For whatever reason, CNN thought it wise to invite the “Stump for Trump” women (of pro-Trump, viral-video fame) to come on the network Friday morning to vent about Thursday’s Republican presidential debate.
Lynette “Diamond” Hardaway and Rochelle "Silk" Richardson — the two YouTube stars who have also campaigned for Donald Trump — were in full agreement that Trump’s main rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are "both snakes."
They also had a curious piece of oppo to dish about Sen. Rubio.
“Marco Rubio told us to Google Donald Trump, but I did one better — I Googled him,” Hardaway said on CNN. “And when I Googled him — you know, he owes America and the gay community an apology, because it sounds like that he may have had a gay lifestyle in his past…Google him…That’s what’s on Google. So you have to be cautious when you tell people to Google people. Stuff will come up. Now, we don’t know if it’s true. So we are saying ‘allegedly.’”
Hardaway is correct. The homosexual-past allegation can in fact be found on the Google search engine website. The “Stump for Trump” devotee wasn’t pulling a rumor out of thin air — charges of Rubio’s secret gay past have been a far-right meme for months, and have been picking up steam on fringe “news” sites, radio shows, and online fora.
Of course, like so many other bits of (mis)information on the Internet, this is another bizarre conspiracy theory with little to zero grounding in any reality. President Obama has also been accused by conspiracy-theory enthusiasts of hiding his secret homosexual history, which (allegedly!) includes covering up a bloody, murderous orgy full of gay sex and crack cocaine. Sen. Cruz is accused (mostly jokingly) of being the Zodiac killer.
The Rubio rumor is now pushed by all kinds of unsavory characters, including staff at leading white-nationalist (and pro-Trump, no less) hate-site The Daily Stormer.
“Is Marco Rubio a Secret Homosexualist?” the headline blared.
“A couple weeks ago, an older female acquaintance of mine told me she thought Marco Rubio was ‘too handsome to be President,’ adding that ‘he looks like a GQ model,’” the post, published in January, reads. “I [hadn’t] seriously consider[ed] the possibility that Marco is a secret queer.”
A video for Prison Planet (which was also promoted on Infowars, the website of conspiracy-theorist king and Trump fan Alex Jones) explored the question of whether or not Rubio mingled with gay prostitutes in 1990. Other, less popular, fringe websites have started to pile on, and photos of a gay nightclub foam-party that features a young man who sorta, kinda looks like a young Marco Rubio.
“Republican insiders have reported to WMR that Florida Senator and presidential candidate Marco Rubio was, as a high school and college student, known to be a very extroverted homosexual in both South Beach in Miami, a popular gay area, and at college in Gainesville, Florida,” according to a piece posted to conspiracy-theory-mongering site Before It’s News (which also labels Rubio a “Cristiano afeminado,” or a “Christian homosexual”).
The basis for much of the “secret queer” stories — which have now earned top billing on CNN daytime programming — is a true story about how Rubio's childhood buddy ended up being tied to an infamous gay-porn case in Miami. You mix that in with the fact that Rubio was once arrested at a park that was a hotspot for gay cruising, and you got yourself a wellspring of rumors, baseless accusations, and chain emails and comment threads. And earlier this year, those rumors were ardently stoked and circulated by Trump supporters to try to paint Sen. Rubio as a closeted homosexual.
And that is why they show up in the Republican candidate’s search results. But for somebody who allegedly had a blast in his younger days at homosexual bacchanalias, Rubio sure does have a lousy track record on LGBT rights.