Comedian and political columnist Dean Obeidallah, a longtime critic of President Donald Trump, won a $4.1 million lawsuit against a neo-Nazi website that labeled him a terrorist and doctored tweets to make it appear like he had admitted guilt in a terrorist bombing.
The Daily Stormer sought to “confront” Obeidallah, he said, after he had written an article critical of Trump for refusing to call out white supremacists engaging in terrorist acts. Obeidallah penned his opinion piece in May of 2017, months before the Charlottesville, Virginia, violence involving white nationalists even occurred.
“This is all tied to Donald Trump, and I’m not being hyperbolic,” Obeidallah said during an interview with Joy Reid on MSNBC.
The comedian’s article, entitled “Will Donald Trump Ever Say the Words ‘White Supremacist Terrorism’?” sought to ask whether Trump would confront white supremacist violence. The next day, The Daily Stormer posted content from its founder, Andrew Anglin, which called Obeidallah the “mastermind” behind the Manchester Arena bombing in the United Kingdom that killed 22 individuals.
Anglin and The Daily Stormer didn’t stop with those errant accusations, either — they also doctored tweets to make them appear like Obeidallah had admitted to the attack, and said he was a Muslim terrorist.
The onslaught of attacks toward Obeidallah resulted in Twitter users threatening harm on his life. “They clearly thought I was a terrorist,” Obeidallah said in a separate interview with NPR.
The commentator said that he would pursue getting every dollar from the judgment, and use it toward more noble causes.
“Every dollar of Nazi money I get, I’m giving to organizations run by the very people they hate. Muslims, Jews, the LGBT (community), and African Americans, to empower all of us, to use their money to defeat their white supremacist ideology,” he told Reid.
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