President Donald Trump pushed a baseless conspiracy theory Monday during a new interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham, claiming that a plane “almost completely loaded with thugs” was headed for the Republican National Convention last week “to do big damage.”
Trump made the claim about the plane after Ingraham asked him who he thought was controlling Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“People you’ve never heard of. People that are in the dark shadows,” Trump responded.
Ingraham said his response sounded like a conspiracy theory.
“No, people you haven’t heard of,” Trump continued. “We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend, and in the plane it was almost completely loaded with thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms with gear and this and that. They’re on a plane.”
Ingraham asked him where they were coming from.
“I’ll tell you some time but it’s under investigation right now,” Trump said. “But they came from a certain city, and this person was coming to the Republican National Convention and there were like, seven people on the plane like this person, and then a lot of people were on the plane to do big damage. They were coming.”
There is no evidence of any such flight.
Ingraham then asked if they were headed for Washington.
“This was all, this was all happening,” Trump said. Ingraham asked where they were getting their money.
“The money is coming from some very stupid rich people that have no idea that if their thing ever succeeded, which it won’t, they will be thrown to the wolves like you’ve never seen before,” Trump said.
The President claims people in the dark shadows who control the streets are really controlling Biden. He goes on to talk about a plane full of people wearing black uniforms but then says he can’t reveal anymore because it’s under investigation pic.twitter.com/AAk5GX0eWu
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) September 1, 2020
Yahoo! News reports that the wild claim about the flight matches a viral Facebook post from June 1 that falsely claimed, “At least a dozen males got off the plane in Boise from Seattle, dressed head to toe in black.”
The post, by an Emmett, Idaho, man, warned residents to “Be ready for attacks downtown and residential areas,” and claimed one passenger had “a tattoo that said Antifa America on his arm.”
That post was shared over 3,000 times on Facebook. The news outlet notes that other pages from Idaho quickly added their own spin to it, like the Idaho branch of the far-right militia group 3 Percenters.
One post claimed that “Antifa has sent a plane load of their people” and that the Payette County Sheriff’s Office confirmed it. Within days, that version of the rumor picked up enough steam in Idaho Facebook groups that the Payette County Sheriff’s Office had to release a statement insisting that the viral rumor was “false information.”