Alex Jones

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  • Wash. Post’s Dana Milbank: Trump Loves Conspiracies Until They Involve Him

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank wrote that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has finally found a conspiracy he doesn’t like -- one that involves himself.

    Milbank’s column noted reports that security experts say Russian hackers are behind the publication of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails on the night before the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA. The timing and sourcing of the email dump led media to question whether Russian officials were attempting to influence United States elections and whether Trump had any connections to Russian officials that may have played a role in the hack.

    Trump has a well-documented history of invoking and encouraging conspiracy theories, claiming a “fix” was in when the FBI decided not to indict Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server as secretary of state, suggesting President Barack Obama was sympathetic to terrorists and not an American citizen, and claiming the suicide of a Clinton aide was “very fishy.” Trump has also praised conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who believes the government coordinated the 9/11 terrorist attacks and that a New World Order plans to exterminate 80 percent of the world.

    In the July 26 article, Milbank wrote that despite engaging in theories that “President Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya, that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was murdered and that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the JFK assassination,” Trump is "conspicuously incurious" about suggestions that he is working with Vladimir Putin to swing the U.S. presidential election. If Clinton were in Trump’s position, Milbank wrote, “it’s a safe bet that Trump would be demanding that Clinton release her tax returns to prove that she’s not beholden to Putin.” From the Milbank column:

    Donald Trump never met a conspiracy theory he didn’t like — until now.

    He has dabbled in, among other things, the notion that President Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya, that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was murdered and that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the JFK assassination.

    But on one topic, Trump is conspicuously incurious: the suggestion that he is complicit in a plan by Vladimir Putin to influence the U.S. election. Consider how Trump might react to the following fact pattern if the candidate involved weren’t “Donald Trump” but — let’s pick a name at random here — “Hillary Clinton”:

    The candidate’s real estate empire, unable to borrow from most U.S. banks, gets capital from Russian sources. Such transfers couldn’t occur without Putin’s blessing.

    [...]

    If the Clinton campaign, and not the Trump campaign, were so extensively interwoven with Putin’s Russia, it’s a safe bet that Trump would be demanding that Clinton release her tax returns to prove that she’s not beholden to Putin — just as he demanded Obama release his birth certificate.

    He would also very likely float allegations masquerading as questions by using the phrases “a lot of people have said” or “I’m hearing,” or “there’s something we don’t know about.” But Trump, I’m hearing, won’t be doing that in this case. 

  • Trump’s Convention Speech Will Include A Dog-Whistle To Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones’ Fans

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Donald Trump’s prepared remarks accepting the Republican Party’s nomination for the presidency include a dog-whistle to the fans of Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist radio host and 9/11 Truth leader who continues to be courted by Trump’s campaign.

    During his speech tonight, Trump will declare that “The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponents is that our plan will put America First. Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo.”

    Jones frequently invokes “globalists” as the villains behind the various conspiracy theories he discusses on his radio show. He believes that a New World Order of global elites is working behind the scenes to rule the world through an authoritarian government and eliminate 80 percent of the world’s population.

    Jones also helped launch the conspiracy that the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job” by the U.S. government He has also pushed conspiracies of government involvement in the Oklahoma City bombing as several mass shootings.

    Trump has courted Jones and his audience, appearing on Jones’ show in December and praising his “amazing” reputation. Key Trump ally Roger Stone regularly appears on Jones’ program. In turn, Jones has heavily promoted Trump’s campaign. Jones spoke at Stone’s July 18 “America First Unity Rally,” which was attended by Jones fans who noted the radio host’s key role in bringing them to support the GOP nominee.

    Jones reportedly has a “special guest” pass that has allowed him to attend the Republican National Convention.

     
  • VIDEO: Inside The RNC Conspiracy Theorist Rally That Explains The Trump Campaign

    Blog ››› ››› CARLOS MAZA & COLEMAN LOWNDES

    Two of Donald Trump’s favorite right-wing conspiracy theorists headlined a “Unity Rally” just outside of the Republican National Convention this week. The event further highlighted how Trump’s candidacy has helped bring fringe extremists  into mainstream Republican politics.

    On July 18, just blocks away from the site of the Republican National Convention, Trump supporters attended the “America First Unity Rally,” an event hosted by Citizens for Trump and longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone.

    The rally -- which was not an official Trump campaign event -- was billed as “a massive victory rally & parade celebration of Mr. Trump’s nomination.” In reality, the few hundred attendees were treated to an afternoon of conspiracy theories about the Clintons, 9/11, and the threat posed by anti-American “globalists.”

    Jones, Stone Represent Trump’s Fringe Supporters

    The event’s central headliners were Stone and Infowars.com founder Alex Jones -- two prominent Trump supporters with long histories of peddling bizarre conspiracy theories.

    Stone has claimed the Clintons and Bushes have secretly murdered dozens; the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 is “suspicious”; President Lyndon Johnson killed President John F. Kennedy; President George H.W. Bush tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan; and the Clintons killed John F. Kennedy Jr.

    Jones is a radio host well-known known for his own brand of conspiracy theories -- he claims the government was behind 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing, mass shootings in Aurora, CO, and Newtown, CT, among other events. Jones claims these “false flag” operations are part of a broader plot by “globalists” in both parties to take away Americans’ guns and take over the country.

    Stone and Jones brought their unique brand of lunacy to the rally. Stone repeated the long-debunked claim that the Clinton’s were involved in a cover-up surrounding the death of White House aide Vince Foster, while Jones celebrated that American voters were finally waking up to the globalist agenda in American politics.

    Trump Is Helping Mainstream Conspiracy Theorists

    It’s tempting to dismiss events like the America First Unity Rally as merely a fringe element of Republican politics, but the Trump campaign has shown a real interest in relying on conspiracy theorists like Stone and Jones to appeal to far-right voters. Stone states he is still in frequent contact with the GOP nominee -- even claiming he was late to the rally because he was meeting with members of Trump’s staff. Trump has appeared on Jones’ show and praised his reputation, promising not to let him or his listeners down. Jones has returned the favor -- many of the attendees at the rally stated that Jones’ praise convinced them to support Trump as the GOP nominee.

    Trump’s willingness to mingle with the most extreme and unhinged factions of the far right helps normalize them, pulling them into the Republican mainstream. Stone has become a regular fixture in mainstream election coverage. The day after appearing at the rally, Stone appeared at a discussion hosted by Politico at the convention.

    It also impacts the way Trump views the world -- as The New York Times’ Jonathan Martin explained in May, Trump’s “whole frame of reference” revolves around the fringe conspiracies peddled by outlets like Jones’ Infowars. Trump has already shown a willingness to make anti-Clinton conspiracy theories -- including the Vince Foster allegations -- a part of his general election strategy.

    This closeness between the GOP nominee and the right’s most extreme conspiracy theorists deserves special attention over the next few months.

    Stone and Jones may have held their rally outside of the Republican National Convention, but Trump’s campaign is helping bring them closer and closer to the Republican mainstream.

  • 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Reportedly Received “Special Guest” Credential At RNC

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist radio host and 9/11 Truth leader who has been courted by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, has reportedly been awarded with a “special guest” credential at the Republican National Convention.

    Mother Jones’ David Corn spotted Jones entering the arena:

    Jones helped launch the conspiracy that the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job” by the U.S. government and has also claimed that the government was involved in the Oklahoma City bombing, and the mass shootings in Aurora, CO, and Sandy Hook Elementary School, among other tragedies.

    Trump has courted Jones and his audience, appearing on Jones’ show in December and praising his “amazing” reputation. Key Trump ally Roger Stone regularly appears on Jones’ program. In turn, Jones has heavily promoted Trump’s campaign; most recently, Jones spoke at Stone’s July 18 ““America First Unity Rally,” which was attended by Jones fans who noted the radio host’s key role in bringing them to support the GOP nominee.

  • RNC Rally Attendees Explain How Alex Jones Sold Them On President Trump

    Blog ››› ››› JOE STRUPP

    Fans of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones who attended Monday’s pro-Trump RNC rally in Cleveland say Jones’ avid support for Trump helped convince them to back the real estate mogul’s presidential campaign.

    On Monday, Jones spoke at the “America First Unity Rally” co-hosted by longtime Trump adviser and Jones friend Roger Stone. Jones and Stone for months teamed up to promote the rally, which was originally billed as a gathering to stop Republican elites from “stealing” the nomination from Trump.

    Jones is probably America’s leading conspiracy theorist, having helped launch the conspiracy that the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job” by the U.S. government. Jones also promotes toxic conspiracies about government involvement in a wide range of national tragedies, including the Oklahoma City bombing and the mass shootings in Aurora, CO, and Sandy Hook, CT.

    Jones has actively promoted Trump’s candidacy, and the Trump campaign has returned the favor by courting Jones’ audience, including Trump appearing on Jones’ show last December and praising the host’s “amazing” reputation.   

    Several Jones fans that heeded his calls to attend the “Unity” rally credit the radio host with bringing them into Trump’s camp.

    “It definitely caused me to look at Trump more,” said Frank Constantino, a Jones listener from Elyria, Ohio, who joined others at the rally in Cleveland’s Settler’s Landing Monday, just blocks from the Republican National Convention location. “I was not a fan of Trump, I was not a fan for a while. But when I looked at what we have, it was an easy choice for me.”

    Emmy Andersen, a Jones listener from New Hampshire, agreed: “He’s doing a real good job in Trump support. Jones has definitely helped Trump.”

    For Jones fan Jared McGregor, the talk show host’s push for Trump changed his mind. “I was not fully on board [with Trump] until I spent some time listening [to Jones],” he said. “I’ve been following Alex Jones for a long time.”

    Staged just a few feet from the Cuyahoga River, the rally included appearances by Jones and Stone, but not together.

    The crowd included gun-toting Trump supporters who took advantage of Ohio’s open carry law. Several said Jones helped them into the Trump camp.

    “A lot of Jones supporters are going to vote for Trump,” said Sam Kuric of Pennsylvania with a handgun strapped to his side. “I like how he wants to protect our borders.”

    His friend Derrick Leeds, also carrying a sidearm, echoed that view. “He’s taking people away from Hillary,” Leeds said of Trump. “I think the mainstream media holds a lot back from the facts.”

    Al Baldasaro, a Trump delegate from New Hampshire, where he is a state legislator, said of Jones’ Trump support: “I think he did an awesome job.”

    Corrogan Vaughn, a Maryland Trump delegate who is running for Congress against Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, said the fact that a white nationalist website had been a sponsor of the event did not matter to him. (The website dropped its sponsorship after it was reported by Media Matters.) “Everyone talks about white supremacists, black supremacists, this is America. It doesn’t say anything.”   

  • GOP Senate Candidate Appears At Roger Stone And Alex Jones’ Pro-Trump Rally

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Republican Senate candidate Kelli Ward appeared at a pro-Trump rally featuring 9/11 conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and dirty trickster Roger Stone.

    Supporters of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump held an “America First Unity Rally” on July 18. The rally’s roster included speakers and hosts who have lobbed racist and sexist attacks against opponents; called for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’ executions; openly discriminated against minorities; led the movement that claims the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job”; and alleged that President Obama and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) are not American citizens.

    The rally recently hit a speed bump after organizers were forced to drop a white nationalist website that had previously been featured in promotional materials as a sponsor.

    Ward is a former Arizona state senator who is challenging Sen. John McCain in the Republican primary. She appeared during the initial stages of the rally and expressed her support for Trump.

    This isn’t Ward’s first time pandering to extreme elements of the conservative movement.

    Ward previously appeared on Alex Jones’ March 23 program and asked Jones’ audience for campaign contributions. Ward promised to return to the show when she’s elected to the U.S. Senate. Jones endorsed Ward and instructed his audience to send Ward money.

    The Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts criticized her appearance, noting that Jones “believes that 9/11 was an inside government job and that Barack Obama unleashes tornadoes with his secret weather machine. He believes the government is creating gay people by sneaking chemicals into your sons’ juice boxes and that the Tucson massacre -- the one that left six people dead and 13 injured, including then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords -- was a government ‘mind-control operation.’”

    Stone tweeted on March 23 that “I will be working for @kelliwardaz - GOP Primary- August-Kiss @JohnMcCain goodbye!” Ward said in April “that Stone is not officially working for the campaign -- though she didn’t deny that he may be aiding her steep battle. ‘As far as I know, he does not work directly for us,’ she said. ‘I don’t know Roger Stone, I’ve never met him and never talked to him.’”

    Media Matters reporter Joe Strupp spoke to Ward after her speech and the Republican distanced herself from Jones and his 9/11 conspiracy theories. 

    "I don't know him well," Ward said of Jones. "I was on with him once and got a lot of play from that."

    Ward said that she doesn't believe as Jones does that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job.

    The Republican said she was invited to the rally by Stone. Stone has a decades-long history of employing political dirty tricks, and he regularly spouts violent, racist, and sexist rhetoric, including calling Hillary Clinton a “cunt” and advocating her execution.

    Media Matters' Joe Strupp contributed reporting to this post. 

  • Roger Stone's Pro-Trump Rally Will Be The Freak Show To The RNC Circus

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Supporters of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump will be holding an “America First Unity Rally” on July 18. The event, which will be hosted by Citizens for Trump and longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone, is being billed as “a massive victory rally & parade celebration of Mr. Trump’s nomination.”

    The rally recently hit a speed bump after organizers were forced to drop a white nationalist website that had previously been featured in promotional materials as a sponsor. The person who produces the website in question also resigned from a position with hosting organization Citizens for Trump.

    The “Unity” rally is slated to feature speakers and hosts with incendiary histories befitting of their support for Trump. The scheduled speakers and hosts have lobbed racist and sexist attacks against opponents; called for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’ executions; openly discriminated against minorities; led the movement that claims the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job”; and alleged that President Obama and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) are not American citizens.

    Here are five things to know about the “America First Unity Rally.”

    Co-Host Roger Stone Has A History Of Pushing Violent Rhetoric, Racist Taunts, Sexist Screeds And Discredited Research

    Roger Stone is co-hosting the event and been heavily promoting it on Alex Jones’ conspiracy show (Jones is also speaking at the event). Stone is a longtime friend and ally of Trump and conducted a press gaggle at the July 16 Trump event that introduced running mate Mike Pence. He has a decades-long history of employing political dirty tricks, and regularly spouts violent, racist, and sexist rhetoric, including calling Hillary Clinton a “cunt” and advocating for her and Bernie Sanders’ executions.

    Stone is also a discredited researcher and conspiracy theorist who claims the Clintons and Bushes secretly murdered dozens; the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 is “suspicious”; President Lyndon Johnson killed President John F. Kennedy; President George H.W. Bush tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan; and the Clintons killed John F. Kennedy Jr.

    For more about Stone, go here.

    Leading 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Is A Speaker And Sponsor

    Conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones is speaking at the rally and has been encouraging his listeners to give “their time, their energy, and their money” to support it. Jones’ website Infowars.com is sponsoring the event. Jones is a 9/11 truther who said after the terrorist attacks: “Those were controlled demolitions. You just watched the government blow up the World Trade Center.” His website claimed that Jones “predicted the attacks on September 11th, 2001 and is considered one of the very first founding fathers of the 9-11 Truth Movement.”

    Jones also believes the government was behind national tragedies like the Oklahoma City bombing, Boston Marathon bombing, Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, and mass shootings in Aurora, CO, and Newtown, CT.

    For more about Jones’ toxic beliefs and his support of Trump, go here.

    A White Nationalist Website Previously Sponsored The Event

    The white nationalist website Eternal Sentry previously sponsored the event. Eternal Sentry is a self-described “altright" website that features racist and anti-Semitic material, repeatedly warns about “White Genocide,” and is produced by former Citizens for Trump staffer Paul Chambers, who said whites need to “fight back” against African-Americans and “send them back to the mud-huts they so desperately and obviously desire.”

    Following Media Matters’ reporting, Citizens for Trump’s Tim Selaty told Cleveland.com he was not aware of Chambers’ “harmful” views and that his group had failed to do its “due diligence.” According to Selaty, Chambers “decided to drop his sponsorship and resign his volunteer position on our staff.”

    Speaker Jan Morgan Bans Muslims From Her Business

    Jan Morgan is a rally speaker and national spokesperson for Citizens for Trump. Morgan owns an Arkansas gun range that bans Muslim customers, explaining, "why would I hand a loaded gun to a muslim and allow him to shoot lethal weapons next to people his koran commands him to kill?"

    Morgan has claimed that “Islam is also not a religion, It is a theocracy and terrorist cult that hides behind the mask of religion in order to acheive (sic) its mission of world domination.”

    Organizer Citizens For Trump Claims President Obama Is A Kenyan Citizen

    Citizens For Trump posted an April 15 image asking, “Isn’t it Time ‘We the People’ Elected An American Citizen for President?" and claiming President Obama, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) are respectively Kenyan, Cuban, and Canadian citizens.

    In August 2015, Citizens for Trump posted an image of President Obama with the caption, “If Trump Becomes President I’m Moving Back To Africa.”

     
  • Roger Stone’s Pro-Trump RNC Rally Drops White Nationalist Sponsor

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    A pro-Donald Trump rally scheduled to take place at the Republican National Convention and co-hosted by longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone has cut ties with a white nationalist website that was previously sponsoring the event.

    Media Matters reported this week that a “unity rally” featuring several Trump surrogates scheduled to be held in Cleveland on July 18 was being co-sponsored by Eternal Sentry, a self-described “altright” website that has repeatedly warned about “White Genocide” and posted other racist and anti-Semitic material. Paul Chambers, who produces the Eternal Sentry website and was also listed as the “Content Creation Team Director” for rally co-host Citizens for Trump, has also posted racist material arguing that whites need to “fight back” against African-Americans and “send them back to the mud-huts they so desperately and obviously desire.”

    Citizens for Trump’s Tim Selaty told Cleveland.com he was not aware of Chambers’ “harmful” views and that his group had failed to do its “due diligence.” According to Selaty, Chambers “decided to drop his sponsorship and resign his volunteer position on our staff”:

    A citizens group organizing a pro-Donald Trump rally in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention said Friday it has cut ties with a former sponsor that published social media posts attacking Jews and equating racial diversity with "White Genocide."

    Tim Selaty, the Texas-based organizer behind Citizens for Trump, said in a telephone interview he had not previously been aware of the views published on the social media pages of the group, Eternal Sentry.

    [...]

    Eternal Sentry's affiliation with the Citizens for Trump rally was publicized on Thursday by Media Matters, the progressive watchdog group run by David Brock, a prominent supporter of presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

    Since at least May, Citizens for Trump had included Eternal Sentry as a sponsor on fliers for its rally. Eternal Sentry identifies itself as "alt-right," a catch-all term for an edgy, far-right brand of conservatism, and on its website rails against multiculturalism, feminism, homosexuality, abortion and other cultural forces and political causes.

    In May, an image including the phrase "Diversity is just their code word for White Genocide" was published on Eternal Sentry's Facebook page.

    In a June 28 post from his personal Facebook account, which is now not publicly accessible but an image of which was captured by Media Matters, Chambers wrote that white people need "to take our country back for ourselves and send them [African-Americans] back to the mud-huts they so desperately and obviously desire."

    Although Eternal Sentry is no longer sponsoring the rally, the rally will still feature controversial speakers like  Stone and conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones. Stone was recently banned from CNN and MSNBC for his history of racist and sexist rhetoric targeting media and political figures, including calling one an “elitist c*nt” and another a “house negro,” as well as calling Hispanic and black commentators on CNN “quota hires.” Jones believes that the government was behind the 9/11 attacks and has called the Oklahoma City bombing, Aurora shooting, and Sandy Hook shooting “staged.” He has also suggested that the CIA funds Beyonce to cause mayhem in America.