Monday evening, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones begged Donald Trump to come to his rescue, after a slew of large tech companies began to ban the personality from their platforms based on their hate speech policies. Directly appealing to Trump, Jones asked him on air to “make the censorship the big issue” before the midterms, or risk losing the country.
For a noted proponent of fake news and wild conspiracies, it normally would have been a far-cry, but a tweet from Donald Trump Jr. Tuesday morning showed that Jones’ ask didn’t fall on deaf ears in the Trump family. Using Jones’ own rhetoric, of a “purge” and “censorship,” Trump Jr. rushed to InfoWars’ defense, framing the moves against it as part of a larger campaign of censorship that Jones himself posited in an address last night.
Trump Jr.’s tweet echoed Jones’ monologue from Monday, where he suggested that big technology companies, at the behest of the Chinese government, were “beta-testing” new means of censorship on Jones, which they planned to role out across conservative media in the future.
The nod to Jones’ conspiracy theory isn’t the first time Trump Jr. has hopped on InfoWars’ train to jumped conclusions. In February, Trump Jr. liked two conspiratorial tweets about the Parkland, Florida school shooting, one of which suggested that Parkland activist David Hogg was some sort of government plant because his dad is a former FBI agent.
In April, Trump Jr. tweeted that a shooter at YouTube headquarters had her videos pulled down more quickly because she held certain progressive viewpoints.
During the 2016 election, Trump Jr. quickly turned into his father’s ambassador to the alt-right fringe, tweeting and supporting statements and theories that might be too toxic for his father, but that resonated with some member’s of Trump’s base. Perhaps most famously, Trump Jr. posted a photoshopped image of himself, Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, Pepe the Frog (who has become a mascot for the alt-right and white nationalists), and other key members from his father’s campaign.
Given Trump Jr.’s history and role as his father’s fringe liaison, it may not be surprising that Trump Jr. is speaking out about big tech’s decision to finally silence InfoWars, but it’s no less disturbing. Alex Jones and InfoWars have consistently peddled racist (birtherism), homophobic (gay chemical warfare), and disgusting (Sandy Hook was staged) conspiracy theories that have basis in almost zero fact. The idea that the president’s son, who played an active role in Trump’s campaign and continues to engage in the conservative movement, supports such ideas should terrify us.