In an interview with Rachel Maddow last night, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) claimed to have no knowledge of David Bahati, the Uganda legislator sponsoring the “Kill The Gays” bill. In the book he was shilling, Inhofe had taken a swipe at Maddow for criticizing his affiliation with The Family, a powerful secret society of evangelical Christian political organizers, of which Bahati is also a core member. When Maddow tried to set the record straight about her comments, Inhofe claimed he had never heard of Bahati nor had any interaction with him:
MADDOW: The “Kill the Gays” bill sponsor has brought the bill back now, and he’s telling reporters, as of last month, that the whole idea for the “Kill The Gays” bill came from, as the New York Times put it, “a conversation with members of The Fellowship” — a.k.a. The Family — “in 2008—”
INHOFE: No, that’s just wrong.
MADDOW: This is what he says! This is how he explains where the bill came from.
INHOFE: Who is he?
MADDOW: He is David Bahati. He says he was told by Americans that it was too late in America to propose such legislation. That’s David Bahati speaking to The New York Times.
INHOFE: And can you tell me who he is? I’ve never heard of him.
MADDOW: David Bahati was described as The Family and The Fellowship’s “key man” in Uganda. Did you ever talk to any Uganda legislators?
INHOFE: How would I know if—? How could I—? I don’t have any idea who you’re talking about, and I certainly don’t have any idea on these accusations of executing gays.
Given how tightly-knit The Family likely is — as best the organization is understood from the investigative reporting of journalist Jeff Sharlet — it is near-impossible that Bahati could have had any interactions with the group without Inhofe being well aware of who he was and why he was present. From the interview, it seems Inhofe is unclear why he even critiqued Maddow in his own book, making his claims of ignorance about the “Kill The Gays” bill, especially considering all the time he claims to have spent in Uganda, all that more suspicious.