Ben Shapiro, formerly a columnist for the Worldnutdaily and now an editor for Breitbart “News,” published a blog post alleging, with no evidence at all, that Chuck Hagel has received money from a group called “Friends of Hamas.” The problem, as Dave Weigel points out, is that there is no such organization.
There’s no proof that “Friends of Hamas” actually exists. At best, it’s an organization so secret that nobody in government has thought to mention its existence. At worst, it’s as fake as Manti Te’o's girlfriend. The Treasury Department, which designates sponsors of terror, has done so to many charities tied to Hamas. “Friends of Hamas” is not among them. The State Department doesn’t designate it, either. And a bit less holistically, a Lexis search for the group reveals absolutely nothing.
I’ve been unable to find any Senate staffer who knows where the “Friends” rumor came from, and Dave Reaboi, communications director for the (generally conservative) Center for Security Policy, shared my confusion about the alleged group. “Looking back to the 1990s, there were several groups (some affiliated with Holy Land Foundation, some not) that functioned as fund-raisers,” he said in an email. “I wouldn’t put it past these people to refer to it this way in private, but I doubt highly that they’d actually call a legit group ‘Friends of Hamas.’”
That’s probably why nobody has formed a group by that name, and why, after the Atlantic Council released a list of funders, “Friends of Hamas” was nowhere on it.
This is a surprise only to those who would ever take Breitbart.com or Ben Shapiro seriously in the first place.