ThinkProgress

Rep. Matt Gaetz takes his conspiracy theories to InfoWars

CREDIT: SCREENGRAB

On Monday afternoon, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) joined the show of America’s foremost conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones, to tout a conspiracy theory about purported “deep state” efforts to undermine President Trump.

Gaetz expressed confidence that a classified House Intelligence Committee memo, produced by Republican staff, about the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign will ultimately be released — and said that once it is, Democrats and the mainstream media are “going to be like cornered rats.”

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation “is built on a rotten foundation, and I suspect they’ll have to go into major defense mode over Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation,” Gaetz said.

At one point during the interview, Jones and Gaetz agreed that they’d like to see President Trump mention the memo during his State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

“You know what I think would be very interesting, Alex, is if at the State of the Union, the president announced that he was supportive of the release of this memo following the Intelligence Committee’s potential vote this evening,” Gaetz said. “I think that would be just fantastic… it’s the kind of populism that got Donald Trump elected.”

Jones concluded the interview by asserting that “Hillary and the globalists have committed all these crimes, there should be more investigations, something should be done, they’re always going to come back if we don’t.” He then asked, “is somebody going to get indicted over the made-up Russiagate crimes?”

Without any hint of irony, Gaetz replied by saying that reports about the FBI launching new investigations of the Clintons “should really worry Hillary Clinton and some of the people who were paying money for influence within the Clinton world because this is not going to be a politically determined outcome made by a bunch of political bureaucrats.”

At one point, Gaetz complained to Jones that he’s called a conspiracy theorist. “We’re called conspiracy theorists because we see this cabal right in front of us. We’re able to aggregate these data points and show what was really going on,” Gaetz said to Jones, who once argued that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax.

“Matt Gaetz, really impressed by what you’re doing,” concluded Jones.

According to a New York Times report about the memo, three people who are “familiar with it” say the document claims that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “approved an application to extend surveillance of a former Trump campaign associate [Carter Page] shortly after taking office last spring, according to three people familiar with it.” But all that indicates is that Rosenstein, who was appointed by Trump, found probable cause to believe that Page was working as an agent of Russia.

While that may seem more incriminating for team Trump than for the FBI, Gaetz and other Trump-supporting Republicans in Congress and on Fox News have hyped the contents of the memo as “worse than Watergate” and “absolutely shocking.”

The memo was prepared by House Intelligence Committee staff, which is chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). Nunes has already shown he’ll do anything to help Trump. Last spring, he traveled to the White House to review documents that he later claimed showed that “on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.” But the conspiracy theory Nunes was pushing in an attempt to validate Trump’s reckless claim that then-President Obama “tapped” his phones was quickly revealed to be baseless.

House Republicans have shown they’re willing to distort reality in an effort to discredit the FBI and thereby help Trump. Just last week, a conspiracy theory about a purported “secret society” within the FBI that was breathlessly pushed by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), and others was shown to be based on a text message that was clearly intended to be a joke. But that didn’t stop Goodlatte from continuing to push the conspiracy theory on Fox News over the weekend.

Gaetz’s decision to push the memo conspiracy theory on Alex Jones’ show says something about how seriously it should be taken. Jones has previously pushed conspiracy theories about 9/11 being a false flag, Hillary Clinton’s top advisers being involved in a pedophilia ring, and about out-of-state voters being bused into Alabama to defeat Republican candidate Roy Moore during the state’s recent special election for a U.S. Senate seat.