As the president’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., railed against Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections and his father’s possible involvement in it, he had no idea that the network he was appearing on also regularly covers topics ranging from lizard people to the second coming of Jesus Christ, Newsweek reports.
Trump was speaking with a representative from TruNews while offstage during a campaign rally in Michigan. The network describes itself as “the world’s leading news source” representing coverage of “global events and trends with a conservative, orthodox Christian worldview.”
Trump reiterated familiar refrains regarding the investigation when speaking with the interviewer, calling the probe a hoax and criticizing mainstream media for perpetuating it. But while his talking points were very much in line with the administration’s usual statements on the topic, the network on which he was apparently unknowingly appearing, was far from typical.
TruNews, who streamed the interview live as it occurred, self-identifies essentially as an evangelical network, but the content of its coverage generally skews much more to the fringe, consistently highlighting conspiracy theories that would be at home in discussions on Alex Jones’s InfoWars. Coverage in the past has touched on topics such as so-called “lizard people,” the threat of gay Nazis bringing about the end of the world, and that former President Barack Obama is a literal “devil from hell.” Additionally, the network maintains an ongoing countdown to the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Last night, the deeply anti-Semitic, radical conspiracy theory promoting End Times network TruNews scored an in-person interview with Donald Trump Jr. https://t.co/EmZORlSjQ8— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 29, 2019
A spokesman for the Trump Jr. made it clear that the president’s son has no knowledge of the interviewer’s affiliation, or the nature of TruNews in general.
“This was not a pre-planned interview and Don had never heard of TruNews or had any awareness of their views until this very moment,” a statement read. “Don was scheduled for an interview with Hannity on Fox News and while he was waiting in the press area for that interview to begin, various reporters nearby began asking him questions and so he ended up doing interviews with several outlets who were in the vicinity.”
The statement continued, somewhat sarcastically, to indicate that Trump Jr. was not able to run “a full FBI background check” on everyone that was conducting interviews.
Despite the alleged lack of familiarity with TruNews and their controversial content, the network does enjoy regular press access to Trump events.
Rick Wiles, the evangelical activist and prominent right-wing conspiracy theorist who runs the network, has been a vocal supporter of President Trump since before the election. He has, in the past, advocated for the president’s detractors to be sent to prison.