Trump believes vaccines cause autism; that global warming is a hoax. It’s not unusual to see people on the internet bring up outlandish conspiracy theories, but it is unusual to see those people running for president. Here’s a rundown of some theories Trump not only believes, but repeats in public over and over.
- Trump believes vaccines cause autism.
Vaccines do not cause autism, according to both the CDC and even studies funded by people seeking to prove a link. This is not only completely wrong and discredited theory, it is a dangerous one which has been linked to a resurgence of measles cases at Disneyland and elsewhere.
2. Trump repeatedly tweeted global warming is a hoax created by the Chinese.
Global warming has been repeatedly proven by study after study, and evidence can be seen in dramatic global temperature rise, rising sea levels, glacier retreat, and increased extreme weather. Scientific American has some good rebuttals to skeptic arguments.
3. Trump was a lead proponent of the Birther conspiracy that Obama was born in Kenya.
After Obama released his birth certificate, rather than admit he was wrong, Trump simply demanded that Obama release more things — his college records and, for whatever reason, passport applications — in exchange for him making an underwhelming $5 million donation to charity (which he does not always follow through with).
The video was ignored, although when Trump during his own run said that he “now believed” that Obama was born in America in a brief press conference, he didn’t offer to make the donation despite apparently having sufficient proof.
4. Related: Trump doesn’t believe Obama went to Columbia.
Demanding Obama’s college transcripts wasn’t out of the blue. In a 2011 speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Trump said “Our current president came out of nowhere. Came out of nowhere…In fact, I’ll go a step further: the people that went to school with him, they never saw him, they don’t know who he is. It’s crazy.”
This is not true. Friends from Columbia posted recollections of Obama before the 2008 election, and he also wrote for the student paper.
5. Trump believes Ted Cruz’s dad helped assassinate JFK.
Trump quoted a National Enquirer story speculating that Ted Cruz’s dad based on a single grainy photograph of a man who is probably not Ted Cruz’s dad passing out flyers with Lee Harvey Oswald.
“His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being — you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous,” Trump said on Fox News. “What is this, right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. They don’t even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it…I mean, what was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting? It’s horrible.”
The original photo also notes that the man handing out flyers was from the unemployment line and didn’t know Oswald anyway, but no matter.
6. He believes asbestos does not cause cancer, and this was a conspiracy started by the mob.
In his 1997 book “The Art of the Comeback,” he writes:
I believe that the movement against asbestos was led by the mob, because it was often mob-related companies that would do the asbestos removal. Great pressure was put on politicians, and as usual, the politicians relented. Millions of truckloads of this incredible fire-proofing material were taken to special “dump sites” and asbestos was replaced by materials that were supposedly safe but couldn’t hold a candle to asbestos in limiting the ravages of fire.
Asbestos has been linked to cancer since 1930s England and in a variety of studies.
7. Trump believes Christians are prohibited from coming into the US.
Speaking at the Iowa National Security Action Summit, an attendee asked Trump “What is the most prominent lie that the American public is being propagandized with in regards to national security?” — a setup if there ever was one.
After beginning by talking about Obamacare, Trump continued:
“One of the lies, I think, is the fact that Muslims can come in but other people can’t. Christians can’t come into this country but Muslims can. What’s that all about? What is that all about? Something has got to be coming down from the top. When I heard that, I couldn’t believe it. And that is one of the top people in the world on immigration having to do with this country. Muslims can come in but Christians can’t, and the Muslims aren’t in danger and the Christians are.”
Earlier in the speech, Trump named “one of the top people in the world on immigration having to do with this country” to be Ann Corcoran, a conspiracy theorist who believes Obama is swapping out Christians for Muslims in a plan to have a one-world government.
8. Trump thinks Obama is a secret muslim.
9. Trump believes Ted Cruz is Canadian and ineligible for the presidency.
In the GOP primary, Trump put out a press release that said of Cruz “He is the single biggest liar I’ve ever come across, in politics or otherwise…one of the ways I can fight back is to bring a lawsuit against him relative to the fact that he was born in Canada and therefore cannot be President.”
While Cruz was born in Canada, the children of American citizens born outside US borders are still citizens by birth — and previous presidential candidates John McCain, Barry Goldwater and George Romney were all born outside US borders.
10. Trump believes Obama literally founded ISIS.
Trump said in a radio interview that Obama was the “founder of ISIS” and objected when a conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt tried to clarify his position. Hewitt said he understood Trump to mean “that he (Obama) created the vacuum, he lost the peace.”
Trump responded “No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.” A transcript is available here.
ISIS was founded out of Al Qaeda In Iraq by Abu Musab Zarqawi.
These are not all the conspiracy theories Trump believes. These are just 10 of them. A more extensive list can be found here.