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September 24, 2017

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Trump's infowars links land

WASHINGTON -- Some of the most incendiary claims made by Donald Trump — both before and after his election — appear to be based on a U.S. website denounced as a purveyor of hoaxes and conspiracy theories.

The president-elect's unsubstantiated claim this week that "millions" of people voted illegally in this month's election had been reported on the website, based on a study debunked by the online fact-check group Snopes and others.

It was not the first time Trump had repeated information reported in infowars, a site operated by radio host Alex Jones, who is known for claims that the 9/11 attacks were faked by the U.S. government.

During the White House campaign, Trump had repeated claims made on infowars that his rival Hillary Clinton was "wearing an earpiece" and that Muslims had celebrated during the Sept. 11 attacks.

Left-leaning media watchdog group Media Matters for America has documented dozens of instances where Trump has recycled claims from Jones and infowars.

Trump has not repeated some of the most outlandish claims on infowars — that aliens from space had landed in Florida or that the mass killing of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School was faked to win support for gun control — but critics say that it would be troubling for the president-elect to rely on the site for information.

"A lot of what he (Jones) says is just pure nonsense," said Angelo Carusone of Media Matters.

"What he is presenting is an alternative universe. He is advancing a broader world view that there is a global world government and every day they are going out there to take away your power."

For Carusone, it remains unclear if Trump believes what was published on infowars or is merely pandering to its readers, but he said either scenario would be disturbing.

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