Late night host Stephen Colbert falsely claimed that Republican Michigan gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon “made up” a story about inappropriate pornographic content in school libraries.
Colbert played a clip of Dixon from her debate against Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, where she described an anonymous man who reported that his son’s school library had content teaching children how to have sex. The late night host mocked Dixon’s story, accusing the man in her story of being a figment of her imagination.
“OK, fine. That happened,” Colbert said, raising his two hands with two fingers to indicate doubt on the story.”But even if it did, if someone found a book that didn’t like the school library, why would they go to the Democrats?”
But the man, 41-year-old Khalil Othman, revealed his identity to the Detroit Free Press and confirmed the gubernatorial candidate’s story. He told the outlet he would switch to the Republican Party after being a “loyal Democrat” since immigrating to the U.S. from Yemen.
“To claim that I’m not here, I don’t exist, I’m not human, that’s absolute ignorance,” Othman told the Free Press. “If this person did his due diligence and start researching or has his team do a little bit of research of who’s this person who attended Dixon’s rally, they will be able to find my name right away easy on social media. Just Google it.”
He also criticized Colbert for allegedly attempting to “hurt the momentum” of Republicans’ appeal to Muslim Americans, the Free Press reported. (RELATED: Stephen Colbert Speaks Out On Staffers Being Arrested At Capitol)
“Right now, it’s a crunch time for for both candidates, and he’s trying whatever he can do with his media influence to hurt her campaign,” Othman said. “He doesn’t know me.”
Othman attended an Oct. 21 Dixon campaign rally, where he voiced his concern about age-inappropriate content in schools, the Free Press reported. He has attended several protests against alleged sexually explicit content in school libraries in Dearborn public schools. The system has removed six books thus far, most of which had LGBTQ content.
“I am a proud Muslim American who expresses my values and concerns all the time,” Othman said at the event. “Dearborn has been voting Democrat blue for the last decade or two decades. But not anymore. On behalf of myself and my family, I guarantee you for sure that my family and my friends will vote for Republicans.”
The father of five expressed frustration with Michigan Democratic Party leaders in, including Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, for supporting concerned parents regarding their children’s education, the outlet reported.
Othman is one of several Muslims to recently protest alongside Christians in Dearborn to voice opposition against content deemed inappropriate in school libraries.
Dixon also criticized Colbert during a campaign event Sunday for claiming the story was fictional.
“I told his story (during the debate),” Dixon said Sunday of Othman to hundreds in Dearborn. “And Stephen Colbert picks it up … And they make this whole skit about how this has never happened. That’s what he said, this story never happened. That’s where the Democrats are right now. You don’t exist, your stories are not important.”