Donald Trump: Conspiracy Theorist in Chief


Donald Trump has a long, well-documented history of peddling conspiracy theories. He has pushed debunked lies for decades, including most notably pushing birtherism into the mainstream, and has continued this behavior on the campaign trail, even praising and doing an interview with infamous conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Infowars. And today, he has taken to Twitter to spout more conspiracy theories.

Hillary for America Deputy Communications Director Christina Reynolds issued the following statement in response to Trump’s latest antics:

“When you’re losing in most polls and the facts and voters aren’t on your side, it’s not surprising you might rely on fictional conspiracy theories. Sadly, this is not just a moment of desperation for Trump, it’s a disturbing habit. For years, he has pushed dangerous and debunked conspiracy theories, behavior that’s better suited for a fringe website than the White House.”

Over the past day, Trump spoke out at his rally and took to Twitter to share absurd theories.

Trump’s conspiracy theory: Polls show he is ahead, but the press isn’t reporting it.

  • @realDonaldTrump: “Major story that the Dems are making up phony polls in order to suppress the the Trump . We are going to WIN!”
  • @realDonaldTrump: “We are winning and the press is refusing to report it. Don’t let them fool you- get out and vote! #DrainTheSwamp on November 8th!”

Trump’s conspiracy theory: A new “secret tape” shows Hillary Clinton wants to bring in unlimited Syrian refugees.

  • @realDonaldTrump: “Wow, just came out on secret tape that Crooked Hillary wants to take in as many Syrians as possible. We cannot let this happen – ISIS!”

Trump’s conspiracy theory: The battle for Mosul, Iraq is a failure just days into the operation.

  • @realDonaldTrump: “The attack on Mosul is turning out to be a total disaster. We gave them months of notice. U.S. is looking so dumb. VOTE TRUMP and WIN AGAIN!”

Trump’s conspiracy theory: The battle for Mosul is underway because President Obama want to show off before November 8.

  • Washington Post: “Trump said that Mosul, Iraq, is under heavy attack because “Obama wanted to show what a tough guy he is before the election.” (Iraqi forces have been taking the lead in the fight to retake the city from the Islamic State.)”

His behavior should come as no surprise. After all, Trump was the first major party candidate ever to do an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. It is a pattern demonstrated by the litany of conspiracy theories Trump has peddled on the campaign trail and in the decades prior.

The Washington Post: “[Trump] embraces conspiracy theories as readily as he creates them. He’s the first major-party candidate to conduct an interview with Alex Jones, one of the foremost conspiracy theorists in modern America.”

Austin American-Statesman: Austin’s Alex Jones: The voice in Donald Trump’s head: “It is surreal to talk about issues here on air and then word for word hear Trump say it two days later,” Jones said in August. “It is amazing.”

Trump’s conspiracy theory: President Obama was Muslim and rendered ineligible for the presidency because he was born in Kenya.

  • President Obama may not have been born in the United States.
    • TRUMP: “If you are going to be president of the United States you have to be born in this country. And there is a doubt as to whether or not he was. … He doesn’t have a birth certificate.”
  • Trump’s sources tell him President Obama’s long-form birth certificate wasn’t valid, and “a lot of people” agree.
    • @realDonaldTrump: “An ‘Extremely Credible Source’ Has Called My Office And Told Me That @BarackObama’s Birth Certificate Is A Fraud.”
    • FITZPATRICK: “He is a citizen. He produced that long form birth certificate.” TRUMP: “A lot of people don’t agree with you. A lot of people feel it wasn’t a proper certificate.”
  • President Obama’s birth certificate would say he was Muslim.
    • CNN: “The effort helped fuel the so-called ‘birther’ conspiracy theory that held that Obama was born in Kenya — and Trump also floated the idea that Obama’s birth documents may label him a Muslim. ‘He doesn’t have a birth certificate. He may have one, but there’s something on that, maybe religion, maybe it says he is a Muslim,’ Trump told Fox News in 2011. ‘I don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t want that.’”
  • In 2016, we still don’t know whether President Obama was a natural-born citizen.
    • BLITZER: “His mother was a U.S. citizen-born in Kansas. Was he a natural-born citizen?” TRUMP: “Who knows? Who knows? Who cares right now? We’re talking about something else, OK. I mean, I have my own theory on Obama.”

Trump’s conspiracy theory: Hillary Clinton used some type of performance enhancing drug at the presidential debate.

  • TRUMP: “At the beginning of her last debate, she was all pumped at the beginning, but at the end she was all ‘take me down.’ … I think we should take a drug test.”

Trump’s conspiracy theory: Trump claimed President Obama and Hillary Clinton were the founders of ISIS.

  • PolitiFact: “Trump said Obama ‘founded ISIS. I would say the cofounder would be crooked Hillary Clinton.’ All this makes Trump’s statement a ridiculous characterization. He’s doubled, tripled and quadrupled down on it in various venues and has reinforced that he meant his words to be taken literally. We rate it Pants on Fire.”

Trump’s conspiracy theory:  Undocumented immigrants are streaming across the border to vote against him.

  • org: “Donald Trump mangled the facts when he claimed that the Obama administration is ‘letting people pour into the country so they can go and vote.’ People who come into the country illegally are not permitted to vote, and the consequences for doing so are severe. Immigrants must reside in the U.S. legally for several years before they can apply for citizenship through the 10-step naturalization process, which can take several more months.”

Trump’s conspiracy theory: It is possible that Antonin Scalia was murdered.

  • New York Times: “It was a question that most major presidential candidates would have quickly dismissed as absurd, even offensive: What do you make of these theories that Justice Antonin Scalia was murdered? For Donald J. Trump, it appeared unavoidably juicy, and possibly the next big pop-culture fixation. ‘You know, I just landed, and I’m hearing it’s a big topic,’ Mr. Trump told the radio host Michael Savage from South Carolina, in an interview just a few days after the Supreme Court justice’s unexpected death.”

Trump’s conspiracy theory: One of the protesters at his rally was affiliated with ISIS.

  • TODD: “Well, no, that’s what I — we have checked it; that’s my point, sir. There’s no ties to ISIS for this man, no law enforcement official. And this video that you link to appears to be a hoax.”  TRUMP: “OK. You just — look, well, was it a hoax that he’s dragging the flag? Was that him? It looked like the same man to me. He was dragging a flag along the ground. And he was playing a certain type of music. And supposedly there was chatter about ISIS. Now I don’t know. What do I know about it? All I know is what’s on the Internet.”

Trump conspiracy theory: Unemployment statistics are “phony” and jobs reports are “rigged.”

  • Washington Post: “The Trump theory: Trump has repeatedly argued that the ‘real’ unemployment rate is far higher than the 5-percent-or-so it’s been at since Trump announced his candidacy. He’s said that unemployment is actually over 40 percent, for example. His son, Donald Jr., has said that the numbers are ‘massaged to make the existing economy look good.’ It has echoes from the 2012 campaign, when businessman Jack Welch suggested that ‘Chicago guys’ were manipulating the numbers.”
  • TRUMP: “Here we are hovering at nothing. Our jobs are gone, we have bad jobs. They have a phony employment rate. Bad jobs numbers last week. Did you see those bad jobs numbers? That’s the last jobs report before the election. I was shocked. I was so surprised that they let that happen. Because it’s all rigged. It’s all rigged.” [Trump Campaign Rally, Wilkes-Barre PA, 10/10/16]

Trump’s conspiracy theory: Thousands of American Muslims cheered when the World Trade Center Collapsed.

  • Politifact: “Trump said he ‘watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering’ as the World Trade Center collapsed. This defies basic logic. If thousands and thousands of people were celebrating the 9/11 attacks on American soil, many people beyond Trump would remember it. And in the 21st century, there would be video or visual evidence.”

Trump’s conspiracy theory: Ted Cruz’s father was involved with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

  • Politico: “Donald Trump on Tuesday alleged that Ted Cruz’s father was with John F. Kennedy’s assassin shortly before he murdered the president, parroting a National Enquirer story claiming that Rafael Cruz was pictured with Lee Harvey Oswald handing out pro-Fidel Castro pamphlets in New Orleans in 1963.”

Trump’s conspiracy theory: The Chinese made up global warming to hurt America..

  • @realDonaldTrump: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

Trump’s conspiracy theory: Vaccines can be “very dangerous” and even cause autism.

  • TRUMP: “And I think the vaccines can be very dangerous. And, obviously, you know, a lot of people are talking about vaccines with children with respect to autism. And every report comes out, like, you know, that does not happen, but a lot of people feel that the vaccines are what causes autism in children.”

Trump’s conspiracy theory: Asbestos was a con created by the mob.

New York Magazine: “Eventually, this leads Trump to a mediation on who is destroying New York – the lobby that does environmental-impact and shadow studies. ‘One of the great cons is asbestos…There’s nothing wrong except the mob has a strong lobby in Albany because they have the dumps and control the truck.’”

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