As befits a President who has no regard for whether what he says is true, Donald Trump has taken pains to surround himself with people who spout crazy things. His roster of nominees for key positions is rife with lunatics and conspiracy theorists. Here are some of them.
Michael Flynn, National Security Adviser
Less than a week before the November 8 election, this retired lieutenant general tweeted a link to a fake news story linking Hillary Clinton to “Sex Crimes w Children.” “U decide,” he advised his followers about these obviously false allegations. “MUST READ!”
Kathleen “KT” McFarland, Deputy National Security Adviser
In 2006, during her quixotic bid (she withdrew pre-primary) to oust then-Senator Hillary Clinton from her New York seat, this Reagan-era Pentagon official purportedly claimed the incumbent was so rattled over this challenge that “she had helicopters flying over my house in Southampton today taking pictures.”
Jeff Sessions, Attorney General
In 2015, this Republican Senator from Alabama lectured an Environmental Protection Agency official on the science of climate change: “Carbon pollution is CO2, and that’s really not a pollutant; that’s a plant food, and it doesn’t harm anybody except that it might include temperature increases.”
Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
The neurosurgeon-turned-failed-presidential-contender has suggested that Barack Obama is a communist, dismissed the Big Bang theory as “ridiculous,” and declared that Darwin’s theory of evolution “was encouraged by the adversary,” meaning Satan.
Mike Pompeo, CIA Director
This Republican Congressman from Kansas in 2015 grilled Hillary Clinton on whether she had used the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, for a gun-running operation to arm Libyan rebels. He’s also called for the creation of a huge database to assist the federal government in keeping tabs on private citizens.
Mick Mulvaney, Director, Office of Management and Budget
In July, this U.S. Representative from South Carolina addressed a local chapter of the John Birch Society, which deemed Dwight Eisenhower “a conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy” and proclaimed “Obamacare supports euthanasia.” He told the group, “You all put out some really good stuff and it’s always interesting.”
Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy
As governor of Texas, this two-time failed presidential contender accused the Obama Administration of steering undocumented immigrants across the Texas border, telling ABC News in 2014, “I mean, I hate to be conspiratorial, but I mean, how do you move that many people from Central America across Mexico and then into the United States without there being a fairly coordinated effort?”
Jack Welch, Member, President’s Strategic and Policy Forum
During the 2012 election, this former chairman and CEO of General Electric and Trump adviser declared that the Obama Administration was manipulating labor statistics to show a big drop in unemployment. He admitted he had no evidence. But really, why would he need any?
Steve Bannon, Chief Strategist
At a party in 2013, the former Breitbart executive described himself as a Leninist: “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too,” he purportedly said, according to writer Ron Radosh. “I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Talk about a prediction that may come to pass!