We’ve come to expect Donald Trump supporters to push smears and conspiracy theories on social media. Sadly, this has become almost as certain as death and taxes. But it’s quite another thing for an official Trump supporters’ group to give succor to conspiracy theories. That’s exactly what the primary organization for Trump’s youth supporters did on Friday.
In May 2018, Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton, told The Guardian that if she lived in the UK, she would have joined the numerous protests against Trump’s first state visit across the pond as president. Why? She was not at home with “what he’s doing to degrade what it means to be an American.”
Apparently this article must have appeared on the smartphone of Students for Trump co-chairman Ryan Fournier while searching for material, because it set him off.
This tweet was subsequently retweeted by the official Students for Trump Twitter account.
But there’s one big problem with this tweet. Virtually every claim Fournier made has been debunked–meaning that the largest youth group supporting the Trump campaign is giving succor to long-debunked smears. So let’s cut this up, shall we?
Fournier, like other Trumpkins, has been kneecapping Hillary for over seven years over Benghazi. This has continued even though Republican-led House committees concluded that Barack Obama’s White House did not deceive the American people about its response to the attack on the American embassy in Benghazi.
Moreover, this continued after the Republican chairman of the select committee on the attack, Trey Gowdy, admitted–on Fox News, no less–that there was no way any troops could have gotten to Benghazi in time. Watch here.
In so doing, Gowdy blew apart the conspiracy theory at the heart of the “what about Benghaaazi?” nonsense–that Hillary or someone else at the White House ordered troops to “stand down” rather than relieve the embassy.
And what of Hillary’s emails? Well, after a close review by her legal team, Hillary concluded those 33,000 emails were not work-related, and could thus be deleted. Hillary herself told reporters in 2015 that “no one wants their personal emails made public.” You would think the leader of a political youth group would understand that. But apparently Fournier can’t take his red (orange?) tinted blinders off long enough to consider this.
What of Haiti? Well, it looks like Fournier was recycling a smear hurled by Trump’s then-lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, back in 2016. Cohen claimed that Hillary somehow made off with “hundreds of millions of dollars” earmarked for a hospital in that island country. But there’s no evidence to support it–which is why The Washington Post Fact Checker gave this statement four Pinocchios.
Then there’s the smear about uranium. Fournier was referring to the longstanding claim that Hillary greenlighted the sale of Uranium One to Russian company Rosatom when Uranium One’s chairman made a tidy donation to the Clinton Foundation.
But the person who could supposedly corroborate this, former FBI informant William Campbell, had some serious credibility issues. In 2017, Campbell was due to testify against a Rosatom executive who was uninvolved in the deal. However, when prosecutors couldn’t corroborate some of his statements, they dropped him as a witness. Additionally, two federal law enforcement officials who worked with Campbell told Reuters that they couldn’t recall Campbell saying anything about Uranium One.
Soon afterward, Justice Department officials told Republican and Democratic congressional staffers that Campbell never mentioned anything about potential illegal or unethical activity about the Clintons, the Clinton Foundation, or Uranium One. This was revealed by the Democrats on the House Intelligence and Oversight committees in February 2018. And yet, in December 2019, the co-chairman of the largest Trump youth group sees fit to amplify it.
Trump has perfected the art of getting a lot wrong in 280 characters or less. Now it looks like one of his most fervent supporters among our youth has that same tendency.
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