While liberals spent most of yesterday needlessly fretting about whether or not “Defund The Police” was too controversial a slogan, President Trump showed us all on Tuesday morning how meaningless those concerns are with one of his wildest tweets yet.
After watching a conspiracy theory video on right-wing nut job channel OANN, the President decided that the 75-year-old man who had his skull cracked open by the Buffalo Police after they brutally shoved him to the ground was actually an ANTIFA “provocateur” who was planning to “blackout” police communications, thus somehow justifying the heinous act of violence against an old man.
Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2020
Martin Gugino is still hospitalized and is in serious condition following his assault by two Buffalo police officers, Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe. The officers were charged with felony assault this morning.
Not that it matters, but Gugino is a peace activist and a volunteer at several nonprofits and was marching for black lives when he was attacked.
#MartinGugino, the 75 year old man knocked to the ground by police in Buffalo, is a longtime peace activist and volunteer at the Catholic Worker, a movement dedicated to justice and peace, founded by Servant of God Dorothy Day, who also took to the streets to advocate for justice pic.twitter.com/9SxDS0705Y
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) June 6, 2020
But on the far-right, conspiracy theories have inevitably flourished. The more fringe extremists have come to the inevitable conclusion that the entire incident was a false flag operation designed to smear the police by the leftist boogeyman of “antifa,” which is not a real organization but an umbrella term to applies to anyone who opposes fascism in America.
Those conspiracy theories have trickled their way up to the President’s new favorite TV network, One American News, and are now apparently being accepted by him as fact.
Here’s the absolutely insane OAN report that Trump is referencing: “The latest tensions in the Buffalo police department could be the result of a false flag provocation by far left group antifa” pic.twitter.com/d709XfSj8U
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) June 9, 2020
OAN is like FOX News if you took away Shep Smith and all the ostensible news reporters and replaced them with a constantly rotating cast of Hannitys and Tucker Carlsons with a dash of Alex Jones thrown in for good measure. It is beyond disturbing to see the President repeating fantastical, paranoid conspiracy theories that were once relegated to the depths of talk radio for the whole world to see — and repulsive to see him insulting the sacrifice of a brave man like Martin Gugino with preposterous smears.