Conservative provocateur Glenn Beck and Grover Norquist finally squared off in a face-to-face meeting on Thursday for a moment many conservatives had been waiting for – and Beck did not disappoint them.
The interaction followed a public tirade Beck had been on accusing politically-connected Norquist – who heads the group American for Tax Reform – of being an “agent of influence” for radical Islamists and having close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
“When we set up the Islamic Free Market Institute in the mid-nineties it was because I had seen in Afghanistan and Pakistan during the end of the war against the Soviet Union, this radical strain of anti-Americanism and statism in the Muslim community from people who you would think would’ve be more supportive of the United States,” Norquist explained on “The Glenn Beck Program.”
“I was looking around for, how do we make the case for a reformation in Islam focused on something that I know something about, which is free market economics.”
Beck asked why he accepted at least $20,000 from Abdurahman Alamoudi, a suspected Al Qaeda supporter who is currently serving a prison sentence on terrorism charges.
Norquist claimed he had no knowledge of Alamoudi’s radicalism at the time, telling Beck, “he worked with the Pentagon for crying out loud.”
Trying to distance himself from any personal interactions with controversial figures, Norquist said his dealings were mainly through third parties.
That only incited Beck who continued to hammer accusations at Norquist.
“If I take you at face value, you’re the most unlucky person … I’ve ever met in my life,” Beck said. “Only Barack Obama is this unlucky with a string for friends who are radicals.”
Beck has felt so strongly about Norquist and his questionable associations that earlier in March, he threatened to cancel his NRA membership if Norquist was elected to the group’s board of directors.
Since then, the two men have been exchanging what Beck called an “almost psychotic” email chain to arrange the face-to-face meeting.
Beck wasn’t going to waste one moment of it, and challenged Norquist about a 2003 Wall Street Journal article that had accused him of having a connection with Sami al-Arian, a former college professor in Florida who has been deported for supporting a terrorist organization.
“Do you recall that at all?” Beck said. “What was he at your offices for?”
“I don’t know, sir,” Norquist said. “I wasn’t’ there. Somebody claims he dropped by and left off a flyer or something. I couldn’t tell you, but it’s a rather thin read to make me a co-conspirator with the guy.”
“Just again, you’re so unlucky because I don’t have any terrorists that just stop by my offices, or who I take checks from,” Beck said.
Beck questioned if Norquist ever paid back Alamoudi.
“I believe so,” Norquist said.
“Khaled organized it. But if it was a loan, then it was paid back.”
That answer was all Beck could take.
“That’s right, I forgot that you weren’t really involved,” Beck said.
“I don’t have my friends who run things for me take checks from terrorists, and I don’t have other terrorists come stopping by my offices to drop by literature.
“It doesn’t happen to most people. But I’m not you.”
Below, Beck explains what he calls “the truth” about Norquist:
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