The spate of bombings targeting Trump’s critics have had MAGA chuds on the defensive and back to their usual tricks of concocting wild conspiracy theories that conveniently absolve both Republicans and Trump himself of any blame.
On Thursday, Fox & Friends hosts largely steered clear of promoting the right-wing conspiracy theory that the bombings were part of a “false flag” attack designed to bring sympathy to Democrats. But on Friday they leaned right the hell into it.
Fox & Friend (and Trump campaign donor) Brian Kilmeade interviewed former FBI official Chad Jenkins, asking “You say that you cannot rule out a false flag operation. What leads you to believe that?”
“One, we have the worst right-wing bomb maker in history or we have a false flag operation, where it’s a left-wing type of operation to create hysteria and to play on the hearts and minds of those who would be independents or undecideds come the midterms,” Jenkins replied.
Female Fox & Friend Ainsley Earhardt chimed in with her own misleading comment, “We are being told that there’s no trigger mechanism on all 10 of them, so they were never intended to explode, it appears.”
On Fox Business Thursday, the always wrong Geraldo Rivera gave his own amateur analysis of the bombings and, picking up the “no trigger/no explosions” talking point, mistakenly assumed that meant they weren’t intended to.
“At the risk of sounding like a far right-wing lunatic,” Geraldo began, signaling that he was, in fact, about to sound like one, “I have to say that I believe that this whole thing was an elaborate hoax. I believe that those bombs were never intended to explode. I think those bombs were intended to further divide the American people.”
After the arrest of the suspect, Cesar Sayoc, Geraldo tweeted that he had just been a little too smart for his own good.
(Forgive me for being unconvinced that a less smart Geraldo Rivera—God help us—would have come to the correct conclusion.)
Aging Fox Business commentator Lou Dobbs even balked at calling the explosive devices “bombs.”
On his show Thursday night, Dobbs, who earlier tweeted and deleted his completely bullsh*t speculation that the bombs were a “false flag” operation, blamed the FBI and ATF for not filling in the considerable blanks in his own head in a timely fashion.
“From that first report til now a good many if not most of the national left-wing media had been calling the suspicious packages bombs,” Dobbs whined. “Until we get some answers from the FBI and the ATF the rest is pure speculation and law enforcement is not doing things the American way and that needs to change now.”
It seems the FBI and ATF might have been a little too busy to hold a press conference (let alone Dobbs’ hand), because they were, you know, tracking down and arresting the suspect.
And, less than 24 hours after right-wing pundits started pushing the “false flag” narrative, it completely fell apart (as it always does). Trump’s own handpicked FBI Director put the notion that this was some kind of “scare tactic” to bed at a press conference Friday, saying “These are not hoax devices.”
FBI DIRECTOR WRAY shoots down "false flag" theories like the one Trump has been flirting with: "We can confirm that 13 IEDs were sent to various individuals across the country... these are not hoax devices." pic.twitter.com/0CPFeaBHUr— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 26, 2018
Moreover, Sayoc’s social media feeds prove he wasn’t only a conservative Republican, but a Trump SUPERFAN. His Twitter and Facebook accounts (not to mention his van) were littered with right-wing memes, attacks on Democrats, and images and videos of himself at Trump rallies.
Still, that’s not stopping the fever swamp from ratcheting up the insanity in an effort to remove any blame from themselves and their God Emperor. Echoing a 4Chan conspiracy theory, Rush Limbaugh (who yesterday promised his listeners that “Republicans just don’t do this type of thing”) suggested that the van was a plant because the stickers weren’t faded and looked “artistically aligned” and “professional.”
(I’m not sure why some elaborate deep state plot would involve having this guy going to MAGA rallies for years but waited until the last minute to dress up his van, but I’m not a worm-brained liar grifting middle Americans.)
It’s also not stopping President Trump himself, who indulged in a little “lock him up” humor at bombing target George Soros’ expense during a White House event today.
Just moments after Trump calls for unity at a WH event, he references "globalists," prompting several audience members shout "Soros" -- who was a target of one of the bombs -- and others shout "lock him up" to which Trump chuckles, points and repeats "lock him up" pic.twitter.com/IWZR3DRCvk— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) October 26, 2018
Trump also praised conspiracy theorist Candace Owens, who recently tweeted and deleted a false flag theory about the bombings.
You know, business as usual. These pathetic, desperate lies and “counternarratives” will have no impact on the GOP. There will be no soul-searching, no reflection, no introspection whatsoever on the right. The people who spew this toxic sludge on a daily basis will continue as though none of this happened. They will still be booked on Fox News, they will still land prestigious speaking appearances, and they will still bring in massive donations from billionaires. The people who consume (and regurgitate) this toxic sludge will continue to do so without a second thought. There’s no accountability from within and no outside check, not even elections. Instead, there are only incentives to continue their war on the media and Democrats.
For Trump’s part, I’m sure he’ll be back to fearmongering over the imaginary threat of migrant refugees at his rally tonight. The only question is: who in the crowd will take Trump literally as well as seriously? Cesar Sayoc did.
h/t: Media Matters