Supporters of President Trump and the Republican party believe the multiple explosives mailed to high-profiled Democrats were faked even after authorities arrested the suspect responsible for the bombings.
Cesar Sayoc of Florida was taken into custody after being found in connection with the packages containing pipe bombs that were sent to Democratic leaders. At least 14 of those packages were sent to those who’ve criticized Trump, including former president Barack Obama, former vice president Joe Biden, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and more.
Despite the 56-year-old Sayoc, an apparent ardent Trump partisan and hard-right conservative, being arrested on Oct. 26 for the attempted bombings, some Trump supporters believe the bombs were concocted to make Republicans look bad as the midterm elections close in.
Arvil Runyon, a white man who attended the president’s Oct. 26 rally in Charlotte, N.C., told MSNBC on Friday, “Barack Obama probably sent his to hisself. … And Hillary Clinton probably sent hers to herself.” He added, “They probably had it done. They may have paid him to do it.”
Runyon said the reason why he believes Democrats sent bombs to themselves was to take distract people from supporting the right-wing party and to “bring people, feeling, over to their side.”
This false-flag bombs conspiracy theory echoes a refrain opponents of the civil rights movement used more than half a century ago. As NPR reported, when movement activism began to turn up the heat on segregationists in Birmingham, Alabama, in the 1960s, dozens of Black homes and churches in the city were hit by bombings, culminating in the 16th Street Baptist Church attack that killed four black girls in September 1963. Conservative whites inside and outside of government Alabama maintained that Blacks were bombing themselves to gain sympathy for the movement, going so far as to make the Black janitor of the 16th Street Baptist Church a suspect immediately after that bombing.
Trump himself insinuated the false flag conspiracy moments before Sayoc was handcuffed and tweeted, “Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this ‘Bomb’ stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows-news not talking politics.”
Sayoc is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 29 and faces five federal charges. He could face up to 48 years in prison if convicted of all five crimes. Although 14 explosive devices were found, authorities are still searching for more.
WATCH: Talking to Trump supporters before tonight's rally, our @alivitali met one man who said he thinks Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton probably mailed pipe bombs to themselves. Learn more: https://t.co/Vkt9v3Klyw #11MSNBC #11thHour pic.twitter.com/OWyDoHT4Hf
— 11th Hour (@11thHour) October 27, 2018