In the aftermath of the Orlando massacre, Trump is letting the conspiracy theories fly, suggesting that President Obama is involved with the terrorist attack. On Fox News this morning, Trump said:
“Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind. And the something else in mind—you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on.”
To have the standard bearer of a major political party suggest that a sitting president is a terrorist collaborator might be breathtaking if it weren’t for the fact that the Republican Party prepared the groundwork. After all, mainstream Republicans like Mitt Romney welcomed Trump into the fold when he was a birther, the embryonic form of today’s fully fledged conspiracy theory. We can even see the roots of Trump’s argument in a refrain that Marco Rubio repeated so often he sounded like a malfunctioning computer: “Let’s dispel once and for all with the fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he is doing, he knows exactly what he is doing.” What Rubio was suggesting is a common belief in the GOP: that Obama is conspiring, either through proactive policy or passive negligence, to bring about the downfall of America.