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What was Trump’s ‘plane of full of thugs’ theory about?

Seems... improbable.

Sep 1, 2020, 9:41 am*



David Covucci

President Donald Trump, who is known to espouse wild conspiracy theories on a regular basis, pushed one of the most absurd ones yet in an interview on Fox News.

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Sitting down with conservative commentator Laura Ingraham, Trump said that his opponent in the 2020 election, former Vice President Joe Biden, was being controlled by people in the "dark shadows" and that Biden had planes full of "thugs" in dark clothes being jetted around the country to incite violence.

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Trump said "he's not controlling anything," and that "people on the streets" who you haven't heard of (who are also in the "dark shadows") are running Biden's campaign.

To which even Ingraham responded surprised, noting that sounded like conspiracies.

Trump then went on to say that he knew someone who took a plane that "was completely loaded with thugs wearing these dark uniforms" who somehow were able to take their tactical gear through security and file on board with it.

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When pressed about this absurdity, Trump said it was "under investigation" and that he would tell Ingraham about it later.

But the story doesn't necessarily need to be investigated by Trump's Department of Justice. NBC's Ben Collins pointed out almost immediately that it stemmed from a number of viral Facebook posts that alleged antifa (including one with an "Antifa America" tattoo) was flying across the country to do trouble.

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Back in June, at the onset of protests over the police killing of George Floyd, rumors tore through social media about antifa traveling to cause trouble, which caused innocent people to be chased by townspeople. As violence in U.S. cities has increased, mayors and governors have placed repeated blame on outside agitators for causing unrest. However, that narrative has been challenged by data. After the George Floyd protests, according to one study, over 90% of people arrested were local residents.

Trump said these people were coming to do "big damage" at the Republican National Convention although the president messed up his timing while discussing the event, saying the flight happened this weekend. The RNC was last weekend.

The president also noted that there were seven other people like his source on the plane, but apparently not a single one of them decided to post a picture of a plane full of antifa aiming to invade Washington, D.C.

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*First Published: Sep 1, 2020, 9:40 am