“Report: Three Million Votes in Presidential Election Cast by Illegal Aliens; Trump may have won popular vote.” -- Infowars, website of leading conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Nov. 14
“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” – Donald Trump, president-elect of the United States, Nov. 27
WASHINGTON – We learned last week that President-elect Donald Trump has been turning away his intelligence briefers, leaving the tedious task of learning about national-security threats to his understudy, Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
So where is Trump getting his information? Well, now we know. On Sunday, Trump tweeted out the wild allegations that “millions of people” voted illegally for his opponent. He also tweeted that there was “serious voter fraud” in three states that went for Hillary Clinton, “so why isn’t the media reporting on this?”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Sacramento Bee
The media wasn’t reporting on this because it’s a load of hooey. But one “media” outlet has been “reporting” the groundless allegations, and it’s one that Trump relied on frequently during the campaign: Alex Jones’s Infowars, the radio and Internet home of the grassy-knoll crowd.
For two weeks before Trump made his allegations, Jones had been alleging this very thing, saying there was a “wall of fraud” and that at least “five states were stolen” by Clinton. Jones alleged that Trump “clearly won the popular vote,” asserting that in addition to 3 million illegal immigrants who voted, 4 million dead people voted.
Trump, with his mixture of the incendiary and the fanciful, invented the “Infowars campaign.” Now comes the Infowars presidency. Let’s see what else is being promoted by the outlet where the next leader of the free world gets his news:
“Pizzagate Is Real: Something Is Going On, But What?” Infowars reports, asserting that “high-level Washington D.C. predatory pedophiles” are communicating via “symbols” on the menu of Comet Ping Pong, a pizza place in Northwest Washington. “Notice the symbol of the ping-pong paddles and its clever resemblance to the FBI documents’ symbol for child love,” Infowars reports.
Right! The well-informed consumers of Infowars also know that at the moment the “Whereabouts of Julian Assange Remain a Mystery” since the election and WikiLeaks wants people “to stop requesting proof of life.”
Infowars listeners and readers know, as well, that requested recounts in three states are an attempt by the Green Party “to push the 2016 election into the hands of Congress.” Somewhat contradictorily, this effort also means there’s a “Democrat Counter-Coup Against Trump in Progress.” Jones warns that this is “a real threat and 1 / 8George 3 / 8 Soros is behind it,” part of a “soft civil war.”
Jones’s rants would be funny if the soon-to-be most powerful man in the world didn’t rely so heavily on them.
Trump, the New York Times reported, called Jones after the election to thank him for his support. Trump has been on the Jones show and praised the host’s “amazing reputation”; Trump adviser Roger Stone is an Infowars regular.
Trump has echoed Jones’s allegations that climate change is a myth, that President Obama wasn’t born in America, that Muslims in New Jersey celebrated on 9/11, that Antonin Scalia was murdered, that Clinton used drugs before a debate, that “globalists” (read: prominent Jews) are trying to take over America, that vaccines cause autism and that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the John F. Kennedy assassination. Jones, who says he advises Trump privately, boasts that Trump repeats his ideas “word for word.”
As the Right Wing Watch website has documented, Jones has alleged that the U.S. government was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks (Jones posted an old video Monday in which Trump appeared to suggest that aircraft alone couldn’t have brought down the towers), the Oklahoma City bombings and mass shootings such as Sandy Hook. Jones has said that “chemtrails” from airplanes spread a “weaponized flu,” that juice boxes are part of a chemical-warfare operation to make children gay, that Justin Bieber is brainwashing children to create an American police state, that Obama murdered publisher Andrew Breitbart, that an “alien force not of this world” is targeting Trump, that intergalactic shape-shifting reptilian humanoids secretly control the world, and, of course, that water fluoridation is mass mind control.
Rest assured, fellow Americans: President Trump will deliver us from fluoride, juice boxes, outer-space reptiles and the 7 million dead people and foreigners who vote in our elections. Less clear is whether he'll protect us from the real threats his intelligence briefers would tell him about – if he’d let them in.
Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank.