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Carl Paladino

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Carl Paladino, who announced that he’s running for Congress, previously shared a post on Facebook which pushed conspiracy theories about the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas. The Facebook post portrayed the tragedies as false flag attacks meant to help Democrats “revoke the 2nd amendment and take away guns” and claimed “the Texas shooter was receiving hypnosis training” apparently under the direction of the CIA.

Media Matters and others have documented how social media, especially Facebook, helps facilitate the spread of conspiracy theories.

Paladino announced on June 3 that he is running as a Republican for New York’s 23th Congressional District (which includes part of the Buffalo suburbs) after Republican Rep. Chris Jacobs said that he would drop his reelection bid. Jacobs made the move after he lost party backing for saying he would support gun safety measures.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, the third-ranked Republican member of Congress, announced that she is "proudly" supporting Paladino’s campaign. President Donald Trump also recently praised Paladino.

Paladino is a longtime Republican politician and businessman who has also appeared as a commentator on media outlets over the years and briefly hosted a podcast. He has a history of bigoted remarks, including stating that he wanted to see Michelle Obama “return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla” and hoped that former President Obama catches “mad cow disease after being caught having relations with a Herford.”

Shortly before he announced his candidacy, Paladino shared a post on June 1 to his Facebook page responding to the recent tragedies in Buffalo and Uvalde by pushing conspiracy theories about shootings. The post, which was written by someone named Jeff Briggs, claimed that “gun control” is actually “population control” and “mass shootings tended to explode when there is a Democrat in the WH who would not hesitate to revoke the 2nd amendment and take away guns.”


Regarding the Buffalo and Uvalde tragedies, the post stated: “In almost every mass shooting including the most recent horrific Buffalo Tops Market & the Texas school shootings, there are strange occurrences that are never fully explained. How did an 18 yr old obtain $5000 in weapons and a $70k truck? Why were the officers told to stand down when their training just two months ago instructed them to rush in. The man who rushed in was a Border Patrol agent who defied the onsight officers’ instructions. The absence of crisis leaders reminds me of the broken cameras and napping guards when Epstein committed suicide.”

It also stated of the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting: “Why did the media suddenly stop covering the Vegas Shooting and the government go silent after 55 were murdered by a lone shooting using bump stocks?”

The post rambled on, stating: “Multiple conspiracy theories that raise eyebrows, The CIA’s MK Ultra mind control program, the shooter of RFK claiming he didn’t remember doing it, The JFK assignation one shooter story, The murder of John Lennon who was writing songs about ending wars, The fact that the Texas shooter was receiving hypnosis training, Stories of multiple shooters in mass shootings that are never explained.”

Conspiracy theorists have frequently claimed that the government engineers “false flag” attacks as a justification to enact political measures, including after the recent shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde.


Paladino's Facebook post:

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

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