Conspiracy theorist and smear merchant Alex Jones is now being sued by the families of Sandy Hook victims after his lies about them prompted death threats.
For years, conspiracy theorist and Trump promoter Alex Jones has claimed the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary was a hoax. Now some of the parents whose children were murdered are suing him.
Neil Heslin's 6-year-old son was killed in the shooting, as was the son of Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa. They are now each suing Jones and demanding $1 million in damages. One of Jones' so-called reporters, Owen Shroyer, is also named in the suits.
The families say that Jones' repeated rantings about the murders have led to death threats against them.
Jones often invokes his relationship with Trump, who appeared on his program in December 2015 and praised his "amazing" reputation. Trump, meanwhile, repeats and spreads some of Jones' absurd and debunked conspiracies.
Before Trump went on his program, Jones had cemented himself as a well-known conspiracy theorist. He has described himself as a "founding father" of the "9-11 truth" movement, which claims that the terrorist attacks were a product of the American government.
With regards to Sandy Hook, Jones said the entire shooting was "staged" and an "inside job." He alleged that the mass killing involved "actors" who were "pre-planning" a hoax around the shooting. He said "the whole thing is a giant hoax."
He claimed that before the shooting, "the school was actually closed the year before" and that the horrifying footage broadcast around the world was a choreographed "photo op." He accused a mysterious "they" of using "blue screen, green screen" to supposedly pull off the fake shooting.
For the true believers who follow Jones, the accusations have been taken as gospel. Even though they are obviously absurd, he helped push disturbed people to hound and harass the families as they grieved the murder of their children.
One woman was even convicted of making death threats against the father of one Sandy Hook victim.
None of this ever deterred Trump from appearing on his show or from being affiliated with him. Trump is also a conspiracy theorist, and both he and Jones have promoted the idea that President Barack Obama was foreign born, and that climate change is a hoax. Both men have alleged that a shadowy "deep state" is working to undermine Trump's presidency.
Jones has bragged that he has been regularly in contact with Trump since he assumed the presidency.
In a 2016 speech, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton warned about the relationship between Trump and Jones.
"Trump didn’t challenge those lies," she said. "He went on Jones’ show and said: 'Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.'"
After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Jones theorized that was also a false flag "to make the leftists all look like victims and bring in gun control and a war on America's recovery."
In recent days, Jones has publicly criticized Trump, characterizing his decision to bomb Syria as a betrayal.
Notably, Trump has never condemned Jones for his harmful conspiracies about Sandy Hook or 9/11.
Jones has done more to push Trump away than vice versa.
In addition to the new lawsuits, Jones faces other suits over the lies and fabrications he has put on air. Trump has never rescinded his proclamation that Jones' reputation is "amazing."