Obama was actually campaigning for Donald Trump against Hillary in 2008. Why does he support her now? Well, this is a rhetorical question.
The parents of two of the four Americans killed in a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012 are suing Hillary Clinton.
Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith, and Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Clinton Monday, citing her “extreme carelessness” of handling classified information on her private email server as one of the reasons that contributed to the attacks.
Smith and Woods are also suing Clinton for defamation in public statements and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, according to Fox News.
Because Clinton was not using a secure server, the lawsuit claims, the terrorists were able to “obtain the whereabouts of Ambassador Christopher Stephens and thus the U.S. State Department and covert and other government operations in Benghazi, Libya, and subsequently orchestrate, plan, and execute the now-infamous Sept. 11, 2012 attack.”
Clinton campaign spokesperson Nick Merrill responded to the suit, saying, “While no one can imagine the pain of the families of the brave Americans we lost at Benghazi, there have been nine different investigations into this attack and none found any evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing on the part of Hillary Clinton.”
Meanwhile, Clinton still denies ever having told the families of the victims that the attack was caused by an anti-Islam YouTube video and not terrorism. Instead, she blames the parents’ “grief” for misunderstanding her.
Patricia Smith spoke out against Clinton at the Republican National Convention in July, saying she blames “Hillary Clinton personally for the death of my son.”
A little-known resolution put forth on Independence Day confirms America’s Christian roots
Every year, the nation comes together to celebrate the Fourth of July and commemorate the day our Founding Fathers adopted the Declaration of Independence, breaking from England and establishing a new nation.
“That Dr. Franklin, Mr. J. Adams and Mr. Jefferson, be a committee, to bring in a device for a seal for the United States of America.”
Looking back 240 years later, the current atmosphere in our culture ignores many of the religious contributions that surrounded the founding of our nation — and the document that was put forth.
The crux of the Declaration of Independence points out that our rights are given to us by God: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
What many people don’t know or don’t remember is that another resolution was put forward in that same meeting of the Continental Congress — right after the Declaration of Independence was approved.
The resolution that was put forward was as follows: “That Dr. Franklin, Mr. J. Adams and Mr. Jefferson, be a committee, to bring in a device for a seal for the United States of America.”
These three Founding Fathers — forever etched in history for their great contributions to the forging of our country — each put forth a design for a seal on this same historic day when they claimed their freedom from the British.
Two of the three designs put forth by these titans of American history were profoundly Christian.
Benjamin Franklin’s own notes indicate the design he put forth for discussion was this: “Moses standing on the Shore, and extending his Hand over the Sea, thereby causing the same to overwhelm Pharaoh who is sitting in an open Chariot, a Crown on his Head and a Sword in his Hand. Rays from a Pillar of Fire in the Clouds reaching to Moses, to express that he acts by Command of the Deity.”
Under the image described above would be an inscription with the motto: “Rebellion to Tyrants is obedience to God.”
For Thomas Jefferson — which Adams documented in a letter — it was as follows:
“The Children of Israel in the Wilderness, led by a Cloud by day, and a Pillar of Fire by night.”
While all of the designs put forth on Independence Day were tabled by the Continental Congress at the time, the phrase E Pluribus Unum, or “Out of Many, One,” came about in those initial designs and was adopted at a later date.
But perhaps more importantly, these designs offer insight into the Founders’ plan for our nation and — whether our culture today approves or not — that our nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles.
Report lays out detailed timeline showing Clinton misled the public
A 45-page analysis of the Benghazi Committee’s investigative report released Tuesday by a pair of Republican congressmen lays out in devastating detail the lengths to which Hillary Clinton went to obscure the motives behind the murder of four Americans in Libya in 2012.
The attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others on Sept. 11, 2012. Reps. Jim Jordan and Mike Pompeo amassed ample evidence that then-Secretary of State Clinton quickly learned that the killings resulted from a organized terrorist attack.
“Yet, Secretary Clinton and the administration told one story privately — that Benghazi was a terrorist attack — and told another story publicly.”
“Yet, Secretary Clinton and the administration told one story privately — that Benghazi was a terrorist attack — and told another story publicly — blaming a video-inspired protest,” wrote Jordan and Pompeo, who said they wrote their report to highlight what they regard as the most important parts of the forthcoming official report of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
Indeed, in her Oct. 22 testimony before the Select Committee, Clinton blamed conflicting reports for the differences in her public and private statements on the motivations behind the attack. The report issued Tuesday by Jordan and Pompeo indicates there was overwhelming and immediate evidence in Clinton’s hands that it was a coordinated attack that had nothing to do with the video.
Democrats on the committee released their own report Monday, dismissing the investigation as “the ongoing Republican obsession with conspiracy theories that have no basis in reality.”
But it is hard to refute the written record showing Clinton and other administration officials clinging to their story that the attack started as a spontaneous protest over on obscure anti-Muslim internet video made by an American. Here is a timeline in the report:
Sept. 11, 2012
What they said in public: Clinton issued a statement at 10:08 p.m., before the attack was even over: “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet.”
What they said in private: Hours earlier, though, at 6:49 p.m., Clinton told Libyan President Mohammed al Magariaf that there was “a gun battle ongoing, which I understand Ansar as-Sharia [sic] is claiming responsibility for.” In an email to daughter Chelsea at 11:23 p.m., she made no mention of the video. “Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al Queda-like [sic] group.”
Sept. 12, 2012
What they said in public: Clinton said in public remarks that officials were trying to determine the motives for the assault. “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior, along with the protest that took place at our embassy in Cairo yesterday, as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet,” she said.
What they said in private: In a summary of a call between Acting Assistant Secretary Beth Jones and Libyan Ambassador Ali Aujali, Jones said, “I told him that the group that conducted the attacks — Ansar Al Sharia — is affiliated with Islamic extremists.”
An email from State Department official Jacob Sullivan to the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, rejected the public contention that the attack in Libya was linked to a protest that had occurred in Cairo, Egypt.
“There was not really violence in Egypt [and] we are not saying that the violence in Libya erupted ‘over inflammatory videos,'” he wrote.
Clinton herself rejected the protest theory in a statement to then-Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Mohamed Qandil: “We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack — not a protest … Based on the information we saw today we believe the group that claimed responsibility for this was affiliated with al Qaeda.”
Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy, in briefing with congressional staff, said, “No, the attack was a direct breaching attack.” He also differentiated it from the Cairo incident. “Attack in Cairo was a demonstration. There were no weapons shown or used. A few cans of spray paint.”
Sept. 13, 2012
What they said in public: In remarks in Morocco, Clinton again blamed the online anti-Muslim film. “To us, to me personally, this video is disgusting and reprehensible. It appears to have a deeply cynical purpose: to denigrate a great religion and to provoke rage.”
What they said in private: A summary of a call between Deputy Secretary Thomas Nides and the Egyptian ambassador to the United States states: “Nides said he understood the difference between the targeted attack in Libya and the way the protest escalated in Egypt.”
Sept. 14, 2012
What they said in public: White House press secretary Jay Carey said at a news conference, “We have no information to suggest that it was a pre-planned attack. The unrest we’ve seen around the region has been in reaction to a video that Muslims, many Muslims find offensive.”
That is consistent with an email sent that evening by White House adviser Ben Rhodes to Carney and others that it was important “to underscore that these protests are rooted in an internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”
The father of Tyrone Woods, one of the fallen Americans, wrote in his diary that during a ceremony for the return of his son’s body, “I gave Hillary a hug and shook her hand, and she said we are going to have the filmmaker arrested who was responsible for the death of my son.”
The mother of another victim, Sean Smith, similarly said, “We were nose-to-nose at the coffin ceremony. She told me it was the fault of the video. I said ‘Are you sure?’ She says, ‘Yes, that’s what it was … it was the video.'”
What they said in private: An email from a State Department press officer in the embassy in Tripoli urged colleagues not to draw attention to the video. “And it is becoming increasingly clear that the series of events in Benghazi was much more terrorist attack than a protest which escalated into violence,” the officer wrote.
Sept. 15, 2012
What they said in public: That did not stop President Obama in his weekly radio address from declaring that the “tragic attack takes place at a time of turmoil and protest in many different countries.”
What they said in private: Clinton made no mention of a protest or video in call with the Libyan prime minister-elect.
Sept. 16, 2012
What they said in public: U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, in interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Channel, said, “But we don’t see at this point signs this was a coordinated plan, premeditated attack.”
Sept 17, 2012
What they said in public: State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland stood by Rice’s remarks on the Sunday news shows. “Ambassador Rice, in her comments on every network over the weekend, was very clear, very precise, about what our initial assessment of what happened is,” she said.
What they said in private: Responding to instructions to link the attack in Benghazi to the protest in Egypt, a press officer in Libya wrote in an email, “I really hope this was revised. I don’t think we should go on the record on this.”
Sept. 18, 2012
What they said in public: Carney told reporters, “I would point you to what Ambassador Rice said and others have said about what we know thus far about the video and its influence on the protests that occurred in Cairo, in Benghazi and elsewhere.”
What they said in private: In a written statement to a congressional panel, Deputy CIA Director Michael Morrell wrote, “The critically important point is that the analysts considered this a terrorist attack from the very beginning.”
In an email exchange about an article quoting White House officials as seeing no signs of a premeditated attack, one State Department security agent asked another, “Can you believe this?” The second agent asked the first if there had been any rioting reported in Benghazi before the attack.
“Zip, nothing, nada,” the agent responded.
Sept. 19, 2016
What they said in public: In a cable to all U.S. embassies, Clinton warned of widespread violence at diplomatic posts across the Muslim world. “The proximate cause of the violence was the release by individuals in the United States of the video trailer for a film that many Muslims find offensive,” she wrote.
Sept. 20, 2012
What they said in public: At a Univision Town Hall event, Obama was still trying to determine what happened in Libya. “What we do know is that the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they can also directly harm U.S. interests.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Secretary Hillary Clinton failed to turn over a copy of a key message involving problems caused by her use of a private homebrew email server, the State Department confirmed Thursday. The disclosure makes it unclear what other work-related emails may have been deleted by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
The email was included within messages exchanged Nov. 13, 2010, between Clinton and one of her closest aides, Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin. At the time, emails sent from Clinton’s BlackBerry device and routed through her private clintonemail.com server in the basement of her New York home were being blocked by the State Department’s spam filter. A suggested remedy was for Clinton to obtain a state.gov email account.
“Let’s get separate address or device but I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible,” Clinton responded to Abedin.
Clinton never used a government account that was set up for her, instead continuing to rely on her private server until leaving office.
The email was not among the tens of thousands of emails Clinton turned over to the agency in response to public records lawsuits seeking copies of her official correspondence. Abedin, who also used a private account on Clinton’s server, provided a copy from her own inbox after the State Department asked her to return any work-related emails. That copy of the email was publicly cited last month in a blistering audit by the State Department’s inspector general that concluded Clinton and her team ignored clear internal guidance that her email setup violated federal standards and could have left sensitive material vulnerable to hackers.
“While this exchange was not part of the approximately 55,000 pages provided to the State Department by former Secretary Clinton, the exchange was included within the set of documents Ms. Abedin provided the department in response to our March 2015 request,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said she provided “all potentially work-related emails” that were still in her possession when she received the 2014 request from the State Department.
“Secretary Clinton had some emails with Huma that Huma did not have, and Huma had some emails with Secretary Clinton that Secretary Clinton did not have,” Fallon said.
Fallon declined to say whether Clinton deleted any work-related emails before they were reviewed by her legal team. Clinton’s lead lawyer, David Kendall, did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.
The November 2010 email was among documents released under court order Wednesday to the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch, which has sued the State Department over access to public records related to the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s service as the nation’s top diplomat between 2009 and 2013. The case is one of about three dozen lawsuits over access to records related to Clinton, including one filed by the AP.
Before turning over her emails to the department for review and potential public release, Clinton and her lawyers withheld thousands of additional emails she said were clearly personal, such as those involving what she described as “planning Chelsea’s wedding or my mother’s funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends as well as yoga routines, family vacations.”
Clinton has never outlined in detail what criteria she and her lawyers used to determine which emails to release and which to delete, but her 2010 email with Abedin appears clearly work-related under the State Department’s own criteria for agency records under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.
Dozens of the emails sent or received by Clinton through her private server were later determined to contain classified material. The FBI has been investigating for months whether Clinton’s use of the private email server imperiled government secrets. Agents recently interviewed several of Clinton’s top aides, including Abedin.
As part of the probe, Clinton turned over the hard drive from her email server to the FBI. It had been wiped clean, and Clinton has said she did not keep copies of the emails she choose to withhold.
On Wednesday, lawyers from Judicial Watch, a conservative legal organization, questioned under oath Bryan Pagliano, the computer technician who set up Clinton’s private server. A transcript released Thursday shows Pagliano repeatedly responded to detailed questions by invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, as he did last year before a congressional committee.
Dozens of questions Pagiliano declined to answer included who paid for the system, whether there was technical help to support its users and who else at the State Department used email accounts on it. Pagliano also would not answer whether he discussed setting up a home server with Clinton prior to her tenure as secretary of state, according to the transcript.
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said the November 2010 email cited in the inspector general audit was one of more than a dozen work-related emails that his group identified that Clinton sent or received but later failed to turn over the State Department.
“Contrary to her statement under oath suggesting otherwise, Mrs. Clinton did not return all her government emails to the State Department,” Fitton said. “Our goal is to find out what other emails Mrs. Clinton and the State Department are hiding.”
Lee Harvey Oswald, front left, standing next to man never identified by the Warren Commission, center in white shirt, handing out leaflets for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee taken outside the International Trade Mart in New Orleans on Aug.16, 1963. The National Enquirer is now saying that they have determined through photo analysis that the man is Rafael B. Cruz, father of GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz. Johann Rush/WSDU-TV
The National Enquirer has published what it says is conclusive evidence that Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael B. Cruz, is the man photographed next to JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald distributing pro-Castro leaflets in 1963 in New Orleans.
The Cruz presidential campaign fired back unequivocally. “This is another garbage story in a tabloid full of garbage,” communications director Alice Stewart told McClatchy. “The story is false; that is not Rafael in the picture.”
The explosive suggestion that Cruz’s father would have had any affiliation with Oswald is not corroborated in any other way. Cuban-born Rafael Cruz is now a fervent anti-communist, but there was a time he supported then-rebel leader Fidel Castro. His son, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, frequently relates his father’s arrest and torture by government officials and subsequent escape to the United States.
The elder Cruz ended up at the University of Texas at Austin and still supported Castro, who led the revolution that overthrew the Batista regime in 1959. Castro formally declared himself Marxist in 1961.
“The U.S. government was duped. The American people were duped. I was duped,” Rafael Cruz wrote in his book, “A Time for Action,” released in January. “When people ask me why I supported Castro in over-throwing the Cuban government, I readily admit that I didn’t realize he was a communist.”
There are photos of Rafael Cruz participating in a pro-Castro rally in 1959 and an article in the student newspaper where he describes his support for Castro. And one report questions the extent of the elder Cruz’s connections to Castro before fleeing Cuba.
The photos of Oswald distributing pro-Castro literature are from August 1963, just a few months before the JFK assassination in Dallas, which the Warren Commission Report on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy said was carried out by Oswald.
The tabloid hired photo experts who compared the elder Cruz’s photos from the late 1950s and early 1960s with the ones released by the Warren Commission. The man in the white shirt next to Oswald was never identified by the commission, and the Enquirer is now saying it was Cruz and blasted on its May 2 cover that “Ted Cruz Father Now Linked to JFK Assassination!”
The Enquirer has a testimonial from Mitch Goldstone, president and CEO of ScanMyPhotos, a California-based digitizing photo service, who told the tabloid, “There’s more similarity than dissimilarity. . . . it looks to be the same person and I can say as much with a high degree of confidence.”
And Carole Lieberman, a University of California – Los Angeles forensic psychiatrist and expert witness based in Beverly Hills, California, compared the photos and told the Enquirer “they seem to match.” Neither Goldstone nor Lieberman returned phone calls from McClatchy.
But Gus Russo, an author and journalist who has written extensively about the JFK assassination and Oswald, is dubious. Russo told McClatchy in an interview that Oswald, who was living in New Orleans in 1963, was not connected to the Cuban community there and would not have had a Cuban supporter helping him. “He was the ultimate loner,” said Russo. Another man seen in the video handing out leaflets had been hired by Oswald to do so at an unemployment office, according to the Warren Commission. Rafael Cruz also lived in New Orleans, but it was later in the 1960s.
As for the photo “evidence,” Russo said, “It’s very subjective. It’s not proof. It’s just an opinion. To charge something this big, you’d better have better proof than that ‘it looks like him.’”
The FBI would not comment about its photo recognition and aging identification techniques but referred McClatchy to a web page about its Investigative and Prosecutive Graphic Unit.
The Enquirer has focused on Ted Cruz during the presidential campaign with sensational stories about his alleged mistresses and supposed connection to the DC Madam. The tabloid, which has endorsed presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, said in a “declaration” published on a page of the story that the paper had been approached by someone it does not identify during the New York primary with the photos. “In this instance, we believe American voters have a right to know the truth about the Cruz family,” it says.
Here’s a bit of American history guaranteed not to appear in any government-approved history book. The Democrat party has, throughout its existence, represented the bigotry and racism they seek to project onto Republicans.
The informed readers of this article are likely familiar with the racist roots of the political party aptly portrayed by a jackass, but much of the general population, especially outspoken Democrats, are woefully ignorant of any such facts.
Ask the nearest Democrat about Republicans and race and even the mayor of a substantial American city might just respond with, “They are racist.”
In reference to their own party, Dems will likely say they led the fight for civil rights throughout the years, though a cursory review of the party will prove this assertion wrong. For instance, this was the party that established the Ku Klux Klan as its enforcement arm. Powerful Democrat politicians have appointed klansmen to high-ranking positions in American government for a century, yet have somehow convinced the vast majority of blacks that Republicans are the bad guys!
The KKK was used to intimidate voters, black and white, into voting Democrat – or not voting at all.
Through violence, property damage, rape, and murder, Democrats were able to secure a huge majority of the black vote comprised of those afraid to cast an alternate ballot. Disgustingly, they have somehow been able to maintain that death-grip on the African-American community to this day.
When these reprehensible strategies, though unquestionably effective, did not satiate their need to keep the black population down, Democrat-supported legislation such as Jim Crow laws made sure these minorities would remain second-class citizens even after the ratification of the 13th Amendment. There are plenty of examples of heralded Democrats, including Presidents LBJ and Truman, expressing disdain for blacks in their own words.
Republicans, thankfully, emerged as the pro-freedom, anti-slavery alternative to the juggernaut that was the Democrat party. Despite the fact that significantly more Republicans supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act than did Democrats, the party of the left has somehow hoodwinked much of the black community into thinking they are its savior.
Of course, today’s Democrats will say, if they concede these points at all, that this is all ancient history, but I respectfully disagree. In much the same way that it did in the late 1800s, the Democrat party needs the black vote and, increasingly, the Hispanic vote to pull heavily for their side in order to win elections.
While paying them mere lip service, liberals pass legislation such as a broken welfare system rewarding poor mothers for having out-of-wedlock children and punishing them for getting married, thus keeping minorities at the mercy of government handouts. This makes them beholden to a party that represents views, such as support for abortion and gay marriage, that are diametrically opposed to those of many in the black community.
Democrats know they cannot intellectually compete with a party that, at its core, simply wants to provide individual liberty, encourage strong families and reduce abortions (which equal approximately the death toll of the 9/11 attack every two days in the black community alone), so they continue to repeat the old diatribe that Republicans are the real racists.
The GOP, which was the first to name a black Supreme Court Justice and Secretary of State, must defend itself against accusations based purely in the imagination of Democrats, often with figurative or literal blood on their own hands.
Each February, Democrats promote Black History Month with a vengeance, hoping to stoke the race war embers and elicit even more loyalty from the black community. I would promote a the study of accurate black history, not just during the shortest month but year round, and it’s relationship with a Democrat party that has been patronizing at its best and deadly at its worst.
Unfortunately, I feel that would be the only chance Republicans have of attracting a voting bloc that has continually been misled into hating the wrong political party.
Donald Trump and Annabel Hill of Georgia in 1986. They are burning her farm mortage after she received help for Trump.
One narrative emerging around the surprisingly resilient Donald Trump portrays the brash billionaire as a final card laid down by Republican blue-collar voters who see their way of life — and their political clout — draining away in a bathtub spiral.
Trump has been a man of last resort before. Right here in Georgia, in fact. And if his Republican presidential machine doesn’t seize upon the tale in the next few weeks, as he and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas battle for Southern votes, then someone in the Trump campaign will be guilty of gross incompetence.
It happened in 1986, in the midst of the worst farm crisis since the Great Depression. In Burke County, on Georgia’s eastern border, farm after farm was folding.
On Feb. 4, Lenard Dozier Hill III, a third-generation occupant of his cotton-and-soybean acreage, was about to have his land sold out from under him. ”That morning, it was going to be auctioned off at the courthouse steps, so he committed suicide,” said Betsy Sharp, his daughter.
In the bedroom of the Hill home, along with the .22-caliber rifle that did the work, was a neat stack of life insurance policies and other papers on the nightstand. Hill had intended for the life insurance payout to cover most of his $300,000 debt and so save the family farm for another generation.
It was a grievous miscalculation. Most, if not all, life insurance policies include a clause that prohibits payment in cases of suicide. “He didn’t realize all that,” Sharp said.
Hill’s desperate act struck a chord. Reporters and TV crews descended on the Waynesboro church where the funeral was held. Vandals painted “farmer killer” on the door of the local bank.
Once the family realized the financial futility of Hill’s suicide, the burden of saving the farm fell on his widow, Annabel Hill, a 66-year-old teacher and social worker with gray hair and large glasses.
The widow was already familiar with Frank Argenbright, a wealthy and white Atlanta businessman who had made a name for himself by organizing the successful effort to save the farm of a black farmer in Cochran named Oscar Lorick.
(Argenbright initially tried to do this anonymously, as a masked benefactor who called himself “A.N. American.” But he was the head of a growing security firm, and his cop friends recognized his voice.)
Argenbright arranged a press conference for Annabel Hill in Atlanta. “It went national,” he said. Today, in the age of the Internet, we use the term “viral.”
Then, as now, clowns came out of the woodwork. In an interview, Argenbright said one of the first calls he received was from a Texas oilman who wanted to come to Atlanta to help. “For some reason I had to pay the ticket,” Argenbright said. First class.
The “oilman” turned out to be a soused escapee from a rehab unit for alcoholics. Argenbright put him on the next flight back to Texas. In coach.
Above is a video, featuring Betsy Sharp, daughter of Lenard and Annabel Hill, put together by Chad Etheridge of Growing America, a news service for farmers.
Argenbright was still at the airport when his assistant called. Someone claiming to be Donald Trump had just rang, offering to help Annabel Hill.
A suspicious Argenbright called the number and demanded proof of identity from the man who answered.
“Herschel Walker works for me,” the voice said. The former University of Georgia running back was the star of the New Jersey Generals, a United States Football League team owned by Trump. That was good enough.
“Well, Mr. Trump, I apologize,” Argenbright said.
Trump told the Atlanta businessman that his wife, Ivana, had seen the report on the Hill family’s plight on the network news, and she suggested that he get involved. The magnate summoned Argenbright and the Hills to New York. After a brief interview, Trump signed onto the cause.
Accounts of what followed differ. In his book “The Art of the Deal,” Trump wrote that, in a phone call, he twisted the arm of a vice president of the Georgia bank that held the Hill mortgage.
“I said to the guy, ‘You listen to me. If you do foreclose, I’ll bring a lawsuit for murder against you and your bank, on the grounds that you harassed Mrs. Hill’s husband to his death.’ All of a sudden, the banker sounded very nervous and said he’d get right back to me. Sometimes it pays to be a little wild,” Trump wrote.
Argenbright, a Trump admirer who would go on to provide security at many of the billionaire’s properties, describes a Trump who was far less sure of himself — and of the public reaction that would follow. And quieter, too. ”It wasn’t the Donald that you see now,” Argenbright said. “He wasn’t sure that people would respond to him. He didn’t want to be embarrassed.”
Trump provided $20,000 to stave off foreclosure of the Hill farm, but his name was initially kept out of the picture. During a press conference on the courthouse steps in Waynesboro announcing the delay, Argenbright said he spoke only of support from “a New York developer.”
But Trump’s identity was easily and quickly guessed. The billionaire and the Georgia farm wife made the rounds of the morning TV shows. Viewers were asked to send their dollars to the “Annabel Hill Fund, Trump Towers, New York, 10022.”
Money poured in, but Trump and a Texas oilman — a real one, this time — provided the last $78,000. A “mortgage-burning” ceremony was scheduled for two days before Christmas. The Hill family was again flown to New York, at Trump’s expense.
“I had just graduated from high school. He flew us to New York, and we went to Trump Towers and had breakfast with him,” said Betsy Sharp, who is now 49 and lives in Augusta.
“We saw a whole different side of him that was kindhearted, to reach out to us, to help us,” the daughter said. “Most people don’t know and see that side. All they see is just the ‘blurt’ that people put on the TV. They don’t see the other side of him, and that’s what my family got to experience.”
Argenbright feels likewise. “He couldn’t have been nicer. He took care of them and stayed in touch with them after that,” Argenbright said. “He had no ulterior motive.”
But Argenbright said that, in advance of that mortgage-burning ceremony in 1986, he did catch a glimpse of the media-savvy presidential candidate that we are watching now.
Trump ordered the waterfalls in his towers turned off, to make it easier for the TV sound technicians. He made sure that at least three tested cigarette lighters were on hand to spark the fire. The mortgage papers were fake, but Trump ordered an assistant to light one up to make sure they would burn quickly and dramatically, said Argenbright, who supplied an engraved tray from Tiffany’s for the ashes.
“Just to watch how detailed he was in understanding the perception of the moment and how significant it was — it was a special time,” Argenbright said. “He was an honorable guy who wanted to do the right thing. If it wasn’t for him, that farm wouldn’t have been saved.”
The Annabel Hill episode was just a small piece of the farm crisis. In the two months that followed, 85 other farms in Burke County alone were scheduled for foreclosure. Other celebrities attempted rescues as well — Willie Nelson’s series of Farm Aid concerts had begun the year before.
But this was the moment that Donald Trump, who had already put his name on the New York City skyline, introduced himself to rural America.
The billionaire’s involvement didn’t spark a revolution. Not then. An off-Broadway play, loosely based on Lenard and Annabel Hill, flared briefly. Annabel Hill, who died in 2011 at age 91, wrote a book about her experience with her pastor. It has never been published.
But for Trump, there is a legacy to be tapped. This week, The Wall Street Journal noted that an analysis of its own polling found that much of Trump’s Southern support comes from “Republican primary voters who live in counties with large African American and Hispanic populations.”
In Georgia, that means farm country — the same rural areas that fueled the Eugene and Herman Talmadge dynasty of the 20th century.
Betsy Sharp, now the manager of a surgery center in Columbia County, attended a Trump rally in Bluffton, S.C., this summer. But the candidate was rushed, and the two only had time to quickly shake hands. If asked, Sharp said she would be happy to campaign with him.
Her brother, by the way, is Leonard Dozier Hill IV. He still lives on the farm that Donald Trump saved.