News & Politics

The Federal Government Keeps Deflating Trump's Wild Conspiracy Theories

The president has long been prone to pushing conspiracy theories with minimal evidence.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

President Donald Trump launched his political brand on the basis of ridiculous and false claims about President Barack Obama's birth, so it's no surprise that he has continued to embrace outlandish conspiracy theories in office, even as they're consistently debunked.

On Tuesday, two of Trump's recent conspiracy theories were decisively refuted, further demonstrating the president's disconnect from reality.

First, ex-House staffer Imran Awan, the center of many right-wing conspiracy theories, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to bank fraud — essentially, he said he lied on a home equity loan application, as CNN reported. None other than the president had attacked the IT specialist for his connections to House Democrats and his supposedly nefarious involvement with the Democratic National Committee's servers.

Trump and others made vague claims, trying to tie him to the cyber attack on the DNC that the intelligence community believes was carried out by Russian hackers.

But the prosecutors admitted that there's no evidence Awan was implicated in any such wrongdoing: "The Government has uncovered no evidence that [Awan] violated federal law with respect to the House computer system."

It added that it "found no evidence [Awan] illegally removed House data from the House network or from House Members' offices ... or improperly accessed or transferred government information, including classified or sensitive information."

The second blow to Trump's conspiracy theories came from the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Despite Trump and his allies — including those on the House Intelligence Committee — claiming that there's no evidence Russia tried to influence the 2016 election on the president's behalf, the Senate Intelligence Committee supported the intelligence community's opposing finding, as The Hill reported.

"The Committee has spent the last 16 months reviewing the sources, tradecraft and analytic work underpinning the Intelligence Community Assessment and sees no reason to dispute the conclusions," Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), who leads the committee, said in a statement.

Just last week, Trump cast doubt on this conclusion in a tweet, citing the Kremlin for support: "Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!"

But as the Senate Intelligence Committee found, there's no credible basis for this conclusion.

Unfortunately, for so many conspiracy theorists, reason and evidence don't really matter. Any effort to disprove the theory can just serve as even further reason to believe that the conspiracy goes even deeper than we could ever imagine.

Don't let big tech control what news you see. Get more stories like this in your inbox, every day.

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.