Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was involved in bid to turn Hunter Biden’s laptop into ‘Pizzagate’ style smear – that has now been seen by millions
- Jones issued pizza-gate style smears against Hunter Biden on his Infowars show
- Wild smears have been shared millions of times
- First surfaced before publication Rudy Giuliani provided from Hunter’s laptop
- Described on YouTube channel linked to Chinese dissident billionaire
A smear on Joe Biden’s son Hunter with similarities to the ‘pizzagate’ has ties to some of the same characters who got the 2016 conspiracy theory going, including Alex Jones, who has peddled false theories that the Sandy Hook massacre never happened.
Despite the lack of evidence, the claims have received wide distribution on the Internet, gaining millions of views and driving search terms, then reverberating on broadcast media.
In the case of Hunter Biden – a top figure in President Trump’s debate attacks on Joe Biden in Thursday night’s debate against Joe Biden – Jones posted a video making wild claims about the former vice president’s son in a headline and accompanying Oct. 17 video.
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones spread the pizza gate-steyle theory on his InforWars show
It had similarities to the debunked pizza-gate conspiracy from 2016, which accused powerful Democrats of running a pedophilia ring out of the basement of a Washington, D.C. pizza shop (the popular restaurant has no basement).
It takes a vague quote from Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani claiming to have pictures of Hunter Biden ‘that I can’t describe, some of which are illegal’ and takes off from there.
According to FactCheck.org, Jones’ InfoWars video has been viewed more than 2 million times. It continues to echo online, with ‘human trafficking’ now being the third most common term in connection with Hunter Biden, NBC News reported.
A nonprofit that tracks disinformation connects it to a site connected to dissident Chinese billionaire Guo Gengui
Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani (pictured with Guo) provided the information he said was from Hunter Biden’s laptop. His claim that it contained images that were ‘illegal’ were included in videos making pizza-gate style claims
Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon (L) greets fugitive Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui before introducing him at a news conference on November 20, 2018 in New York
The New York Post, which obtained what Giuliani says is Hunter Biden’s hard drive, did not report on any of the rumors Jones touted.
The claims emerged in late September, before the Post’s reporting, and appear to have had their debut on the YouTube channel put out by Dinggang Wang, which is linked to Chinese dissident refugee billionaire Guo Wengui, a Mar-a-Lago member, according to First Draft, a nonprofit which tracks misinformation.
Guo is in turn linked to former chief White House strategist Steve Bannon, who has touted the latest revelations from Hunter’s laptop on his own online show. Bannon was arrested aboard Guo’s megayacht in August when he was charged with fraud. He has pleaded not guilty. The two men are both behind the effort to declare a New Federal State of China.
Wang’s videos got more play after the Hunter Biden story burst into public view after publication of the Post story. It was then shared and retweeted by accounts that identify with the QAnon conspiracy theory, which casts Trump as fighting a pedophilia ring run by Democrats and the ‘deep state.’
According to NBC, the claims got a boost from Revolver News, promoted by Trump as a more loyal alternative to the Drudge Report. Former Trump White House speechwriter Darren Beattie, who also worked for Trump loyalist Florida Gov. Matt Gaetz, has claimed to have written posts on the site, which doesn’t reveal its staff or backers. Bettie left the White House after attending a conference frequented by white nationalists.
The claim was also touted by a Senate candidate who supports QAnon, and Fox News interviewer Maria Bartiromo introduced the subject while questioning Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson on her show. Donald Trump Jr. made the claim in an Oct. 22 appearance on Fox News without evidence, and the claims also got spread on online message boards.