Jack Posobiec, now a contributor at One America News, played a central role in promoting the so-called “Pizzagate” hoax that resulted in a man entering a Washington pizza restaurant and firing a gun as part of a supposed rescue mission of children whom he had been convinced were hidden beneath the building. Now, Posobiec is trying to rewrite history.
Pizzagate was a hoax that captured the imaginations of right-wing conspiracy mongers online toward at the end of the 2016 election. Proprietors of Pizzagate cited a hodgepodge of hacked John Podesta emails, screenshots of the restaurant’s menu, Instagram posts by the owner, and other random bits to build up the laughably untrue claim that Hillary Clinton and top members of the DNC were sex-trafficking children via an elaborate tunnel system beneath Washington. The conspiracy theory was spread by figures like self-described “New Right” pundit Mike Cernovich, Infowars’ Alex Jones, pedophilia-obsessed conspiracy theorist Liz Crokin, far-right YouTuber Brittany Pettibone, Posobiec and various anonymous users inhabiting the culverts on 4Chan and 8Chan.
In the last couple of weeks, Posobiec has been claiming with increased frequency that he actually “debunked” Pizzagate. He’s now declaring that Pizzagate was a hoax (which is obviously correct) and has accused former Fox News host Megyn Kelly of lying about his role in spreading the conspiracy during a Fox News segment. Posobiec has made his debunking claims for months, but something seems to have inspired him to restate his claims in recent weeks. These recent reiterations have earned him the ire of pundits like Crokin, who still believe the hoax.
Let’s take a look back at what actually happened.
At the height of Pizzagate alarmism, Posobiec went so far as to actually visit Comet Ping Pong, where he was ejected from the establishment for creating a security risk. Later, after the incident with the gunman, Posobiec told The Washington Post he had paid his visit to the establishment because he thought he could “just show it was a regular pizza place.” But watching Posobiec’s stream from the night tells a very different story.
During the live stream of Posobiec’s visit to the restaurant, he tells viewers that his accompanying friend had “already dialed nine-one” so that they could contact police if the visit went awry and assured viewers not to worry about his safety because he had “backup.”
“We’re going to go in and we’re going to infiltrate Comet Pizza,” Posobiec said.
At one point in the video, Posobiec tells viewers that he’s worried that he and his friend have been “burned” and that an employee may have tried to view his phone screen. Shortly after, Posobiec was escorted out of the restaurant by Washington police. Posobiec alleged that the police had been called on him because the restaurant manager “clearly had something to hide” and called on right-wing smear merchant James O’Keefe: “We need you in here.”
“We saw a secret back room. There were little kids going in and out of this back room, and this is a bar. Since when are kids allowed to be in a bar in the first place?” Posobiec said, apparently having never been to a restaurant where alcohol is served before. “They have a big secret to hide.”
He also told viewers that his visit had convinced him that there may be tunnels beneath the restaurant being used for nefarious actions because the owner allegedly had a walkie-talkie, as is common in restaurants.
“You know why people use walkie-talkies. In the Navy, we used to use walkie-talkies a lot over cell phones. You know why? Because walkie-talkies can go through different levels in the ship. So if he’s communicating with somebody, like, in a tunnel or in a basement or in another place in the area that would be the perfect way to communicate with each other,” Posobiec said.
After he left Comet Ping Pong, Posobiec went a few doors down to Besta pizza, which was also wrangled into the Pizzagate hoax at the time. He ordered pizza and immediately upon leaving, he began ranting about “all the clues” he saw inside the restaurant. Those “clues” included an inspirational poster, some double-pane glass, and the fact that the restaurant had security cameras.
“The pizza itself is legit,” Posobiec said. “What’s going on in the back is the issue.”
Shortly after his visit to the pizza restaurant, Posobiec went on Infowars.
“From the first moment we stepped in, the people sort of had that super-extra happy smile. And I don’t mean there was a nice greeter who was there. I mean it was, ‘This is your table. This is going to be a great meal. You’re going to have a good time,’” Posobiec told Infowars, changing his voice to impersonate the employee he was referencing in an eerie tone.
Posobiec alleged that employees at the restaurant didn’t understand his request to use the foosball table in the rear of the restaurant and said the table “clearly hadn’t been used in a very long time.” Posobiec went on to describe “little kids just randomly sort of walking around” and alleged that there was “demonic artwork” hanging on the walls of the restaurant.
All of this is to say that Posobiec is a man who won’t own up to his past. Posobiec absolutely played a key role in promoting the Pizzagate conspiracy theory and has refused all accountability after the hoax took a dark turn.