One of the oddest things about this, the worst election in human history, is the hulking, sweating, screaming presence of Alex Jones. The conspiracy theory king of InfoWars has gone from the raving-est margins of American public life to being, by all appearances, good buddies with the Republican presidential candidate.
Jones is, of course, best known for fun claims like saying that Sandy Hook was fake, staged by “crisis actors,” and that the government is busily trying to turn the populace gay with covert chemical warfare. But his influence in politics has grown after he became friends with veteran Republican political operative and unabashed racist Roger Stone, who’s advising the Trump campaign.
Trump sat for an interview with Jones back in December:
Jones’ influence on Trump has only grown since then. Now, as the Clinton campaign points out, we have Trump frequently repeating claims that Alex Jones has previously made on air:
There’s no need to take the Clinton campaign’s word on this: in August, for example, Roger Stone appeared on InfoWars to warn Jones that Clinton is planning to steal the election. That’s become a central tenet of Trump’s stump speeches. At the end of September, Jones began predicting that Clinton would be on a lot of drugs during the presidential debates; now Trump, too, is calling for her to be drug-tested.
Jones was present at this year’s Republican National Convention, where journalist Jon Ronson was aghast to find how influential he’s becoming. Ronson rocketed Jones to fame: he wrote in his celebrated book Them about the two attempting to infiltrate Bohemian Grove together, the summer camp where politicians go to piss on trees and perform mock sacrifices. Except Jones, as Ronson writes, has always claimed that what they saw at Bohemian Grove was a real sacrifice.
Now, Ronson writes in a new ebook The Elephant in the Room, Jones is part of a swelling tide of alt-right types rushing towards the mainstream in Trump’s wake. If Trump gets elected, Ronson adds, “he could bring Alex and the others with him. The idea of Donald Trump and Alex Jones and Roger Stone and Stephen Bannon having power over us—that is terrifying.”
Trump hasn’t yet repeated Jones’ claim that Hillary Clinton is a literal demon who smells of sulfur, but there’s still time.