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Trump’s Long History With Conspiracy Theories

During a town hall event on Oct. 15, NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie pressed President Donald Trump on his sharing of a baseless conspiracy theory that accused his election rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, of murder.

The theory, which has no basis in fact, specifically claimed Biden had members of SEAL Team 6 killed to cover up a purportedly failed assassination of Osama bin Laden in 2011. Trump retweeted a post spreading the theory, therefore amplifying the message to his 87 million followers.

Trump defended the post by arguing it was simply “a retweet” of someone’s “opinion.” He added, “I’ll put it out there, and people can decide for themselves.” But internet conspiracy theorists, as we wrote, took it as the president’s confirmation of the “intel.”

At the same event, Trump also declined to condemn QAnon — the widespread conspiracy theory movement that baselessly suggests Trump is dismantling an elite child sex trafficking ring involving high-profile Democrats. He claimed he knows “nothing about” it.

Guthrie, Oct. 15: Let me ask you about QAnon — it is this theory that Democrats are a satanic pedophile ring and that you are the savior of that. Now can you just once and for all state that that is completely not true and disavow QAnon in its entirety?

Trump: I know nothing about QAnon. I know very little … I do know they are very much against pedophilia.

An FBI memo has described the theory as one that presents a potential domestic terror threat. And in addition to Guthrie describing the theory’s main tenets in posing the question, a reporter also told Trump of its main gist in August when questioning him on it. QAnon signage and

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