Infowars' Alex Jones Claims Ear Of Trump, Pushes 'Pizzagate' Fictions Alex Jones, whose radio show is carried by more than 160 stations, has also said the Sept. 11 attacks were an inside job and the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school never happened.

Radio Conspiracy Theorist Claims Ear Of Trump, Pushes 'Pizzagate' Fictions

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Alex Jones has a following. His radio show is carried on more than 160 stations across the country. He has more than 1.8 million subscribers on YouTube, and he claims to have the ear of President-elect Donald Trump. As NPR's David Folkenflik reports, Jones has frequently promoted toxic conspiracy theories, theories that sometimes take on lives of their own.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: Let's start with what just happened down in Washington, D.C. A guy goes to a pizza joint packing heat, prepared to release kids held in a satanic sex trafficking ring run by one of Hillary Clinton's top advisers - completely untrue, by the way. The man fired off several rounds. Thankfully, no one hurt - also, no imprisoned kids. The shooter told police that he was there to investigate.

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ALEX JONES: Pizzagate is real. The only question is, exactly what is it?

FOLKENFLIK: That's Alex Jones of Infowars last month. He's been a chief propagator of untrue and wild claims about email exchanges involving Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta. Those emails were hacked and then posted by WikiLeaks in October.

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JONES: We're one of the first groups in the WikiLeaks back in early November to expose the Satanism and the occult and the code words for pedophilia.

FOLKENFLIK: In fact, days before that self-described investigator shot up a pizzeria, Jones suggested he might investigate in person.

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JONES: I may just have to take off a week and just only research this and actually go to where these places are and stuff. In fact, I'm looking to get on a plane. I can't just say something and not see it for myself. They go to these pizza places. There's, like, satanic art everywhere.

FOLKENFLIK: The Washington, D.C., chief of police said the Pizzagate theory was fictional - in other words, a lie - though it was spread widely online. The Daily Beast reports that the shooter was a fan of Infowars and Alex Jones on Facebook. Jones did not respond to requests for comment on the incident or his other theories.

Jones has previously claimed that the September 2001 terror attacks were an inside job, that the deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school was a hoax, that President Obama would round people up into concentration camps.

JESSE WALKER: He comes out of this kind of '90s fusion paranoia background where it's really more about opposition to the powers that be from any old direction.

FOLKENFLIK: Jesse Walker is author of the book "The United States Of Paranoia" about conspiracy theories.

WALKER: It really is this idea of, you know, people's autonomy and freedom and health being threatened by this grand amorphous force that's within the big institutions of society but larger than them.

FOLKENFLIK: The Southern Poverty Law Center concludes that Jones appeals to right-wing extremists. The center studies hate groups.

HEIDI BEIRICH: He's in a way the gateway drug to white supremacy in the United States.

FOLKENFLIK: Heidi Beirich is the director of the center's Intelligence Project. Beirich says Jones has not espoused explicitly racist views, but she adds this.

BEIRICH: Most of the white supremacist leaders that we track talk about their pathway to sort of radicalization. They would consider that their pathway to the truth. And a lot of them specifically discuss how reading Alex Jones or watching Alex Jones or being on infowars.com opened their minds to other ideas.

FOLKENFLIK: All of which makes Jones an astonishing person for Donald Trump to court, yet candidate Trump appeared on Infowars last December just ahead of the primaries.

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DONALD TRUMP: I just want to finish by saying your reputation's amazing. I will not let you down. You will be very, very impressed I hope. And I think we'll be speaking a lot, but you'll be...

FOLKENFLIK: After the election, Jones claimed Trump called.

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JONES: And I told him, Mr. President-elect, you're too busy; we don't need to talk. But we still spent over five minutes. He said, listen, Alex; I just talked to the kings and queens of the world, world leaders; you name it. But he said, it doesn't matter; I wanted to talk to you to thank your audience and all...

FOLKENFLIK: Trump's aides have notably not denied the call took place. About the pizzeria shooting, Jones has a theory about that, too. It may have been a put-up job, he says, intended to distract from other scandals, a conspiracy theory as unproven as the others. David Folkenflik, NPR News.

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