The dreaded terrorist leader Osama bin Laden is living and inventing new attacks on the United States. Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton orchestrated the assassination of the al-Qaeda leader and instead executed US special forces to cover up the case.
That’s the essence of the wild conspiracy theory US President Donald Trump shared with his 87.2 million followers on Twitter on Wednesday.
The news is met with resignation from Norwegian US experts.
– This is completely sick. What more is there to say, senior researcher Svein Melby asks rhetorically.
– I can not bear to rate Trump’s idiocy anymore, says US expert Hilmar Mjelde.
Sad and tiring
Melby has for decades followed and researched American policy, and in particular foreign and security policy. He describes this year’s election campaign as both “sad” and “tiring” to follow.
– I have never in my time, and it is starting to be a few years, been close to seeing something like this. You just strike out with your arms and… yes, says Melby resignedly.
– To deal with this gives it a meaning one should not, and gives it a dignity it does not deserve. It’s so sad and it’s completely absurd.
– Uses the office to troll
US expert and researcher Mjelde, at the Norce research center, shares Melby’s opinion, and believes this example “goes to the heart of one of the main criticisms of Trump”.
– That he uses the office to troll and be a political commentator rather than governing the country, and that he is satisfied with that, Mjelde says.
He believes that Trump is the president in modern times who has been most indifferent to whether “what he says is true or precise”.
– Why is Trump spreading such theories?
– Because he’s a provocateur. It has long seemed that he likes the platform the presidency gives him, but not its actual work tasks, Mjelde answers.
– Does he believe in the theories himself?
– It’s just as bad if he believes in this and if he does not believe in it, but still retrieves it. The President of the United States promotes the use of disinformation, thereby undermining American democracy.
What is QAnon?
The QAnon movement is behind the conspiracy theory, which Trump shared parts of on Wednesday. The same movement is behind a number of conspiracy theories, but has one intricate and spin-wild main theory:
That a number of leading Democrats, including Biden, Obama and Clinton, have underground tunnels where children are sexually abused, and that they, along with “left-wing” celebrities and cultural figures, engage in satanic and sexual exploitation of children, who intend to rule the United States and world.
How one is related to the other is unclear, but the cure for this is none other than US President Donald Trump, according to the QAnon movement.
US expert Mjelde believes he sees a trend in the political US.
– The rhetoric and methods of the outer right have now been brought into the political mainstream in the United States. We also see it with the congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene in the state of Georgia, who will soon be elected to Congress, he says.
Greene is called the “QAnon candidate” by the American press, because she is a supporter of the QAnon movement.
Started Obama theory
It is also nothing new that Trump is spreading conspiracy theories. He was one of the people behind the so-called “birther” conspiracy theory, which claims that the former president of the United States, Barack Obama, was not born in the United States.
To become American president, one does not only have to be a US citizen, but born in the United States.
He defended the theory for several years before towards the end of his own election campaign in 2016 he finally said:
“President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Dot”.
– Trump is surrounded by an ecosystem of so-called confirmation bias. In other words, blood fans and online trolls in the personal cult and on the corners of the internet who give him confirmation and cheer him on. Republican party colleagues shake their heads in despair over all this, says Mjelde.
Although it may be popular with Trump supporters, it also hurts him, the US expert believes.
– All this has real negative consequences for Trump. It reduces his ability to build political coalitions to get things done in Washington, DC