Donald Trump thrust himself on the national political stage back in 2011, when he decided to resurrect the Obama birther conspiracy. Most people left and right thought that rubbish was fodder for various right-wing fever swamp cranks who faded away after Obama was elected. Trump brought it back in full and laughably took credit for “ending” the “controversy” when Barack Obama released his long-form birth certificate showing he had in fact, been born in Hawaii, not Kenya.
There are some goofy theories Trump engaged in when running for President and not all of them are the right-wing variety. For example, we know Donald Trump pushed the following:
- George W. Bush could have stopped the 9/11 attacks and didn’t.
- Bush and his national security team concocted an elaborate lie to go to war with Iraq
- Trump cast doubt on the eligibility of both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio to run for President.
- Trump suggested Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael, was involved in the Kennedy Assassination
Others were not conspiracies but instead, they were outright fabrications He claims to have seen “thousands and thousands” of Muslims celebrating in Jersey City; a claim for which he had no proof. The “evidence” that surfaced was a local news report that said police in Jersey City were sent to investigate several people supposedly celebrating on a rooftop. Trump and his minions cited this as “proof” he was right even though it obviously debunked his wild claim. Because it didn’t happen.
Trump dances his way around the spreading of these conspiracies by saying he didn’t start them. He’s either “just asking questions” or repeating what he sees because all he “knows is what’s on the internet.”
He routinely said processes, whether it was the primaries, debates or general election, were “rigged” against him. The worst part is, his hardcore supporters are so on board with Trump, it didn’t matter what he says. They believed and believe him. That’s true even when his claims contradict each other or when he completely reverses himself.
After the campaign, despite winning the election, Donald Trump couldn’t help himself. He tweeted out he would have won the popular vote if not for millions of people who voted “illegally.” This claim originated with Gregg Phillips with no evidence presented despite saying he “verified” it happened. Trump likely tweeted this because of his friend, radio talk show host, Alex Jones, took Phillips tweet and ran it as a story that he called a “report.” Jones is no stranger to conspiracy theories. He’s a 9/11 truther, and Jones believes the Sandy Hook shooting massacre was an elaborate hoax. Alex Jones says Trump placed a call to him the day after the election to thank his listeners. Trump hasn’t denied the call took place.
Also, Trump’s National Security Adviser, General Michael Flynn and his son Michael Flynn Jr. have their own issues with conspiracy theories. Michael Flynn Jr. continues to tweet about “#PizzaGate.” It’s explained in this Mediaite piece:
“Pizzagate” is the name for the bizarre conspiracy theory claiming that associates of Hillary Clinton ran a child sex-trafficking ring out of D.C.’s Comet Ping Pong. Those claims are entirely without basis, but that didn’t stop a North Carolina man from walking into Comet Ping Ping with a weapon demanding answers.
Junior Flynn is still saying it’s a story:
When CNN’s Jake Tapper reached out to Junior (I am using Junior to differentiate him from his father who I will call General Flynn) to implore to stop tweeting these crazy stories as somebody could get hurt.
Junior’s (who by the way is General Flynn’s Chief-of-Staff) response? He took screen shots of Tapper’s DM’s and tweeted them:
Here as well:
Notice his tagging Mike Cernovich. Cernovich is a crazy popular crazy person in the so-called “alt-right” movement. Cernovich is a favorite of Junior (just look how often he retweets Cernovich) and General Flynn who tweeted this:
— General Flynn (@GenFlynn) October 9, 2016
Cernovich also traffics in bizarre conspiracy theories. He claims there was more than one shooter at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. He posted a Periscope video entitled, “Yes #Pizzagate Is True. What Fake News Media Won’t Report.” In the video, starting at the 3:07 mark, Cernovich says to his audience, “Most of the people working in media are pedophiles.”
Does President Trump want to be associated with the likes of Alex Jones and Mike Cernovich? Also, he better tell his National Security Adviser to get a handle on his son, who also happens to be his Chief of Staff. General Flynn has a role that does not require Senate confirmation, but these relationships with conspiracy theorists as well as floating his own theories is going to hurt him and progress he makes.