Fox News host Tucker Carlson and his guest on Wednesday night decided to run with an accused child sex trafficker as their source to prove a long-running right-wing conspiracy about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
Yes, you read that correctly.
For years now, Omar—a naturalized American citizen born in Somalia—has been dogged by unproven and largely baseless rumors from the right that her ex-husband is actually her biological brother and that she married him so he could obtain American citizenship. As The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer wrote back in 2019, the origin of the conspiracy centers on a single anonymous online post on an obscure Somali diaspora forum.
Despite no proof surfacing to support the politically motivated smear, Carlson—who has maligned Omar as “living proof” U.S. immigration laws are “dangerous”—has been undeterred, relentlessly promoting the conspiracy on his show and hosting anyone who will breathe more life into it. On Wednesday, he brought on New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor Miranda Devine as the latest person to make the case.
Earlier this week, Devine wrote a column that implied the FBI covered up evidence proving that Omar married her brother, citing a GOP operative who claims he has DNA evidence tying the Minnesota congresswoman to her ex-husband. That Republican strategist, however, is none other than Anton Lazzaro, who was arrested last week on multiple charges of underage sex trafficking.
In her column, meanwhile, Devine noted that “before Lazarro could share the results with the media, he was arrested” on the sex-trafficking charges, seemingly suggesting that the FBI took him down in an effort to shut him up.
Citing Lazarro’s website about the supposed Omar DNA results—which Lazzaro claims he obtained by stalking Omar and her ex-husband and nabbing a discarded cigarette and drinking straw—Devine stated that an FBI agent told a Lazarro associate that they won’t pursue the case because the “statute of limitations” is over.
“So it’s been known for quite a while that Ilhan Omar apparently married her own brother to help him gain entry illegally into the country, which is a violation of the immigration law,” Carlson said Thursday night before introducing Devine. “That actually happened, it turns out! And now we’re learning when the FBI had evidence to confirm it but didn’t do anything about it.”
After recapping her column, saying “a group of Republican operatives” had “found conclusively” that Omar’s DNA matched her ex-husband, Devine then soft-pedaled Lazarro’s charges while again insinuating it could be part of an FBI conspiracy.
“So the very day that they were going to unleash this on the world, and in fact, I was interviewing one of the people involved, the FBI swooped in on the gentleman, Anton Lazarro from this Republican PAC in Minnesota, and arrested him on some different charges,” she declared. “Who knows whether he’s guilty or not guilty. He’s not guilty until proven, but he’s in jail!”
“Ohhhh,” Carlson, nodding along, interjected.
“But the story never got to see the light of day. Luckily he told the FBI, but they were not interested, they told him the statute of limitations had run out,” Devine continued. “We managed to see the website before he took it down, before he was arrested. And managed to report the story, such as it was.”
Carlson then snarked that liberals would find it “more shocking” that Omar smokes instead of having “an incestuous marriage to her own brother,” something Devine agreed with him on.
“She did marry her brother, we know that. Not only repulsive but that’s totally cool now,” Carlson added.
Omar, for her part, has vehemently denied the rumors, calling them “absurd and offensive.”
As for Lazarro, he has been accused of recruiting at least five underage girls for paid sex and trying to entice a sixth. The indictment against him also says he “knowingly and intentionally interfered” with the investigation as it drew closer to him.
After Lazarro’s arrest, he falsely claimed his legal team had subcontracted Alan Dershowitz for his defense, something Dershowitz denied. Lazarro also threatened to sue a Daily Beast reporter for reporting on his allegations, asserting he would release taped phone calls on web domains he purchased.