On Monday night, President Trump retweeted a young man named Jack Posobiec. For some Americans, Posobiec’s name may be unfamiliar but for those dabbling in conspiracy theories and the lighter shade of Trump’s “alt-right” followers, Posobiec is a very familiar presence.
Trump’s retweet included a link to a story on the homicide rates in Chicago. In the tweet, Posobiec wrote “39 shootings in Chicago this weekend, 9 deaths. No national media outrage. Why is that?”
The former Navy serviceman has continuously been accused of spreading conspiracy theories. Most notably, Posobiec pushed the Pizzagate conspiracy theory that alleged a group of Washington elites, including Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, were involved in a child sex trafficking ring run out of a pizza shop. He was even thrown out of the pizza shop after he recorded a visit to the restaurant on Twitter. He is even a semi-regular guest on Alex Jones’ InfoWars — a sort of factory for conspiracy theories.
Posobiec is also credited with making a “Rape Melania” sign and holding it up during a protest, in an attempt to smear protesters. He denied those allegations after Buzzfeed published an article with screenshots of his conversations. In June, he went to Central Park and disrupted a rendition of “Julius Caesar” by shouting “Goebbels would be proud” at the crowd.
Posobiec was previously a reporter at right-wing media outlet The Rebel until he was let go in May. Just before his firing, he pushed the conspiracy that former DNC staffer Seth Rich was killed by assassins at the bequest of Hillary Clinton. The Rebel denied that Posobiec was fired over his Seth Rich narrative. Over the weekend, Posobiec tweeted a link to a debunked fake news story that the Charlottesville killer was an “anti-Trump, open borders drug addict.”
In their article on the retweet, the Los Angeles Times referred to Posobiec as a “neo-Nazi conspiracy theorist.” But Posobiec has worked hard to distance himself from the more extreme “alt-right” brand of Trump supporter — many of whom showed up in Charlottesville over the weekend.
On Tuesday morning, as media attention piled on, he retweeted a number of stories that were examples of him denouncing the more extreme supporters of the president. Specifically, he wrote “I will say again, Spencer and Kessler are scum,” referring to Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler, who white supremacists who were behind the Charlottesville rally.