Democrat Dennis Kucinich is under attack for his association with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and now disclosure of a $20,000 payment he received from a pro-Assad group.
Former Ohio governor Ted Strickland accused Kucinich of deliberately trying to hide the $20,000 payment by listing the income on his ethics statement without disclosing that it came from the Association for Investment in Popular Action Committees.
Kucinich added to his ethics statement after the Ohio Ethics Commission notified him that more specifics were required.
“On the campaign trail, Dennis has refused to condemn Assad, even after pressed by voters and members of the media,” said Strickland, who supports Richard Cordray in the May 8 primary. “What we now know goes even further. Dennis wasn’t just defending Assad out of conviction. He was also being paid by a group that has been a vocal cheerleader for this murderous dictator. This very same organization is run by individuals with ties to the disgusting 9/11 truther movement and individuals who claim that Israel’s goal is ethnic cleansing. The facts around this are truly shocking.”
Kucinich has met with Assad multiple times, as both a member of Congress and as a FoxNews contributor.
In a statement released Tuesday, Kucinich called the attacks “cowardly, hysterical and outrageously untrue.”
Kucinich issued a written statement Wednesday that said in part: “The facts are these: I gave a speech at a peace conference in the United Kingdom last year in which I called for all nations involved in the Syrian conflict to end the violence that has killed hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children and forced millions to flee for their lives. The event was hosted and attended by peace leaders from around the world. In that speech, I called for an end to hostilities, an end to violence, an end to political and military terrorism.”
Kucinich said he attended a peace conference in England in 2017 at the invitation of the European Centre for the Study of Extremism and that a “civil rights advocacy group in California” covered the cost.
The Association for Investment in Popular Action Committees, based in California, holds the trademark for the Syria Solidarity Movement, according to federal records. That movement’s website claims that humanitarian organizations Doctors Without Borders, Amnesty International and the White Helmets are front groups for the U.S. government.
The association principals include Kamal Obeid, who is on the board of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth — which denies the terrorist attack that killed nearly 3,000 people and injured thousands more.
Strickland said he believes if Kucinich wins the nomination, he’ll lose in the general election but he stopped short of calling for Kucinich to exit the primary race.
State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, who is also in the gubernatorial primary, said “Mr. Kucinich must condemn Assad and explain himself, quickly.”
Just days ago, the U.S., England and France launched airstrikes against Syria, targeting Assad’s chemical weapons facilities. The strikes came in response to a suspected use of chemical weapons against civilians by the Assad regime.