Trump Has Become the Conspiracy Theorist-in-Chief

I guess that it should come as no surprise that the man who launched himself onto the national political stage by fueling the lies about Barack Obama’s birthplace has turned out to be a full-fledged conspiracy theorist. But lately he has gone from the  Kimberley Strassel level of conspiracy theories to those that are more characteristic of Alex Jones.

Here’s one he tweeted a couple of days ago:

Stef Kight tracked the origins of that one.

A single tweet from an anonymous Twitter account promoting the allegation made its way through Reddit’s conspiracy board to a far-right website [Gateway Pundit] known for spreading false stories — ultimately gaining the attention of mainstream conservative pundits [Lou Dobbs] before landing in a presidential tweet.

Then this morning, the president tweeted this:

Who is Awan? It is a reference to Imran Awan. If you’ve never heard of him it demonstrates that you don’t consume right wing news, where he is on pace to become the next Seth Rich. Politico reported the actual story back in February 2017.

Five House employees are under criminal investigation amid allegations that they stole equipment from more than 20 member offices and accessed House IT systems without lawmakers’ knowledge…

“At the request of members of Congress, the United States Capitol Police are investigating the actions of House IT support staff. No members are being investigated. No arrests have been made…

House sources stressed the investigation, which has been ongoing since late 2016, is focused on equipment theft and not a network hacking issue.

One of those House employees is Imran Awan, who was arrested in January at Dulles airport prior to boarding a flight to Pakistan. He has been charged with one count of bank fraud and, after months of negotiations, recently reached a plea agreement with a hearing set for July 3.

All of that has led to a stream of conspiracy theories at places like Fox News, and the Daily Caller. It is very likely that the tweet from Trump came after hearing about it on Lou Dobbs last night and/or this report on Fox and Friends this morning. The major attempt, as is demonstrated by the president’s tweet, has been to tie Awan to Rep. Debbie Waserman Schultz. They’ve gone so far as to lie that she was “going to mental hospital after what she did overnight desperate to escape arrest.” But if you watch that Lou Dobbs clip, the latest claim is that the entire Russia investigation was nothing but an attempt to cover this one up. Perhaps now it’s clear why Trump jumped on it.

It’s bad enough that we have the “Liar-in-Chief” in the oval office. But seriously…it’s worse than that. We also have the Conspiracy Theorist-in-Chief who is no more rational than the completely unhinged Alex Jones.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.