A photo has emerged of then-Sen. Barack Obama standing with Louis Farrakhan, leader of the controversial Nation of Islam, during a 2005 Congressional Black Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill.
Photographer Askia Muhammad told the Trice Edney News Wire that he kept the image secret because he believed it could have harmed Obama's chances of becoming president. It was first published Saturday on northstarnewstoday.com.
"I gave the picture up at the time and basically swore secrecy," Muhammad said in an interview with the news wire. "But after the nomination was secured and all the way up until the inauguration; then for eight years after he was president, it was kept under cover."
Talking Points Memo talked with Muhammad on Thursday. He told TPM that a "staff member" for the caucus contacted him "sort of in a panic" after he took the photo.
"I sort of understood what was going on," Muhammad told TPM. "I promised and made arrangements to give the picture to Leonard Farrakhan," the minister's son-in-law and chief of staff.
Muhammad said he gave away "the disk" from his camera but "copied the photograph from that day onto a file" on his computer.
Now, more than 12 years later, the photo has been included in a self-published book by Muhammad to be released Jan. 31 — "The Autobiography of Charles 67X".
Muhammad is news director at Washington, D.C., radio station WPFW and has served as the head of the Washington offices of the Nation of Islam's official newspaper, The Final Call of Islam.
In 2016, the Daily Caller reported, Farrakhan revealed a private meeting he had at his Chicago home with Obama, shortly before Obama announced his run for president. At the time, Farrakhan said, "I have a picture of myself and Barack together. You never saw it, because I would never put it out to give his enemies what they were looking for to hurt him."