Popular conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh weighed in on the New Zealand mosque shootings on Friday.
According to Media Matters, Limbaugh introduced his listeners with what he claims is an “ongoing theory” about the suspected shooter Brenton Tarrant.
Tarrant, according to Limbaugh, is in fact a “leftist” who sought to “smear his political enemies” by committing a terrorist act.
“There’s an ongoing theory that the shooter himself may in fact be a leftist who writes the manifesto and then goes out and performs the deed purposely to smear his political enemies, knowing he’s going to get shot in the process.”
“The left is this insane, they are this crazy,” Limbaugh said, before criticizing Fox News’ coverage of the horrific event.
“You know you just can’t — you can’t immediately discount this,” he said of the bizarre conspiracy theory.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, on March 15, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant allegedly gunned down and killed at least 49 people and wounded at least 20 more at two New Zealand mosques. Tarrant, his “manifesto” suggests, was radicalized online and influenced by right-wing pundits such as Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens.
Serbian nationalism and popular far-right memes about the Bosnian genocide appear to have also radicalized the suspected shooter, who played a song praising the “Butcher of Bosnia,” Radovan Karadzic, who was convicted of genocide and war crimes, as he was driving up to the mosque.
President Donald Trump appears to have influenced the suspected shooter as well. Commenting on the shooting, Trump opined that the threat of white nationalism is “not really” growing. Asked whether he sees white nationalism as a rising threat, Trump responded that he doesn’t.
“I don’t. I don’t really. It’s a small group of people…But it is a terrible thing,” he said, according to The Daily Beast.
Many suggest that Donald Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric inspires individuals like Brenton Tarrant. As The Hill reported, Nihad Awad, the leader of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, blamed Trump for a “sharp rise” in Islamophobia.
“During your presidency and during your election campaign, Islamophobia took a sharp rise and attacks on innocent Muslims, innocent immigrants and mosques have skyrocketed,” Awad said, adding that Trump is referenced in the killer’s manifesto.
— The Intercept (@theintercept) March 15, 2019
Rush Limbaugh is known to be an ardent Trump supporter, but the president has displayed affection toward the conservative talk show host as well. As The New York Times reported, during a February news conference, Trump praised Limbaugh describing him as “unbelievable.”
In the same speech, the president praised a number of prominent right-wing pundits. Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity of Fox News all received high praise from the commander-in-chief.