Connect with us

Politics

Fake Trump shooting video highlights growing influence of far-right

Published

on

  • A fake video depicting the president shooting news media outlets and political opponents was shown at a conference for a pro-Trump group, American Priority. 
  • Some of the conference’s speakers included Donald Trump Jr., Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz.
  • Jack Posobiec, who was an early pusher of the fake Pizzagate conspiracy theory, and far-right activist Laura Loomer, were also speakers. 
  • The conference was held at Trump National Doral Miami Golf Resort. 
  • Given the venue and the appearance of the president’s son, the event is emblematic of how far-right groups and figures with conspiratorial leanings have increasingly infiltrated mainstream conservatism since Donald Trump became president.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The conference held this weekend by a pro-Trump group — which included the screening of a video depicting a fake President Donald Trump shooting various news media outlets and political opponents — is emblematic of the rising influence of far-right and conspiracy theory-pushing groups in the Trump era. 

The video was shown at the second annual conference for the ultra-conservative American Priority group, and featured some prominent right-wing figures as speakers, including Donald Trump Jr. The conference was held in Florida at Trump National Doral Miami Golf Resort.

Both the White House and the organizer of the event have sought to distance themselves from the violent video, which was first reported by The New York Times.

But given the venue and the appearance of the president’s son, as well as former administration officials such as Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the event is emblematic of how far right groups have increasingly infiltrated mainstream conservatism since Trump became president.

Some of the other speakers included Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida and former Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, who previously served as the chairman of the powerful House Oversight and Reform Committee.

Read more: Trump’s latest conspiracy theory is that the Kurds released ISIS prisoners to pull the US back into Syria

They were joined by such figures as Dinesh D’Souza, the documentarian who received a presidential pardon from Trump for a felony conviction last year, as well as people like Jack Posobiec.

During the 2016 campaign season, Posobiec played a central role in perpetuating the Pizzagate conspiracy theory that ultimately inspired a man to fire a gun in a Washington pizza joint. Pizzagate was predicated on the baseless story prominent Democrats were running a child sex ring out of the pizza place. Posobiec, a former Navy Reserve intelligence officer who now works for One America News Network, was previously the leader of a pro-Trump grassroots organization.

Beyond Posobiec, other well-known conspiracy theorists who spoke at the conference included anti-Muslim activist Laura Loomer, who’s been banned from Facebook and Twitter.

Charlie Kirk, the founder and president of the conservative youth advocacy group Turning Point USA (TPUSA), was also a speaker at the event. Kirk earlier this year took credit as Trump signed an executive order designed to protect free speech on college campuses. At a TPUSA event in late July, Trump delivered a speech in front of a fake presidential seal with Russian symbols on it, spending much of it attacking the media and his political opponents.

American Priority, much like TPUSA, portrays itself as a fierce defender of the First Amendment. And, much like TPUSA did following the fake presidential seal incident, American Priority is claiming it does not know how the fake Trump shooting video was shown at its conference. 

“Content was submitted by third parties and was not associated with or endorsed by the conference in any official capacity,” the event’s organizer, Alex Phillips, told The Times. “American Priority rejects all political violence and aims to promote a healthy dialogue about the preservation of free speech. This matter is under review.”

The White House has also tried to diminish any ties to the conference or video. 

“Re: the video played over the weekend: The @POTUS @realDonaldTrump has not yet seen the video, he will see it shortly, but based upon everything he has heard, he strongly condemns this video,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a tweet.

Trump was not in attendance at the American Priority event, but it was held at one of his properties that’s been struggling financially since he entered the White House. Trump sparked controversy in August when he suggested the Doral resort be the location of the next G7 summit. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement Find your dream job

Trending