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Trump said Joe Biden is being controlled by ‘people in dark shadows’ and was accused of peddling a ‘conspiracy theory’ by Fox News host Laura Ingraham

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Trump said Joe Biden is being controlled by 'people in dark shadows' and was accused of peddling a 'conspiracy theory' by Fox News host Laura Ingraham

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  • Donald Trump on Sunday claimed that Joe Biden is being controlled by ‘people in dark shadows’ during an interview at the White House with Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
  • Ingraham suggested that the US president was promoting a ‘conspiracy theory.’
  • Trump has embraced multiple conspiracy theories throughout his political career.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Donald Trump has said that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is being controlled by “dark shadows,” a suggestion that was branded a “conspiracy theory” by the Fox News host interviewing him.

Speaking to Laura Ingraham at the White House on Monday, the US president said of Biden: “He’s not controlling anything.”

Ingraham asked: “Who do you think is pulling Biden’s strings? Is it Obama people?”

Trump replied: “People that you’ve never heard of, people that are in the dark shadows. People that—”

Ingraham interrupted Trump to say: “What does that mean? That sounds like a conspiracy theory. Dark shadows. What is that?”

Trump replied: “No, they’re people you haven’t heard of. There are people that are on the streets, there are people that are controlling the streets. We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend. And in the plane, it was almost completely loaded with thugs, wearing these dark uniforms — black uniforms — with gear and this and that. They’re on a plane”

Ingraham invited Trump to explain his mysterious claim, and he replied: “I’ll tell you sometime. But it’s under investigation right now.”

He said that the person who had witnessed the “thugs” on planes had been headed to the Republican National Convention, adding that there were “a lot of people” on the plane who were travelling to Washington “to do big damage.” He did not attempt to describe the unfounded claim related to the Biden campaign.

Trump’s claims appear to relate to conspiracy theories he has spent the summer promoting on Twitter, warning that “anarchists” and Antifa activists would take over and loot cities where there have been riots and protests, including Portland and Chicago should Biden win the presidency in November.

At the Republican National Convention in June, Trump said that Biden would “destroy the American dream” and added: “Your vote will decide whether we protect law-abiding Americans, or whether we give free rein to violent anarchists, agitators and criminals who threaten our citizens.”

Trump has embraced a series of conspiracy theories throughout his political career, including the false claim that former President Barack Obama had not been born in the USA and was therefore ineligible to run for office.

He has also previously promoted other discredited theories, including that the noise from windmills causes cancer, and appeared to link the suicide of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

On August 30, Trump retweeted a post claiming that only 6% of the 153,504 recorded coronavirus deaths in America had actually died from the virus, with the rest having died from other medical conditions.

The post — which Twitter has now removed for violating its misinformation policies — was shared by an account called “Mel Q,” a reference to the QAnon conspiracy network, which falsely believes there are a group of Satan-worshipping paedophiles who run a global sex-trafficking ring, with which Donald Trump is engaged in a secret battle.

Trump earlier in August refused to condemn the QAnon movement, saying he didn’t know much about the movement but understood that its followers “like him very much, which I appreciate.”

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories – KTVZ

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories - KTVZ

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Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York are calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to create a new bipartisan committee focused on election integrity and schedule hearings to reassure Americans over a process President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to undermine.

There is growing anxiety among Democrats, and some Republicans, that Trump will not only continue to sow doubt over the legitimacy of the coming election but throw the subsequent count into chaos by declaring victory before all the votes can be tallied, including the millions that will arrive by mail.

In a letter to McConnell, Sanders and Schumer quote back the Kentucky senator’s own words, in which he attested to the reliability of mail-in voting by citing its successes in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, which have been using the system for years.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of mail-in voting, promoted conspiracy theories questioning election security, called on supporters to act as unsanctioned “poll watchers,” and suggested that the absence of a clear result by the evening of November 3 would in some way cast doubt on the eventual outcome. Key allies in powerful positions, like Attorney General Bill Barr, have followed suit. Barr has persisted in puffing up a debunked claim that ballots received by mail would somehow strip the sender of their privacy — ignoring well-established safeguards.

By escalating the matter now, Sanders and Schumer are responding to growing concern, in partisan and nonpartisan spaces, that Americans are not adequately prepared for the potential of a longer-than-usual wait for results or Trump’s willingness to short-circuit the democratic process if he smells defeat.

“Democrats and Republicans in Congress must come together to ensure that we have a free and fair election where every vote is cast and counted without intimidation,” Sanders told CNN, “where no one has to put his or her health in danger to cast a ballot, and where we have full confidence in the results.”

The proposed hearings would invite a cross-section of election officials from across the country to testify to the security and reliability of mail-in, early- and in-person voting — subjects on which Sanders and Schumer, again, referenced McConnell’s own words.

“Despite the clear security of our vote-by-mail system, some have continued to undermine it with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud,” they wrote. “As you have correctly said, people ‘can vote early, you can vote on Election Day, or you can drop it in the mail,’ and that voters should ‘not worry about your vote not counting.’”

The minority leader and Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also want more detailed discussion about the fraught hours, or days, after the polls close and a real-time watch of the election horse race potentially swings from one candidate to another.

“We know a number of states may well be counting ballots for a period of time after Election Day, and that those votes may be determinative in this election,” the senators wrote to McConnell. “To avoid disinformation, conspiracy theories, and suspicion about results, we must understand the likely timeline for this process.”

The letter goes on to reference the recent war games-style preparations conducted by a group called the Transition Integrity Project, a bipartisan gathering of operatives and academics that made headlines when some of the outcomes of their exercises — including “both street-level violence and political impasse” — were reported on in late July.

“A bipartisan group of experts and officials have studied multiple scenarios where the outcome of the election was not immediately known. Some of these scenarios resulted in unrest and even violence,” Sanders and Schumer wrote, suggesting the Senate should elevate similar discussions and familiarize the public with the uncertainties ahead. “We would like to hear from the most knowledgeable people in the country as to how we can do everything possible to make sure that the election and the period afterward is secure and peaceful.”

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS supported Caputo, with a statement that called him a critical, integral part of the presidents coronavirus response, leading on public messaging as Americans need public health information to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no immediate statement from the White House.

Attempts to reach Caputo were unsuccessful.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called on Azar to fire Caputo, accusing the spokesman of trying to interfere with CDC reports to the medical and scientific community, as well as the public at large. And Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Azar himself to resign, citing interference with the CDC as one example of what he termed the administration’s failures.

Officials at CDC have privately complained of recent efforts by political appointees at main HHS to try to edit or press for changes in the agency’s weekly MMWR publications, a go-to resource for public health professionals.

MMWR articles are technical, but they reveal telling details. One published earlier this year noted that while Trump’s travel restrictions dramatically reduced travel from China in February, nothing was being done at that time to restrict travel from Italy and Europe, where the coronavirus was spreading widely and rapidly. Analysis of virus samples from hard-hit New York in March suggested it was introduced there from Europe and other parts of the U.S., the CDC article reported.

Caputo is an unswerving Trump loyalist. His recent book, The Ukraine Hoax, claims the presidents phony impeachment was rooted in a vast conspiracy.

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS…

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS...

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My RSS Feedunwinona:

This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS and Polio narrative (among others), only we’re seeing it escalated to weeks and months instead of years or decades.

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