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Egyptian newspaper interviews ‘Republican senator’ who is actually conservative political consultant

(Screenshot of Egypt Independent)

A prominent Egyptian newspaper called Egypt Independent says it sat down today with a Republican U.S. senator, who in a wide-ranging interview said he supported the military's July 3 removal of President Mohamed Morsi, expressed concern that the Muslim Brotherhood may be turning to terrorism, and warned that the Obama administration had "failed to assess the situation in Egypt."

The only problem is that the man identified as United States Senator Maurice Bonamigo has never held elected office. A LinkedIn profile belonging to a man of the same name -- and whose photo appears to show the same person photographed by Egypt Independent – identifies Bonamigo as a Chicago-based "Political & Image Consultant" and a "regular" contributor to Fox News. I was unable to find any Fox News appearances for Bonamigo but did discover a conservative talk radio interview in which he identified himself as a Fox News contributor.

A Twitter feed identified as belonging to Bonamigo contains regular commentary about the situation in Egypt, much of deeply critical of the Obama administration. A July 31 tweet reads, "Just finished another outstanding interview on Egyptian TV, looks as though it is a regular contribution. love the Egyptians!!!!" You can watch the interview, apparently conducted remotely from the United States, here; he identifies himself as "a conservative" and a political consultant but does not claim to be a senator.

The Egypt Independent interview is also credited to al-Masry al-Youm, the newspaper's Arabic-language edition. Bonamigo expressed strong support for the Egyptian military's actions, saying that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had been "wrong" to label as a "coup" its July 3 ouster of Morsi. "Do not give his remarks much importance," he said. Bonamigo added that the United States was secretly funding the Muslim Brotherhood, citing "government sources that I cannot disclose."

It's not clear if the Maurice Bonamigo portrayed as a U.S. senator in the Egyptian media is the same Maurice Bonamigo who appeared in the 2004 TV documentary "Gay Republicans," about rifts within Log Cabin Republican politics. The film identifies Bonamigo as "a Palm Beach hairstylist who was a strong supporter of George W. Bush and his policies." Bonamigo's official biography on his campaign consultant Web site does not mention hair styling but does indicate that he resides part-time in Palm Beach, Florida.



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Max Fisher · August 15, 2013

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