Donald Trump Jr. Treats the Nation’s Top Conspiracy Theorist as a Legitimate News Source

He’s promoting the latest Clinton conspiracy from Alex Jones’ InfoWars.

Mark Reinstein/ZUMA Wire

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


On Thursday morning, Donald Trump Jr., the son and adviser of the Republican presidential nominee, shared the latest Clinton conspiracy theory with his 637,000 Twitter followers: Hillary Clinton may have been wearing an earpiece during the candidates forum held the previous night. Just as surprising was Trump’s source for this latest news flash: the website of Alex Jones, the nation’s top conspiracy theorist. Jones is a 9/11 truther who has suggested that the Sandy Hook massacre never happened and that the government is deliberately turning kids gay by sneaking estrogen into juice boxes.

The article that Trump Jr. promoted cited conservative actor James Woods for drawing attention to the supposed earpiece, and it suggested that Clinton needed the earpiece for secret coaching or to receive lines she might forget.

Trump Jr.’s tweet is the latest evidence that the Trump clan views Jones as a legitimate news source and a media figure who deserves courting. Jones was a special guest at the Republican convention in Cleveland. In December, candidate Trump called into Jones’ radio show and said to the host, “Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.” The older Trump has cited Jones to support his claim that thousands of Muslim Americans danced on rooftops in New Jersey after 9/11. (They didn’t.) Many of Trump’s recent talking points, such as his questions about Clinton’s health and his warnings of a “rigged” election, were first raised by Jones, who has collaborated with Roger Stone, a longtime adviser for the senior Trump and a well-established conspiracy theorist in his own right. (Stone wrote a book saying that LBJ killed JFK.) Jones has told listeners that he recently spoke with Trump—an assertion the Trump campaign did not deny. As Jones put it in a segment last month, “It is surreal to talk about issues here on air and then word-for-word hear Trump say it two days later.”

The earpiece theory quickly took hold among Trump loyalists, including senior adviser AJ Delgado, who asked Clinton on Twitter, “When will you stop cheating the public?” (The tweet was later deleted.)

Trump backer John Nolte, a former editor at Breitbart News, tweeted, “”What do YOU think was in her ear? Maybe the sniper fire damaged her hearing.”

By the way, Jones’ Infowars website has long claimed that the Bilderberg Group, a collection of government and business leaders whose annual confab is a favorite target of conspiracy-mongers, is a key part of a covert scheme to create a “scientific dictatorship” that will exterminate the “useless eaters,” that is, 80 percent of the human population—and that in 2008 this cabal hand-picked Barack Obama to become president, “with the plan being that Hillary would essentially pick up as president for a third Obama term.”

Back on Earth, the Clinton campaign quickly shot down the earpiece rumors:

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate