Dinesh D’Souza, 55, is political commentator, author and media personality. He has made himself a firebrand in conservative circles. An India native, D’Souza attended Dartmouth University and contributed to the Ivy League school’s The Dartmouth Review, “a publication that helped start the campus conservative movement in the 1980s,” according to Newsweek.
In early August, D’Souza visited former Trump advisors Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka at the White House for what appeared to be a promotional opportunity for his latest book, “The Big Lie.” Bannon was ousted from the White House in mid-August and returned to Breitbart News almost immediately. Gorka departed his White House job in late August. D’Souza did not meet with Trump on this visit.
In 2014, D’Souza pled guilty to an illegal campaign contribution charge in federal court and sentenced to home confinement near his San Diego home. In another controversy, he was forced out as president of King’s College in New York City over an alleged infidelity scandal. He further generated headlines over an alleged hacking of his Facebook account as he tried to promote his latest book “The Big Lie.”
D’Souza has more than 2 million Facebook followers and he has another 592,000 followers on Twitter.
Here’s what you need to know about D’Souza:
1. D’Souza’s Influence on Conservative Republican Ideology Has Granted Him Access to the Trump White House.
While D’Souza did not meet Trump, he did in fact visit the White House just ahead of the president’s 17-day trip abroad, according to Newsweek. A photo of D’Souza with Stephen Bannon and Sebastian Gorka was posted and then deleted from his account, per Newsweek.
The POTUS appears to be a fan of D’Souza. Trump retweeted a D’Souza tweet in which he chimed in on a Washington Post story about a violent protest in Berkeley that involved an alt-right group and antifa – anti-fascists – protestors. D’Souza pointed out the Post referred to antifa as “black-clad thugs.”
As New York Times’ politics writer Shane Goldmacher pointed out, Trump’s retweet of D’Souza tweet all but endorsed the president’s earlier statements on the matter that caught the ire of the public in the first place.
2. Accused of Infidelity, D’Souza Was Forced to Step Down as President of King’s College in New York City.
In 2013, D’Souza legally divorced Dixie Brubaker, with who he had one child, Danielle D’Souza, who was born in 1995. In 2012, an Evangelical Christian publication called World magazine “published a story which raised questions about D’Souza’s marriage and subsequent engagement” to Deborah Fancher (The article in question appears to have been taken down from World magazine’s website).
At the time, D’Souza was promoting a movie titled “2016: Obama’s America,” which “became the second highest grossing political documentary of all time,” according to Fox News. Fox gave D’Souza a platform to respond to the controversy in a first-person article.
D’Souza said “he and his wife had been separated for two years” and that his alleged mistress was a a “traveling companion” and “stayed in a separate hotel room.” D’Souza wrote “I had no idea that it is considered wrong in Christian circles to be engaged prior to being divorced.”
3. A Native of India, D’Souza Began to Hone His Radical Conservatism in the 1980s While Attending Dartmouth University.
While attending the Ivy League school, D’Souza contributed to The Dartmouth Review, “a publication that helped start the campus conservative movement in the 1980s.” Laura Ingraham, who was seen as a candidate for a White House communications job, was also among contributors to the publication.
Obama’s Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner attended Dartmouth at the same time as D’Souza. He recounted in his memoir “Stress Test” that he had choice words for D’Souza during an encounter at a campus coffee shop.
Meanwhile, D’Souza’s posted that his latest book, “The Big Lie,” was the No. 6 nonfiction best-seller nationwide as of Aug. 31.
4. D’Souza Pled Guilty To Making An Illegal Contribution In a U.S Senate Campaign in New York.
D’Souza served eight months in a community confinement center near his San Diego-area home after pleading guilty in federal court on May 20, 2014, to one charge of using a “straw donor” to make “an illegal campaign contribution to a 2012 U.S. Senate campaign. On Sept. 23, D’Souza was sentenced to eight months in a halfway house, five years probation and a $30,000 fine.
He spend the time in detention researching and writing a title aimed at American liberalism, according to Vanity Fair. The book compares the U.S. Democratic Party to the Nazi party in Germany.
5. D’Souza’s Marriage to Deborah Fancher Was Officiated by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’ Father Rafael Cruz.
After finalizing his divorce from Dixie Brubaker, D’Souza married Fancher, a Venezuela emigre and mother of two and a conservative political activist. The couple exchanged vows in March 2016 with pastor Rafael Cruz, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) father, officiating.
Fancher, 50, came to the U.S at age 10. “She was working for a Republican group in Texas when she discovered some Spanish-language videos of Bill Ayers promoting socialism in South America,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. “She reached out to D’Souza to see if he’d be interested in them, given he had recently debated the controversial leftist, and the two began dating shortly thereafter.”