Conspiracy theory program Infowars, which is hosted by Alex Jones, still stands out as fringe media even in a new reality where previously fringe media like Breitbart News has a voice in the White House.
Alex is perhaps best known for debating about whether the Sandy Hook massacre actually happened, but currently, Jones is probably most notable for being one of the biggest proponents of Pizzagate, the conspiracy theory that alleges several members of Hillary Clinton’s inner circle are involved in a pedophilia ring.
But if Alex is to be believed, even Infowars has some communication with the nation’s highest office. Jones told the New York Times that he still occasionally talks on the phone with Donald Trump. In fact, according to the controversial host, the president was “an Infowarrior before I was born.”
For those who followed the early days of the president’s campaign, the claim isn’t that hard to swallow. Donald went on Infowars in December of 2015, six months after first launching his campaign at Trump Tower Manhattan. Just before the San Bernardino attack, also denied by Alex, Trump sat down with Jones to praise his program.
“Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.”
Just after the election, Alex said that he was one of the select few who Trump got into contact with to extend his thanks for elevating him to the White House. Jones even said that the president would make an appearance on Infowars in the coming weeks, a promise he has yet to fulfill.
“On my way here, Donald Trump gave me a call. And I told him, ‘Mr. President-elect, you’re too busy; we don’t need to talk.’ But we still spent over five minutes [on the phone], and he said, ‘Listen, Alex [Jones]. I just talked to the kings and queens of the world, world leaders, you name it.’ But he said, ‘It doesn’t matter. I want to talk to you to thank you and thank your audience. And I’ll be on in the next few weeks to thank them.'”
For some who have felt personally victimized by the ideas shared on Alex’s show, this last endorsement from Trump was too much. Families of those who were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School have long condemned Jones for peddling the idea that either their families did not actually die in the attack or that it was set up by government forces, but the daughter of one victim couldn’t take any more of the American head of state cozying up with Infowars.
“My life changed forever when I lost my mother, as do the lives of the 91 Americans shot and killed every single day. You’ve promised to be a president for all of us. Well, that includes victims of gun violence and their families, like me. I hope that you will not only refuse to go on his show, but that you will denounce the conspiracy theories that he spreads at the expense of gun violence survivors.”
Elsewhere it’s easy to see the influence that Infowars has on Donald Trump’s core base of support. At his rallies, merchandise from Alex’s show is often seen on T-shirts. On popular subreddit r/the_Donald, Jones can often be found on the front page. It’s not difficult to see where the overlap between the two men’s interpretations of the world, often so close that they might appear to be the same.
Yet it’s often unclear if Infowars is indeed the originator of a number of Trump’s talking points for the day. Some of the president’s assertions — such as that the media was covering up terrorist attacks to order to shield Islam from negative press — were often discussed by Alex on his program, but they were also floated by others in conservative media. One particularly outlandish theory, notes NYT, that the California drought was fabricated does seem to lead back to Jones himself, specifically because of a matching detail about the efforts to save a “three-inch fish” being behind the so-called drought hoax.
Whether or not the feeling is still mutual, Alex Jones’ continued admiration of Donald Trump is obvious from taking a look at the front page of Infowars. He has defended the president’s widely criticized statement about “what’s happening in Sweden” that caused many living in Sweden to wonder exactly what he was talking about. Earlier this month, the media figure once again pledged his allegiance to the president.
“Trump is so fire-breathing, so energetic, so cunning, so real, and he’s having results so amazing that it just makes me endeared to Trump – I’m ready to die for Trump, at this point. And I’m already ready to die for America, it’s the same feeling I have for America, because he is America, you’re America.”
Even if Trump’s approval ratings continue to drop, it’s unlikely that he’ll lose an ally in Alex. On Tuesday, Jones released several videos defending Milo Yiannopoulos’ comments on relationships between older and younger men, even after the provocative writer resigned from Breitbart.
The talk show host has also given outsized attention to French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, who Alex has simplified down to France’s Trump for her incendiary remarks on immigration. Tuesday, she made headlines on Infowars for refusing to wear a headscarf to secure a meeting with Lebanon’s mufti.
“French leader rejects demand to cover herself,” the title reads.
Alex Jones might not risk losing any of his Infowars following by continuing to support the president, but as the Donald Trump administration seeks to establish legitimacy, one wonders if such phone calls will continue — behind closed doors or otherwise.
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]