make, putting themselves at risk, and in at least one case actually losing his own liberty - in court-martial proceedings brought against them for refusal to obey orders.

Those of us who believe the Constitution of the United States is worth preserving, protecting, and defending intend to continue pressing the Obama eligibility argument until Barack Obama is either removed from office or forced to reveal the truth. [Media Matters, 5/18/11]

Corsi in December 2016: “Ineligible” Obama should be impeached over birth certificate.

[Twitter, 12/19/16]

Corsi in December 2016: “Proved: Obama COLB is a forgery.”

[Twitter, 12/19/16]

Corsi in December 2016: “Obama forged fake lying birth certificate = biggest fake news story of last 8 years … = high crimes & misdemeanors.”

[Twitter, 12/19/16]

For more on Corsi’s birther crusade, go here.

Corsi’s writing is filled with lies

Corsi co-wrote 2004 Swift Boat book Unfit For Command against John Kerry. Corsi co-authored the 2004 book Unfit for Command with John O’Neill, which served as a playbook for attacks on the service record of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. The book was heavily filled with false and baseless attacks. PolitiFact noted in a piece documenting Corsi’s problems with facts that “the verb ‘swiftboat’ has become a catch phrase for launching an unsubstantiated political attack.” [Media Matters, 9/15/04; PolitiFact, 8/20/08]

Corsi published The Obama Nation, which was filled with inaccuracies and errors. A Media Matters review of Corsi’s 2008 book The Obama Nation found numerous falsehoods and errors. Several media outlets reporting on the book also noted that the book contained, as The New York Times noted, “unsubstantiated, misleading or inaccurate” allegations. [Media Matters, 8/4/08; 8/15/08]

Corsi has pushed numerous conspiracy theories over the years

Corsi has repeatedly suggested Obama is secretly gay or bisexual. In 2012, Corsi posted a video to YouTube claiming there's “strong” evidence suggesting that Obama is either gay or bisexual. Corsi’s evidence was that Obama wore a gold ring in law school and appeared in “chummy” pictures with his Pakistani roommate, whom Corsi speculated was Obama’s secret husband. Corsi also published articles on WorldNetDaily speculating that Obama has hidden his previous “gay life” in Chicago. From one such article:

[YouTube, 8/5/12; Media Matters, 1/24/13; WorldNetDaily, 10/2/12]

Corsi claimed Obama’s real father was Indonesian. Corsi claimed in 2011 that he “always thought the father [of President Obama] was Indonesian” because Obama's physical characteristics are supposedly “more Indonesian.” According to Corsi, Obama's mother “might have met some Indonesian” at a bar, “and that's how it happened.” [Media Matters, 1/24/13]

Corsi pushed QAnon conspiracy theory. Corsi heavily promoted QAnon, a sprawling and nonsensical conspiracy theory which claims that an anonymous government official with “Q” clearance has been leaving clues online about Trump’s actions against the so-called “deep state” and its alleged activities, including child trafficking. Corsi later soured on the legitimacy of QAnon, though he has also attempted to reach “across to the QAnon supporters” and make amends after the conspiracy theory had already got national media attention. [Media Matters, 5/15/18; 8/2/18; Right Wing Watch, 8/17/18]

Corsi claimed that an accident involving a train carrying Republican lawmakers was actually a “false flag terror attack.” [Right Wing Watch, 2/1/18]

Corsi claimed Podesta brothers are tied “to Madeleine McCann child abduction case.” The New York Times wrote of fake Pizzagate rumors that “Another part of the conspiracy theory was a supposed link between the Podesta brothers and the child abduction case of Madeleine McCann on May 3, 2007. Two e-fit (electronic facial identification technique) photos released by British detectives were repeatedly used as evidence. However, the two e-fits were based on descriptions of a single suspect by two witnesses, not two different suspects, a crucial detail that was left out. According to The Guardian, the witnesses described the man as ‘white, aged between 20 and 40, with short brown hair, of medium build, medium height and clean shaven.’ In 2007, Tony Podesta was 64 and John Podesta was 58.” Corsi tweeted in November:

[The New York Times, 12/10/16; Twitter, 11/6/16]

Corsi wrote a book claiming Hitler escaped Germany with American help. As the Southern Poverty Law Center noted, Corsi wrote in his book Hunting Hitler that “With help from Hitler’s private secretary Martin Bormann, Argentinian politician Juan Peron, and future CIA director Allen Dulles – who, Corsi insinuates, was motivated by a sinister internationalist agenda – Hitler and his bride escaped to Argentina. There, the happy couple they lived out their days in a 6,000-square-foot mansion ‘designed to echo the distinct feel of Hitler’s Obersalzberg retreat … in the Bavarian Alps.’” [Southern Poverty Law Center, 1/13/14; The Daily Beast, 1/16/14]

Corsi thought Sen. Kaine’s blue star service pin might have been a “Viet Cong” flag. During the 2016 vice presidential debate, Corsi tweeted of Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and a pin he was wearing: “What is that PIN Kaine is wearing? Red DOT on White Field, Gold border. Ho Chi Minh? Viet Cong? Can anybody identify Kaine's lapel pin?” In reality, as the Associated Press wrote, “Kaine’s pin honors his son, a U.S. Marine serving overseas. The symbol, a single blue star on a white background ringed in red, is that of ‘Blue Star Families’ who have loved ones in the military who are in harm’s way.”

[Crooks and Liars, 10/5/16; The Associated Press, 10/5/16]

Corsi was “main purveyor” of NAFTA “superhighway” conspiracy theory. Newsweek wrote of Corsi in 2007:

Ron Paul wants you to be scared. There's a conspiracy in the land—what he calls a “conspiracy of ideas”—to give up America's sovereignty. It's a shadowy scheme that begins with the NAFTA “superhighway,” a road as wide as several football fields that will link Mexico, the United States and Canada. “They don't talk about it and they might not admit it,” Paul said at the CNN-YouTube presidential debate last week. He didn't say exactly who “they” are, but perhaps one can guess. “They're planning on [taking] millions of acres … by eminent domain,” warned the prickly libertarian. But elected government officials aren't acting alone. There's “an unholy alliance of foreign consortiums and officials from several governments” pushing the idea, Paul wrote in October 2006. “The ultimate goal is not simply a superhighway, but an integrated North American Union—complete with a currency, a cross-national bureaucracy, and virtually borderless travel within the Union.”

Only it's not true. The main purveyor of this broad conspiracy theory is Jerome Corsi, coauthor of “Unfit for Command,” the book that helped Swift Boat John Kerry's presidential ambitions. His latest offering is “The Late Great U.S.A.: The Coming Merger With Mexico and Canada,” which became a best seller on The New York Times's business list this summer. Corsi plays on growing nationalist fears. He sees a scenario in which a North American Union is born and shares a currency, the “amero.” Even some right-wing standard-bearers regard the fears as over-blown. Jed Babbin, editor of the conservative newspaper Human Events, says: “I guess there are people who believe in [the plan for a North American Union]. But there are people who believe in Bigfoot.” “The evidence is out there,” says Corsi. [Newsweek, 12/1/07]

Corsi is an anti-Muslim bigot

Corsi: Islam is “a worthless, dangerous Satanic religion,” Muslims are “RAGHEADS.” Media Matters documented in 2004 that Corsi was a frequent participant on the FreeRepublic.com forum, where he posted numerous bigoted comments.

CORSI: Let's see exactly why it isn't the case that Islam is a worthless, dangerous Satanic religion? Where's the proof to the contrary? (04/24/2004)

CORSI: Islam is like a virus -- it affects the mind -- maybe even better as an analogy -- it is a cancer that destroys the body it infects... No doctor would hesitate to eliminate cancer cells from the body. (11/26/02)

CORSI: Islam is a peaceful religion as long as the women are beaten, the boys buggered, and the infidels killed. (11/22/2002)

CORSI: How's this as an analogy -- the Koran is simply the “software” for producing deviant cancer cell political behavior and violence in human beings. (02/15/2002)

CORSI: Think the liberal press will ever let out that these 2 were lovers -- typical Islamic boy-buggering -- older man, younger man -- black Muslims? I doubt it. Not a pretty picture, but one certain to be hidden by PC media. (11/08/2002)

CORSI: Isn't the Democratic Party the official SODOMIZER PROTECTION ASSOCIATION of AMERICA -- oh, I forgot, it was just an accident that Clintoon's first act in office was to promote “gays in the military.” RAGHEADS are Boy-Bumpers as clearly as they are Women-Haters -- it all goes together. (11/18/2001)     

Corsi also wrote that “Boy buggering in both Islam and Catholicism is okay with the Pope as long as it isn't reported by the liberal press.” [Media Matters, 8/6/04]