Donald Trump has dug up an old conspiracy to attack Hillary Clinton: that the Clintons were somehow involved in the death of Vince Foster, a White House staffer in the early days of Bill Clinton’s administration who killed himself.
As The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah and many others have explained, the entire conspiracy theory is dumb. It is absolutely clear that Foster killed himself. Yet Trump, the actual Republican candidate for president, is trying to bring back this conspiracy theory.
Noah cautioned that people shouldn’t get too riled up. “Yes, Trump just accused Hillary of murder. But it’s still only May,” Noah said. “By November, Trump will be claiming she was the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs.”
Noah pointed out that this is not the first time Trump pushed a ridiculous conspiracy theory. In fact, he rose to national political prominence by perpetuating such bizarre ideas. Noah ran through a few examples:
- During President Barack Obama’s first term, Trump was a consistent voice in the birther movement, suggesting that Obama was not really born in the US, and asking the president to release his longform birth certificate. At one point, Trump suggested that the birth certificate “maybe says [Obama is] a Muslim.” And he even sent his own investigators to Hawaii, Obama’s birth state, to dig up new information.
- Later on, Trump also questioned whether Obama’s grades in college were really good enough to get into Harvard Law School.
- In 2012, Trump claimed that President Obama had a secret plan with Saudi Arabia to keep oil prices low until the 2012 presidential election.
- In the 2016 race, Trump suggested that Republican opponent Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of JFK.
- Trump also said that America needs to ban Syrian refugees, arguing that they’ll stage another 9/11 because they have cellphones with pictures of ISIS flags. “Who’s paying for those cellphones?” Trump asked on the campaign trail. “Where are they coming from? Who are they calling?”
- Trump raised questions about how Justice Antonin Scalia died, suggesting that Scalia had been murdered. “They say they found a pillow on his face, which is a pretty unusual place to find a pillow,” he said.
- Trump has consistently perpetuated completely wrong mythsthat vaccines are linked to autism.
With this history, Trump’s latest accusation isn’t surprising. But Noah put it in stark terms: “America is basically taking the weirdest, most conspiratorial nutjob on the message board and basically saying, ‘Hey, give that guy the CIA, the FBI, and the world’s most powerful military. Let’s just see what happens.'”