The Slatest

All the Charlottesville Conspiracy Theories from Trump’s Friends in the Lunatic Fringe

Liberal psy-op agents.

Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Far-right media voices have been tripping over themselves to “all lives matter” the veritable Klan rally and deadly white supremacist assault that took place over the weekend in Charlottesville. Unsurprisingly, the far right has used its elevated status in Trump’s America to find the real culprit for this weekend’s hate crimes: George Soros.

Previously fringe voices—such as the Trump-endorsed conspiracy theorist Alex Jones—have pointed to the events in Charlottesville as further evidence of an all-pervasive globalist plot to do various bad things, with the progressive fundraiser Soros at the helm.

With Trump’s own Department of Justice investigating the alleged attack by James Fields Jr. as a civil rights case, it’s been hard for these voices to pin Saturday’s car attack itself on an elaborate globalist plot.

But Jones and a number of Trump’s most vocal other acolytes have been quick to define the broader “Unite the Right” rally that ultimately instigated the violence as perhaps secretly a product of some “deep state” cabal, rather than the work of people with sincerely held racist views, such as the idea that confederate monuments are an inherent good.

Reveal News explained Jones’ initial rant on this topic:

In an hour-long video, Infowars host Alex Jones charges the entire event was orchestrated by Jewish financier George Soros, and his progressive allies in government and the nonprofit sector. Their goal? To discredit conservatives and, ultimately, place the entire United States under authoritarian military control.

Jones charged, providing no evidence, that the Southern Poverty Law Center had hired actors to dress up like white supremacists and play to the cameras, followed closely by antifa protesters, who Jones insisted were bused in by Soros.

Other goals elaborated by Jones included the assassination of Trump, banning online speech by conservatives and libertarians, and generally demonizing those with right-leaning political views.

“A false flag doesn’t mean it was purely staged,” Jones said in a subsequent video. Previously, Jones has said that the government purely staged the Oklahoma City Bombing, the 9/11 attack, and the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, among other events.

Jones attributed the violence in Virginia to a more general plot to “lure” the right-wing in to liberal towns and set them up to appear together with fictional white supremacist groups. In multiple videos, he said that the actors paid to dress up like Nazis were sometimes Jewish, saying that a supposed Nazi he had seen at a previous protest “literally looks like [the] cast of Seinfeld or like Howard Stern in a Nazi outfit.” He also repeatedly described these fake Nazi protesters as having typically Jewish sidelocks, curled “literally into the Nazi hats.”

“They almost got like little curly hair down, and they’re just up there heiling Hitler,” he said. “You can tell they are totally uncomfortable, they are totally scared, and it’s all just meant to create the clash.”

Rather than saying the attack itself, which will be investigated by Trump’s own DOJ, was fully staged, Jones and his cohort seem to be offering a more generalized notion that the white nationalists at this weekend’s events were not representative of the ordinary nationalists that make up Trump’s political coalition and that the uglier ones may have even been plants.

This version of the “false flag” conspiracy theory was very popular on the Reddit forum “The Donald” throughout the day on Monday. One popular thread, flagged by Wired writer Ashley Feinberg, described that idea as follows:

“Unite the Right” is a Soros-funded honeypot psyop that employs the “Peid Piper” strategy to damage the Republican brand by insinuating that Antifa goons disguised as Nazis represent the views of the entire Right Wing in America

Over the course of the day, two similar threads held the second highest spot in that forum. One argued that “Unite the Right” organizer Jason Kessler was possibly a secret pro-Obama operative and another said that far-right rallies across the country were part of an “organized smear campaign.”

Alt-right media personality Mike Cernovich, meanwhile, claimed that the violence was being initiated by left-wing groups in order to provoke a civil war. Another prominent alt-right social media voice, Jack Posobiec, said it was part of a “deep state [plot] to remove Trump allies in the WH and accelerate their coup.”

Julian Assange compared the torch-lit rally in Charlottesville to ones that took place in Ukraine in 2014, which he and alt-right voices also claim were Soros-funded affairs meant to foment the breakdown of civil society.

Finally, former Breitbart writer Patrick Howley wrote that by pressuring the president to denounce the racist attack, “Trump’s enemies are clearly hoping to separate Trump from any and all militia groups that could take part in potential acts of civil disobedience if Trump gets impeached and the nation heads into a Civil War-type scenario.”

His old boss, Steve Bannon, is now one of the most senior officials in Donald Trump’s government.