Republicans rushing to declare that the bombs sent to CNN and a host of top Democrats on Wednesday were “false flags” meant to make Republicans look bad have settled on a slogan that sums up their conspiracy theory: “Fake news, fake bombs.”
Fox Business Network host and Trump confidant Lou Dobbs became the highest-profile Trump supporter to embrace the slogan on Thursday morning.
“Fake News--Fake Bombs,” Dobbs tweeted. “Who could possibly benefit from such fakery?”
Dobbs later deleted his tweet, which he replaced with one claiming that the bomb story was an example of “fake news” used to “change the narrative” away from the migrant caravan currently traveling through Central America.
Then Dobbs deleted that tweet as well.
In the aftermath of the bomb attempts against CNN and top Democrats—including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and billionaire Democratic donor George Soros—conservative media figures and anonymous Trump supporters on social media have scrambled to prove the bombs were a hoax effort to tilt the midterms towards the Democrats.
Prior to Dobbs’ Thursday morning tweet, Fox previously gave credence to such a conspiracy when, on daytime gabfest Outnumbered, guest Chris Swecker suggested the bombs could have been mailed by “someone who is trying to get the Democratic vote out and incur sympathy.”
Trump allies and supporters have scrutinized everything from the amount of postage on the packages to the bomb’s construction in an effort to prove that no one was actually at risk of being blown up.
Now “Fake news, fake bombs” has become the slogan for that reflexive skepticism.
Arthur Schwartz, a well-connected member of Trump-world, also echoed a version of the catchphrase on Thursday morning, tweeting “Fake bomb for fake news.”
The first example of the slam appears to come from outside Wednesday evening’s Florida gubernatorial debate in Davie, Fla., where a supporter of Republican candidate Ron DeSantis marched with a placard that read: “Democrats: fake news / fake bombs.”
A picture of the sign earned thousands of retweets on Twitter, spreading the slogan around social media.
It has since caught on with rank-and-file Trump supporters on Facebook and Twitter, especially as a dismissive reply to news organizations’ tweets about the attempted bomb attacks.