Fox News continues to push a conspiracy theory that a caravan of migrants traveling through Mexico toward the U.S. border represents an “invasion,” even after it motivated a gunman to carry out the largest mass killing of Jews in American history at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday morning.
The gunman, Robert Bowers, repeatedly referred to people traveling with the caravan as “invaders” on Gab, a social media website that serves as a den for white supremacists. Bowers blamed the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), a Jewish group that resettles refugees in the U.S., writing in a Gab post published shortly before the shooting that “HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”
In the days leading up to the shooting, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), the NRA, and Trump-supporting CNN commentator Matt Schlapp all pushed the baseless conspiracy theory that George Soros, a wealthy Jewish philanthropist, was somehow financing the caravan. A piece in The Atlantic details how the “invasion” conspiracy theory originated with a Fox News segment on October 16.
If you thought that the murder of 11 Jewish people in their place of worship would be enough to stop Fox News personalities from pushing this “invasion” narrative, think again. In the three days since the shooting, Fox News contributors and guests have continued to use militaristic language to talk about the caravan — which in reality consists of impoverished mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons from countries like Nicaragua and Honduras who are making a dangerous journey north to escape desperate conditions in their homelands.
Most significantly, President Trump himself used the language of “invasion” while talking about the caravan during an interview that aired on Monday evening’s edition of The Ingraham Angle.
“We’re being invaded,” Trump said. “When you look at that thousands of people… that’s called an invasion of our country.”
During the same interview, Trump denied any connection between his rhetoric and the bloodshed in Pittsburgh.
“This horrible human being, this terrible person that did the shooting is was not a Donald Trump fan because he said I was too close to Israel,” Trump said, ignoring that Bowers used the same language he did to talk about the caravan.