Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump not only surrounds himself with conspiracy theorists, he has spent years pushing conspiracy theories himself, much to the delight of his supporters.
By Brian Tashman | Right Wing Watch/RawStory
At times, Trump tries to remain evasive about whether he actually believes these conspiracy theories, insisting that he simply “heard” or “read” them somewhere or is just asking a question.
We found at least 58 instances of Trump promoting false conspiracy theories on everything from immigration to President Obama’s birthplace.
The number is certain to rise in the coming months.
Muslims and Terrorism
Guns and Crime
For years, Trump has suggested that President Obama fabricated his birth certificate in order to be eligible to run for president. As evidence of this, he has cited the work of Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, “Israeli Science,” the conspiracy theory clearinghouse WorldNetDaily and an unnamed “extremely credible source.”
Trump has falsely claimed that the president spent millions of dollars “to keep this quiet” and wrongly suggested that the president’s grandmother confessed to witnessing his birth in Kenya.
“He cannot give a birth certificate,” he told radio host Laura Ingraham in 2011. He added: “He doesn’t have a birth certificate or, if he does, there’s something on that certificate that is very bad for him. Now somebody told me, and I have no idea whether this is bad for him or not but perhaps it would be, that where it says ‘religion’ it might have ‘Muslim,’ and if you’re a Muslim, you don’t change your religion by the way, but somebody said, ‘Maybe that’s the reason he doesn’t want to show it.’ I don’t think so. I just don’t think he has a birth certificate and everybody has a birth certificate.”
“When I hear he took an ad in the paper, his parents, these are poor people, when did you ever hear of anybody taking an ad in a paper?” Trump said in the same interview, casting doubt on the announcement of Obama’s birth in a Honolulu newspaper. “I see so much fraud in the world. An ad like that could’ve been staged. I don’t mean staged at the time. I mean could have been computer-generated five years ago, eight years ago, two years ago, it could’ve been computer-generated.”
“The Rockefeller family doesn’t buy ads in a newspaper and now you’re going to have two poor people putting an ad in a newspaper that their son was born? There’s something fishy about the whole thing. Very fishy,” he continued.
Trump went on to hail birthers as “great American people” and described himself as a “proud” birther, noting that he “went to a great college, the best” and “was a very good student” and “a very smart guy.”
“Either it’s fine, or he was born in Kenya, or, in my opinion there’s a very good chance he was born here and said he was born in Kenya,” Trump said in 2014. “Because if you were born in Kenya, you got into colleges and you got aid. Very simple.”
Trump has also claimed that Obama himself “said he was born in Kenya” and promised to “write a book” laying out his birther theory.