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An attack e-mail says the church Barack Obama attends, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, gave a lifetime award to Louis Farrakhan, and that Obama "remained silent" and wasn't even asked about.
We checked out the award claim and found it to be Mostly True. A magazine closely related to the church gave Farrakhan an award for lifetime achievement. For more on this, see the statement here .
But Barack Obama definitely did not remain silent about it. The award received widespread attention after Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote about it on Jan. 15, 2008.
Later that day, the campaign released a statement in which Obama himself said:
"I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan. I assume that Trumpet Magazine made its own decision to honor Farrakhan based on his efforts to rehabilitate ex-offenders, but it is not a decision with which I agree."
Cohen said in his column that he had asked the campaign about the award and received a response from a spokesperson saying Obama did not agree with the award. The blog "Talking Points Memo" said it too asked Obama about Farrakhan and received the statement from Obama rejecting the award. After the statement was released, it was reported in other news outlets as well. For these reasons, we find the e-mail's claims about Obama's response to the award to be False.
UPDATE: Barack Obama resigned from Trinity United Church of Christ on May 31, 2008, after church pastor Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. made controversial remarks about U.S. foreign policy and other matters. Obama said he intends to join another church after the election.
WashingtonPost.com, Obama Decries Farrakhan Statements , Jan. 15, 2008
Trumpet magazine, An Empowerment Interview: The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan , November/December 2007
Talking Points Memo, Obama Responds To Richard Cohen Column About His Church And Farrakhan , Jan. 15 2008
Read the full text of the chain e-mail here.
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