The Slatest

It’s Cool and Normal That the President Endorsed an Infamous Conspiracy Author Who’s Promoting a Cancer “Miracle”

Corsi looks upward while speaking against the backdrop of what appears to be a TV studio.
Jerome Corsi in New York City on Nov. 27.
Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

As a professional Trump blogger who’s also occasionally forced by circumstance to interact with normal people, I’ve found that one thing that many otherwise well-informed Americans don’t grasp about our current national situation is just how tacky and demented the corrupt individuals surrounding the current president are. This isn’t your father’s white-collar shell-company/kickback graft, or at least it’s not only that; it’s something much more novel, low-budget, and darkly comic. (N.b.—your father is Spiro Agnew.) To wit: Jerome Corsi, the bestselling right-wing conspiracist who the president is currently fond of because he’s making noises about refusing to cooperate with Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation.

Let’s set aside the part of this Sunday presidential tweet involving formerly incarcerated Illinois governor and Celebrity Apprentice contestant Rod Blagojevich and focus on the part about Corsi:

Mueller is interested in the roles Corsi and longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone may have played as intermediaries between Wikileaks, which distributed the emails that Russian hackers stole from Democrats in 2016, and the Trump presidential campaign. Corsi is claiming in media appearances, like those he’s conducted with Regan of the Fox Business Network, that Mueller’s “thugs” are harassing his family and trying to blackmail him into a guilty plea simply because he is a participant in the “worldwide struggle against the Deep State.” He’s filed an amateurish lawsuit arguing that Mueller should pay him $350 million in damages (LOL), an assertion that’s of a piece with the many other outlandish claims he’s made throughout his lucrative career. (Corsi’s books and articles have suggested, among other things, that Barack Obama is gay, that the U.S. is going to “merge” with Canada and Mexico, and that a “series of equations” developed by Nazi scientists show that oil is a naturally self-replenishing resource that will never run out. Big if true!)

A particularly evocative look into Corsi’s part of the media/political ecosystem (i.e. the part of it where fungus is growing on the bottom of a dumpster) happens to have been published last Thursday in the Daily Caller (a conservative site that’s been consistently skeptical of Mueller’s investigation) by writer Chuck Ross. Ross looked into a series of claims that Corsi has made in recent months on YouTube and on his website about a purportedly brilliant Israeli cancer researcher named Dr. Eliad Mendelsohn:

“While Dr. Mendelsohn cannot promise his treatments can cure cancer, I can attest from first-hand experience with a member of my family that Dr. Mendelsohn has achieved remarkable results with a Stage 4 lung cancer that had survived both chemotherapy and radiation treatments,” Corsi wrote on his website.

In an Aug. 2 episode of his YouTube show, Corsi said Mendelsohn had cured his wife’s cousin’s cancer. … “She was treated in Israel by Dr. Mendelsohn, and I think she looks better than she has in maybe two years,” said Corsi, adding that “we’re eternally grateful for Dr. Mendelson for doing what we consider a medical miracle.”

Corsi urged his fans to donate to a GoFundMe for an individual named Thomas Sickler, who supposedly needed the money so he could be treated for bladder cancer at a Mendelsohn-run clinic. Ross, however, found that 1) Mendelsohn almost certainly does not exist and 2) his “clinic” is a paper company registered in Florida (where else!) to Thomas Sickler. From the Caller (tDCNF = the Daily Caller News Foundation):

The Israeli medical center where Corsi claimed Mendelsohn practices says it has no records of the physician working there. A spokesman for the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv told TheDCNF nobody named Dr. Eliad Mendelsohn practices at the facility. An open source search did not find any recent affiliations between a Dr. Mendelsohn and Sourasky. Florida’s physician licensing database also does not list an Eliat Mendelsohn, even though Corsi claimed the doctor set up a practice in Boca Raton.

(The Daily Caller article spells Mendelsohn’s first name as both Eliat and Eliad; I asked Ross about the discrepancy and he responded that both spellings have been used in association with Corsi/Sickler’s “fundraising”—for example, it’s Eliat in this tweet and Eliad in the comments of this live stream—and said he couldn’t find evidence that either name corresponded to a real person.)

There is at present no evidence that Corsi personally benefitted from Sickler’s GoFundMe, and the author suggested to Ross that he may have been “misled” or “bamboozled.” Of course, Corsi had previously said that Mendelsohn treated one of his relatives, and the day after Ross’s story was published, Corsi claimed to Regan in another Fox appearance that Mendelsohn in fact developed special medicine that cured Corsi’s spinal problems after a 2008 surgery. (“I haven’t looked into any of this,” Regan said. “I just know that I’ve talked to you and you tell me it’s not true [that Mendelsohn isn’t real.]” Journalism!) On Monday, Regan had Ross on her show and gave another update: Corsi now asserts, she says, that “Mendelsohn” is actually just “an alias that [the doctor] goes by.” Continued Regan: “I think [Corsi] was trying to protect this gentleman’s identity. He says the doctor’s real, he goes by a different name, he didn’t want his identity shared so publicly and on Twitter, etcetera.”

The only condition this very real Israeli oncologist/orthopedist can’t treat … is his own humility.

Of course, praising Corsi publicly is the least Trump can do given that he helped start the birther movement that Trump rode to the presidency. The real test will be whether POTUS forces the Pentagon to come clean about whether Corsi is right that Hitler survived World War II by escaping Germany on a submarine. Big if true!