A Comprehensive Guide To The Right-Wing Media Conspiracy Theorists That Have Influenced Trump’s Campaign

››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump counts among his allies a stable of fringe right-wing conspiracy theorists who’ve made a name for themselves advancing conspiracy theories that include the myth that President Obama is a secret Kenyan Muslim, Lyndon Johnson assassinated John F. Kennedy, and the CIA is paying Beyonce to create mayhem. Trump’s conspiracy theorist allies also regularly wish violence upon political and media figures who they disagree with.

Warning: This post contains graphic language and sexual content.

Roger Stone
Alex Jones
Ed Klein
Michael Savage

Roger Stone

Roger Stone is a longtime friend, lobbyist, and ally of Donald Trump’s. Stone has called for the murder of public figures, used racially offensive and sexist language, and was recently caught plagiarizing an article. Stone has previously alleged that the Clintons murdered over 40 people, the Bush family attempted to assassinate President Reagan, and Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) father is tied to Lee Harvey Oswald and the Kennedy assassination. 

For more about Roger Stone, click here.

Roger Stone's Influence On The Trump Campaign

Roger Stone Is Trump’s Friend, Lobbyist, Consultant, And Ally. Stone is a friend of Trump’s and has spent “25 years as a lobbyist for Mr. Trump” and has “known him for almost 40 years.” Stone was formerly a paid adviser to the campaign, and in preparation “fed Trump strategy memos and political intelligence” from 2014 onward. Stone is still involved in strategic decision-making, and helped place his friend Paul Manafort in a major campaign position. He currently heads the pro-Trump super PAC Committee To Restore America’s Greatness, and talks with Trump on a “semi-regular basis.” [Media Matters, 7/20/15, 4/14/16, 4/20/16; StoneZone.com, 4/19/11; New York Magazine, 4/3/16; Salon, 4/28/16]

Stone Planned Pro-Trump Protests At The Republican National Convention. Stone, with fellow Trump supporter Alex Jones, planned “Stop The Steal” protests at the Republican National Convention. Stone said he would lead “four days of non-violent demonstrations, protests and lobbying delegates face to face” to prevent Trump from being “robbed” of the nomination. Stone planned to “disclose the hotels and the room numbers” of anti-Trump delegates, which some delegates alleged led to death threats from Trump supporters. The protests were canceled after Trump secured the nomination outright. [Media Matters, 4/5/16, 4/13/16, 5/3/16]

Roger Stone: Plaigarism, Conspiracies, Sexism, Racism, Transphobia

Stone Has Repeatedly Called For The Killing Of Public Figures. Stone tweeted that Hillary Clinton should be “executed” for murder, and also called for “Soviet Agent Bernie Sanders” to be “arrested for treason and shot.” Stone also wrote that former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) would “never be President- I will order a mail-order rifle first,” and that if Fox News contributor Ed Rollins “isn’t dead he should be.” [Media Matters, 5/2/16, 5/4/16]

Stone Attacked Media Figures With Discriminatory Language. Stone used his Twitter account to attack media figures with racist, ableist, sexist, and transphobic rhetoric. Stone called CNN contributor Roland Martin a “stupid negro,” and told him to “eat somemore Popeyes” (sic), demanded Charles Krauthammer, who is paralyzed, to “stand the fuck up,” told former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson “DIE BITCH,” and said Megyn Kelly had a “nice set of cans.” Stone also referred to Herman Cain as “mandingo,” and commented that voters “think Michele Bachmann is a tranny.” [Media Matters, 4/5/16, 4/22/16]

Stone Founded Anti-Hillary Group “C.U.N.T.” After Failing To Organize “B.I.T.C.H.” During the 2008 election, Stone founded the now-defunct anti-Hillary Clinton group Citizens United Not Timid which emphasized the acronym by bolding the first letter in each word. Stone previously attempted to name the group “B.I.T.C.H.,” but was unable to complete the acronym. [Media Matters, 2/20/08]

Stone Heavily Plagiarized A Daily Caller Piece. On April 25 Stone wrote an anti-Ted Cruz piece for The Daily Caller that contained at least five paragraphs copied without attribution from a conservative blog post dated November 11, 2015. Following a post by Media Matters, The Daily Caller removed Stone’s piece from its website without explanation. Stone responded by calling the plagiarism accusations a “MSM HIT JOB” in a Facebook post. [Media Matters, 4/26/16, 5/10/16; Facebook, 4/27/16]

Stone Warned That A Staged “International Incident” Could Be Used To “Cancel The Election.” Stone warned “the establishment is petrified” of Donald Trump and is “capable of anything, including martial law” to stop him while appearing on the April 27 edition of Genesis Communications Networks’ The Alex Jones Show. Stone added that the government could “stage an international incident” to cause everyone to “rally around the president,” which could be used “as a pretext to cancel the election.” [Media Matters, 4/27/16]

Stone Implicated Bushes, Clintons, President Lyndon Johnson In Murder Conspiracies. Stone has accused multiple politicians of murdering enemies for being “in the way.” Stone claimed “the Bush Crime Family” was behind the attempted assassination of President Reagan, and that the Clintons murdered John F. Kennedy, Jr. over a U.S. Senate seat, after previously claiming they were “not responsible” for his death. Stone also believes that President Lyndon Johnson was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy, and extensively promoted the tabloid rumor that Ted Cruz’s father was linked to Lee Harvey Oswald. [Media Matters, 3/1/16, 4/12/16, 4/20/16; CBS Philly, 1/28/16; Twitter.com, 5/23/15, 5/3/16; Mediaite, 5/4/16]

Alex Jones

Alex Jones is the proprietor of InfoWars.com, a fringe conspiracy website that promotes the idea that the government was behind the 9/11 attacks. Jones also believes the Brussels attacks were “the ultimate false flag,” Beyonce is funded by the CIA to create mayhem, and the government uses estrogen-mimicking chemicals in juice boxes to turn children gay. Jones also warned listeners of transgender people “vomiting and crapping all over the place” if protected by non-discrimination ordinances.

For more about Alex Jones, click here.

Alex Jones' Influence On The Trump Campaign

Jones Praised For Playing An “Important Role” Supporting Trump, Used His Website To Help Campaign. Trump surrogate Roger Stone commended Jones for playing an “important role” in the Trump campaign. On his website, Infowars, Jones also took credit for “devastating the Trumpian opposition.” Jones has bragged about his private conversations with Trump, claiming the presumptive Republican nominee “listens to what we have to say,” and has claimed that Trump based his support for auditing the Federal Reserve on Jones’ beliefs. Trump has lavished praise on Jones’ “amazing” reputation, and the campaign previously partnered with Infowars to get out the vote. [Media Matters, 12/2/15, 2/10/16, 2/22/16, 3/22/16, 5/4/16, 5/4/16

Media Have Noted Jones And Trump’s “Relationship”. Chris Hayes noted that Jones and Trump’s relationship “is not a one-way relationship” on the May 5 edition of MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes. Hayes highlighted a December 2015 interview between Trump and Jones in which Jones defended Trump’s claims that New Jersey Muslims celebrated 9/11. [MSNBC, All In with Chris Hayes, 5/5/16]

Alex Jones: Conspiracies, Transphobia, Homophobia, Violence Promotion

Jones Promoted Conspiracy Theories About The Brussels Attacks, 9/11, Aliens, Beyonce, Joan Rivers, And More. Alex Jones’ site Infowars formerly described him as “one of the very first founding fathers of the 9-11 truth movement.” Jones has also called the Brussels terror attacks “the ultimate false flag”, accused Beyonce of spreading “CIA propaganda”, and warned of “an alien force” “attacking humanity.” Jones also accused Obama of “basically running ISIS” and intentionally “letting Ebola in” America “to start a civil war.” Recently, Jones accused Michelle Obama of murdering Joan Rivers because Rivers exposed Michelle Obama as transgender. In the wake of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, FL, Jones hosted Roger Stone on his show to assert that “Hillary’s girlfriend” Huma Abedin is a “Saudi spy.” [Media Matters, 10/14/14, 12/3/15, 3/17/16, 3/22/16, 4/25/166/14/16; InfoWars.com, 2/2/11 via Internet Archive; YouTube, 5/16/16]

Jones Wished Violence On Political Opponents. Alex Jones has a history of wishing violence on his political opponents and their supporters. On the night of Trump’s victory in the Indiana primary, Jones posted, then deleted, a YouTube video in which he called George Will a “piece of filth,” and told him to “look in the mirror, realize you’re a traitor, and do the right thing … blow what little is left of your brains out all over yourself.” Jones threatened to “slap” supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) “upside your moron heads until you wake up.” Jones later told Sanders supporters they “need to have [their] jaws broken.” Jones subsequently claimed he was speaking “figuratively”, but added “I don’t apologize overall.” [Media Matters, 2/11/16, 4/5/16]

Jones Used Transphobic, Homophobic Language To Oppose LGBT Rights. Jones warned of the “globalist mafia” forcing the transgender community’s “fake rights” on Americans and claimed it would lead to “transvestite[s]” going into bathrooms “hopped out of their brain on drugs vomiting and crapping all over the place.” Jones also claimed to “have the government documents” proving federal authorities “encourage homosexuality with chemicals so that people don’t have children.” In response to the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, FL, Jones blamed “the LGBT community in general for endangering America.” [Media Matters, 2/25/11, 5/1/13, 6/13/16]

Jones, Infowars Repeatedly Accused Marco Rubio Of Having A Secret “Gay Past.” Jones frequently used his radio show and website to allege that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was secretly homosexual. The Alex Jones Show featured a segment speculating that in the ‘90s Rubio engaged with gay prostitutes in a Miami park that was “a haven for drug dealers and gang members.” Infowars also ran reports claiming Rubio was “a very extroverted homosexual” in college, and that the Republican establishment is trying to “bury” his secret “gay past” of parties with “scantily-clad men ... covered in suds to camouflage homosexual acts.” On the March 1 edition of Jones’ show, Jones insinuated that Rubio was “obsessed with Donald Trump’s package.” [Infowars, 1/27/16, 3/1/16, 3/1/16; Right Wing Watch, 3/1/16]

Ed Klein

Ed Klein is a longtime friend of Donald Trump. Klein has fabricated multiple quotes and situations in his books regarding the Clintons and Obamas, including that Chelsea Clinton was conceived when Bill raped Hillary. Klein has also claimed that President Obama wished to make his second term a “Roman imperial presidency.”

For more on Ed Klein, click here, here, and here.

Ed Klein's Influence On The Trump Campaign

Klein Is Trump’s Friend, Associate, And “Understands Him Better Than Most People.” Klein is a longtime friend and associate of Donald Trump’s, and has “met with him on numerous occasions, talked to him on the phone countless times, traveled with him, and written two lengthy magazine cover stories about him.” Klein has claimed to ”understand [Trump] better than most people outside his immediate family,” and recently had lunch with Trump and two of his top campaign aides, including campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Though it is not known what they discussed, Klein told a reporter he was “following Trump around for a couple of days to gather material for a new book.” [Media Matters, 5/2/16; Newsmax, 4/19/16]

Trump Tweeted An Endorsement Of Klein’s Book To Attack Hillary. Trump tweeted out an Amazon link to Klein’s book Unlikeable: The Problem with Hillary, saying “A great new book has been written about Crooked Hillary. Read it & you will never be able to vote for her.” [Twitter.com, 5/24/16] 

Ed Klein: Fake Quotes, Birtherism, And Sexist Tropes

Klein Has A History Of Bogus Claims And False Allegations About The Clintons And Obamas. Klein concocted the bogus claim that Chelsea Clinton was conceived through rape in his 2005 book The Truth About Hillary, a claim he later walked back. Klein is also behind the unsourced claim that Bill Clinton told Hillary plotted to use Bill Clinton’s death as “an asset” for her campaign. And according to ThinkProgress, Klein “has a history of publishing demonstrably false allegations about Obama as fact.” One such conspiracy accused Obama of trying to sabotage the Clintons by having his administration leak Clinton’s State Department emails to “sabotage” Clinton’s presidential ambitions. [Media Matters, 6/29/14, 3/16/15]

Klein Attacked Hillary Clinton With Sexist Tropes. Klein’s history of Clinton allegations frequently include sexist attacks on Hillary Clinton. Klein has repeatedly commented that Clinton “doesn’t look in shape,” “doesn’t look well,” is “not looking good these days,” and is “looking very tired” and “overweight.” In Unlikeable, Klein supposedly reproduced a private conversation between the Obamas and Valerie Jarrett in which he claims Obama said Bill Clinton “should have made [Hillary] goddamn behave” and “follow the rules.” [Media Matters, 6/4/12, 6/23/14, 10/1/15]

Klein Compared Obama’s Re-Election To A “Roman Imperial Presidency,” Predicted The “New Normal” Under Obama Would Lead To America’s Fall “As Sure As The Fall Of Rome.” In an October 26, 2012, appearance on Phyllis Schlafly’s radio show Eagle Forum Live, Klein alleged that Obama’s re-election could lead to “kind of a Roman Imperial presidency” due to Obama’s use of executive orders. Klein again compared the administration to the Roman Empire in the epilogue of his 2015 book, Unlikeable, warning that the “new normal” in America leads to conservatives “rightly” fearing that “decadence will lead to the fall of the United States just as surely as it led to the fall of Rome." [Media Matters, 10/1/15; Right Wing Watch, 10/16/12]

Klein Suggested Obama Was Born In Kenya, Is Not Christian. Klein’s novel The Obama Identity (based on "real stuff") contains a passage repeating the debunked allegation that Obama’s stepgrandmother, Sarah Obama, confirmed the President was born in Kenya and dismissed concerns about Barack Obama’s eligibility “because Allah will make him president anyway.” Later in the book Klein claimed an imam who “tutored” Obama was part of a plot “to plant converted Muslims inside non-Muslim governments.” Two years later, in an interview with the Christian Post, Klein suggested Obama lied about his faith, saying “there is no question he wants the country to think of him as a devout Christian.” [Media Matters, 12/2/10, 6/23/14; Christian Post, 5/30/12]

Michael Savage

Michael Savage is a prominent conservative talk radio host, and a friend of Donald Trump’s. Savage has called himself “the architect of Trump’s messaging,” and uses his radio show to promote strange conspiracy theories, some of which Trump has supported while appearing on the show. Savage has an extensive history of incendiary rhetoric; he told a gay caller he “should get AIDS and die,” espoused the virtues of “the best of the white, Anglo-Saxon world,” and claimed “all terrorists happen to be Muslim.”

For more on Michael Savage, click here and here.

Michael Savage's Influence On The Trump Campaign

Trump Has Thanked Savage For Being “Amazing,” And “Really Nice” To Him. Savage is an influential talk radio host who has regularly hosted Trump on his program. In October, Savage stated he was “openly supporting Donald Trump,” who made him proud to be an American. Trump in return thanked Savage for being “really nice to me,” and in another appearance told Savage “I appreciate your support, you’ve been so amazing.” Savage has also taken credit for being “the architect of Trump’s messaging,” adding “there is no way to refute that,” drawing specific attention to Trump’s positions on “borders, language, and culture,” since he articulated similar beliefs in the past. [Media Matters, 10/9/15, 1/13/16, 2/24/16]

Michael Savage: Birtherism, Conspiracies, Racism, Islamophobia

Savage Repeatedly Questioned Faith, Birthplace Of “Barack Madrassas Obama.” Savage was one of the first right-wing media figures to openly and repeatedly question Obama’s birthplace and religion. In June 2007, Savage made the claim that Obama was “indoctrinated” by a “Muslim madrassa in Indonesia.” Though this falsehood was debunked multiple times, Savage continued to spread the lie, labeling the president “Barack Madrassas Obama,” in a veiled reference to the fact that Obama’s actual middle name, Hussein, is Arabic. Savage even accused the Obama campaign of styling their logo to resemble “a blue crescent over fallen red and white stripes,” showing the President’s desire to unite the country “under the banner of Islam.” Savage is also a birther who doubts that Obama was born in the United States, claiming his birth certificate “does not exist” and that Obama lied about visiting his dying grandmother in 2008, suggesting the real reason was to “fudge the birth certificate.” [Media Matters, 3/20/07, 6/26/07, 1/11/08, 10/14/08, 10/23/08; Right Wing Watch, 3/31/15

Savage Promotes Bizarre Conspiracy Theories About Murder, Diseases. Savage has a history of believing conspiracy theories. In addition to maligning the president’s birthplace and religion, Savage has claimed Obama is guilty of treason because he wants “to infect the nation with Ebola” in order to “make things fair and equitable” in the world. Savage accused Black Lives Matter protesters of being “Obama’s shock troops” equating them to “the Brownshirts that Hitler had in Germany,” and Savage believes that liberals are driven “insane” from drinking seltzer water. On conservative conspiracy website WND, Savage warned Americans to not trust the government about flu shots noting “not everything you government tells you is true.”Recently, Savage hosted Donald Trump to promote the baseless conspiracy theory that Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was “murdered” with a pillow. Trump lent credence to the theory, telling Savage “they found a pillow on his face, which is a pretty unusual place.” [Media Matters, 7/17/08, 10/14/14, 12/23/14, 10/09/15; 2/16/16; WND.com, 1/14/13; Right Wing Watch, 9/16/15, 10/27/15]

Savage Pushed Racist And Islamophobic Rhetoric. Savage is known for his racist and Islamophobic rhetoric. In 2004 Savage called Arabs "non-humans" and "racist, fascist bigots"; asserted that Americans would like to "drop a nuclear weapon" on any Arab country; and that "these people" in the Middle East "need to be forcibly converted to Christianity" in order to "turn them into human beings." Four years later he falsely stated, “not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists happen to be Muslim.” Savage attributed America’s greatness to it being “built upon … the best of the white, Anglo-Saxon world,” and warned “turbanned folks” that “if push comes to shove” they would “find out all over again just how vicious the white male can really be.” Prior to Obama’s election Savage had worried that the Obama would “stir up a race war in order to seize absolute power.” And earlier this year Savage reassured Trump that Hispanics would support his campaign because “the Hispanic culture is a macho culture. Men don’t like reporting to a woman.” [Media Matters, 5/14/04, 9/15/06, 10/14/08, 10/11/10, 1/13/16

Savage Has A Long History Of Violent Rhetoric. In 2003, Savage’s short-lived MSNBC show was canceled after he called a gay caller a “sodomite” and told him to “get AIDS and die.” One year later, Savage “commend[ed]” prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, saying “we need more of the humiliation tactics, not less,” and suggesting we put “dynamite … in their orifices.” Savage has repeatedly suggested the United States use nuclear weapons against the Middle East, has voiced desire to “hang every lawyer who went down to Guantanamo,” and warned his listeners that “only vigilance and resistance to this baby dictator, Barack Hussein Obama, can prevent the Khmer Rouge from appearing in this country.” [Media Matters, 5/3/04, 10/11/10; The Washington Post, 7/8/03]

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