After a demonstrator attempted to storm the stage at Donald Trump’s rally in Dayton, Ohio, on Saturday, Trump took to Twitter to allege that the perpetrator “has ties to ISIS.”
The evidence of the man’s purported ISIS ties? A fake video.
When asked why he would promote such an easily debunked claim, Trump said simply: “All I know is what’s on the internet.”
Indeed, that might be a great slogan for his campaign, as he has repeatedly promoted rumors and bogus stories that were popularized by chain emails. Trump, who according to one analysis, averages “one misstatement every five minutes,” seems to be fond of pushing right-wing myths and refusing to back down after they’ve been debunked.
As Matt Taibbi put it, “there isn’t any absurd idea Donald Trump isn’t willing to entertain, so long as it fits in with his worldview.”
Trump tweeted a photoshopped image of Megyn Kelly posing next to a Saudi prince and a woman dressed in a niqab during his feud with the Fox News host and, even more notoriously, tweeted a racist and bogus crime statistic image from a neo-Nazi. Trump nonetheless defended the post as originating from a “very credible” source.
More recently, Trump seized on the right-wing conspiracy theory that Justice Antonin Scalia was murdered. Last year, was criticized by medical groups when he brought his anti-vaxxer views to the presidential debate stage.
Trump has persistently told a spurious story spread around the internet, dismissing several reports debunking it, about an American general allegedly using bullets drenched in pig’s blood to execute Muslim prisoners (Trump thought it was a good thing).
In the same way, even after reports proved without a doubt that Trump’s story about thousands and thousands of Muslim-Americans in New Jersey celebrating on 9/11 was false, he has continued to accuse thousands of Muslim residents of Paterson, New Jersey, of partying in the streets as the terrorist attack happened. His campaign manager even accused the media of covering up corroborating evidence.
Of course, we can’t forget how Trump spread the ultimate political conspiracy theory made popular online: birther theories about President Obama’s birthplace and college records.
Trump, however, wants to assure you that he “never falls for scams.”
I never fall for scams. I am the only person who immediately walked out of my ‘Ali G’ interview
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2012