(CNN)Republican congressional candidate Tim Donnelly of California called then-President Barack Obama a secret Muslim and terrorist sympathizer on his old radio program, a CNN KFile review has found.
Republican congressional candidate called Obama a secret terrorist-supporting Muslim
Donnelly also said that Loretta Lynch was nominated by Obama for attorney general either because of her "skin color" or her "anti-American" attitude and endorsed a conspiracy theory the death of Freddie Gray was a false flag by the Obama administration and their allies to impose martial law.
Donnelly, a former state assemblyman, is challenging incumbent Republican Rep. Paul Cook in California's 8th District, which runs along the eastern border of the state and includes large parts of San Bernardino County and the Mojave Desert. Donnelly came in second to Cook in the June primary, earning the right to face Cook again in November under California's rules in which the top two candidates in the primary advance to the general regardless of party affiliation. Cook's 40% share of the primary vote nearly doubled the 23% won by Donnelly, who edged out a Democratic candidate by a single point for the number two spot.
Donnelly previously ran for the seat in 2016 but came in third by a percentage point in the primary. Before that, he finished a close third in the primary for California's governorship in 2014. Donnelly has several well-known supporters. He is backed by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Iowa Rep. Steve King, former Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and conservative activist Charlie Kirk.
Last week, Trump endorsed Cook. Donnelly told Politico of the endorsement, "President Trump just endorsed the swamp."
In a comment emailed to CNN's KFile, Donnelly said, "I have spent my professional life fighting for the families of people slain by illegal aliens and islamic jihadists. I went to build the wall a decade before it was a talking point for politicians like Paul Cook."
He added, "On the anniversary of 9/11, you want to hit me for being too harsh on the assholes who killed my neighbor and the worthless politicians like Paul Cook, who colluded with Obama and the #FakeNewsMedia to let them into our country."
Donnelly's comments come from episodes of the "The Tim Donnelly Show,"a radio program he hosted in 2015 and 2016 on local radio in California. Islam, which Donnelly label a cult, and the president were frequent targets of his ire."
In a December 2015 episode, broadcast the day after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Donnelly said that he believed Obama did not call the perpetrators "Islam jihadists" because the then-president was "secretly following" the Islamic faith and wanted to see America punished.
"Barack Obama is the president of the United States and he couldn't say, 'Hey, these are Islamic jihadists. I just got informed of this by the FBI.' Instead he lies," Donnelly said. "He comes out and lies because we all know this information was out there, but he didn't want to insult the faith that I believe he is secretly following, a follower, or he is simply sympathetic because they're doing the dirty work. Because he ultimately wants to see this country punished and taken down for what he considers to be crimes against the rest of the world."
Later that month, he returned to the same theme, calling the then-president "Ayatollah Obama." Arguing that Obama would never cut off immigration, trade, or diplomatic relations with "terrorist sponsoring countries," Donnelly endorsed the conspiracy theory that Obama had members of the Muslim Brotherhood in his administration.
"Think about that, but we will never hear that from Ayatollah Obama because that's what he really is," Donnelly said. "He is, in whatever way, I don't know what his connection to the Muslim Brotherhood is, but he's got them in all kinds of positions of power, other smarter people than me have have laid out the case and shown who these people are. I'm just seeing the result. You're seeing the results. You've been asking yourself, 'Why is it that he won't actually call Islamic jihadism, Islamic jihadism? Why is it that he's so passionate about taking away your guns, taking away your First Amendment, your right to speak the truth about this great evil?' But that's because it works. That's because it's part of a plan. That's because the left has always been more organized. They've had playbooks because they have people that get paid in the ivory towers to concoct these plans."
Donnelly had previously said in November 2015 that he was believed "more and more" Obama was part of the Muslim Brotherhood and doing their bidding.
Another subject Donnelly addressed on the show was his belief that the Obama administration was quick to label Dylann Roof, who has since been convicted of hate crimes in connection with his shooting of nine black parishioners at a church in Charleston in June 2015, a white supremacist, while refusing to call Muslim terrorists "Islamic jihadists."
Roof himself admitted to holding white supremacist views.
On his program the day after the San Bernardino shooting, Donnelly attributed this to the terrorists being "Obama's people, the Islamic people."
"I want to play you a little clip of the dictator-in-chief, the gun-controller-in-chief, I don't know what to call him today, who--this is his reaction and it's completely devoid of the same passion that he would have had if this individual had been Dylann Roof who killed nine black people in a church and could easily be demonized as a white supremacist, whereas these are Obama's people, the Islamic people," Donnelly said.
He returned to this theme days later, playing the audio from a video he had put out in whic