Fox News on Wednesday afternoon uncritically aired a conspiracy theory that the bombs sent to multiple Democratic leaders may have been mailed by a liberal aiming to generate sympathy for the party ahead of the midterm elections.
During chaotic live coverage of the suspicious packages mailed to former President Obama, former First Lady Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and former CIA Director John Brennan, daytime Fox News show Outnumbered turned to Chris Swecker, former FBI assistant director, for analysis.
Swecker explained to host Harris Faulkner that a “pattern” has already emerged and that authorities will “be looking at this as a potential terrorist motive, whether it’s on one side or the other.”
He then pivoted to the political ideology of the as-yet-unknown assailant.
“And as you correctly pointed out earlier,” Swecker told Faulkner, “this doesn’t necessarily mean someone is espousing some sort of conservative ideology and targeting Democrats.”
He then suggested: “It could be someone who is trying to get the Democratic vote out and incur sympathy.”
“That’s interesting,” Faulkner replied.
“It could go either way,” Swecker seemingly backtracked, in the clip first spotted by Raw Story.
“And that’s why we always caution against [speculation],” Faulkner noted. “They could be the same facts for different reasons, as you’re pointing out.”
On Wednesday morning, multiple pipe bombs were intercepted en route to Obama, Clinton, Holder, and Brennan. The latter package was mailed to CNN’s New York headquarters—prompting an evacuation of the entire building—even though Brennan works for MSNBC, not CNN.
Several pro-Trump right-wing media personalities echoed Sweckers’ conspiratorial suggestion, calling the bombs a “false flag” or a “pure B.S.”
Most notably, talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh hinted that the Democratic Party could be behind the packages, as they would serve a political “purpose.”
“It’s happening in October,” Limbaugh remarked. “There’s a reason for this.”