The author of a racially charged email forwarded by President Trump’s lawyer said he sent the message in hopes it would help Trump defend his response to Charlottesville, and give the president fodder to go further in condemning groups on the left.
“I wanted to help him. This whole political bread and circuses needs to stop,” Jerome Almon told The Washington Post. “Black Lives Matter is just as racist as the Nazis or the KKK or anyone else.”
Almon, 52, who is black, has promoted a range of conspiracy theories online, and claims to have predicted several past terrorist attacks. But he said he crafted his email — which was circulated wider Wednesday by Trump’s lawyer, John Dowd — out of worries that Trump could be “taken down” over his response to Charlottesville.
“We’re going to end up in a violent civil war,” Almon said. Trump “is our last chance or the violence you saw in Charlottesville is going to get worse.”
Almon’s email advocated protection of some Confederate monuments and claimed that the protest group Black Lives Matter had been infiltrated by terrorists.
The email concluded: “The President should confront the opposition with the facts . . . his advisers are moving way [too] slow, and are not aggressive enough.”
Dowd received the email Tuesday night, according to a copy Almon provided to The Post. Dowd forwarded the message to administration allies in Washington.
The contents of the email, and the fact that Dowd shared it with government officials, conservative journalists and others, was first reported by the New York Times.
Dowd, 76, told The Post that he “shares a lot of things with people” over email and said it was unfair to equate forwarding one message with espousing its contents.
Dowd was recently hired to help Trump respond to an investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. He sent the email to administration allies and journalists amid a firestorm over the president’s remarks about the deadly weekend protests in Charlottesville.
The email — titled “The Information that Validates President Trump on Charlottesville” — appeared to echo and applaud the controversial claim the president has made in defending a central goal of the protest led by white supremacists. The group said it rallied in the hometown of the University of Virginia to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Trump said at a Tuesday news conference that white supremacists and Ku Klux Klan members were not entirely to blame for the violent turn of events in Charlottesville on Saturday, where a counterprotester was killed and 19 were injured. Trump’s comments — and his reluctance to back off from those statements — have led to a political backlash.
The email forward by Dowd may raise fresh questions about the way information travels in the orbit of advisers surrounding the president.
In the phone interview Wednesday night, Almon claimed to have previously met Trump, including when Almon was an activist opposing casino development in Detroit.
“I believe President Trump probably remembers me, and probably recognizes me, and that was the whole thing — I wanted to help him,” Almon said. Prior encounters between Almon and Trump could not immediately be verified.
A onetime Obama supporter, Almon said he had come to support Trump because “he’s far more right than he is wrong, and he’s done far more on average than his opponents.”
Almon said he sent the email because he felt the president needed more historical facts to buttress his argument about Charlottesville.
His email at one point equates George Washington with Lee: “Both owned slaves. Both rebelled against the ruling government. Both men’s battle tactics are still taught at West Point. Both saved America.”
Almon has a registered business under the name Murdercap Records and was profiled by Rolling Stone in 2007 after he filed an “eyebrow-raising” $900 million federal lawsuit against the Canadian government, the State Department and then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Almon claimed to have documentation of being racially profiled while trying to cross into Canada. The lawsuit was dismissed, according to federal records.
Almon said he hopes his email refocuses those who read it on more important problems.
“We have very serious issues. If you want to get Trump on the issues, fine. That’s what should happen. On the economy? Policy? Fine. But taking him down over statues, when we’re $20 trillion in debt and about to go to war over North Korea, I cannot take that seriously.”
Carol Leonnig and Amy Brittain contributed to this report.