GOP-backed congressional candidate is a 9/11 truther who cites an Alex Jones video

Ron Cohen: “Bush staged 9/11”

Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

UPDATE: Cohen has removed the remarks about 9/11 quoted in this post from both his website and Twitter. Media Matters has added a screenshot and archived links for his original remarks.

Republican Party groups in California have endorsed the congressional campaign of Ron Cohen, who has claimed that “Bush staged 9/11,” said the collapse of 7 World Trade Center was a “pre-planned demolition,” and cited a video from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones as evidence in explaining why he's a 9/11 truther.

Cohen is the GOP candidate in California’s 17th District and a member of the Alameda County Republican Central Committee. His website touts that he is “endorsed by: The California GOP, The Alameda County Republican Party, and the Santa Clara County Republican Party” (all three committees endorse Cohen on their websites).

Conspiracy theorists have long believed that 7 World Trade Center, which was north of the twin towers, was intentionally destroyed through a controlled demolition. However, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has debunked the conspiracy theory and stated the fall of the building “was primarily due to fires.”

Cohen discusses the building's collapse in a post headlined “Why I am running for Congress” on his campaign website, writing: “Watch the windows … Classic pre-planned demolition” and links to a video headlined “NEW VIDEO SEPT 2011. WTC Building 7 Controlled Demolition (Visible Explosions).”

He also cites a video from Infowars, the network of prominent 9/11 conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. The video was headlined “9/11 Firefighter Blows WTC 7 Cover-Up Wide Open” and stated in its summary: “Infowars reporter Lee Ann McAdoo talks to Rudy Dent, 32 year veteran of NYC fire department and the NYPD, about his incredible first hand experience of the lies surrounding WTC 7.” Cohen writes after posting a link to the video: “The official story is utter nonsense and a cover-up by the mainstream media, intensionally [sic].” (The video is no longer available at its original link because YouTube shut down Jones’ channel but it has been reposted elsewhere on YouTube.)

Cohen also directs readers to the 9/11 conspiracy theory group Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, telling them to go to its website “for, I believe, the 9/11 truth.” He links to the group’s hour-long documentary 9/11: Explosive Evidence -- Experts Speak Out. That documentary claims to “present the evidence of controlled demolition at the World Trade Center on 9/11.”

He concludes in the 9/11 section of his website: “This is exactly what Congress should be investigating, again, and if elected, I will. God willing, we will right this injustice before the people involved pass away, keeping their pledge of silence.”

Cohen has also tweeted about 9/11, writing earlier this month that “G.W. Bush staged 9/11 to attack Iraq. He should be in a jail cell.” He also added: “Clear straight down DEMO. Why did Bldg 6 and 7 fail, not hit? I know this is hard to digest.”

Cohen has pushed other conspiratorial rhetoric that has also appeared in conservative media. Jennifer Wadsworth reported for San Jose Inside on September 22 that Cohen recently “took to Twitter to rail against immigrants, cast doubt on the rape allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanagh and promote a conspiracy theory about Michelle Obama being born a man.” Cohen also “went on to suggest that Barack Obama is secretly gay and that Sasha and Malia had surrogate parents because of Michelle’s inability to conceive as a biological male. Basically, the same wackadoodle plots hawked by Twitter outcast and snake-oil salesman Alex Jones.”

On his website, Cohen also discusses the chemtrails conspiracy theory, writing: “I'm been very concerned that the Airforce has been spraying us with chemicals. Several people have mentioned to me they ‘tasted aluminum’ on their tongues in the morning. I have also. There is a technology called a ‘Scalar weapon’ that bounces beams off particles in the sky from far away. There are also concerns of population control techniques or to cool the planet. … I can't prove Chemtrails are chemicals and not just water vapor....and I don't like to talk about things when I'm not sure of the facts. So, I'll say no more about Chemtrails...for now.”

Media Matters previously documented that the California Republican Party has endorsed Republican congressional candidate Dale Mensing despite him campaigning on the chemtrails conspiracy theory and citing an Alex Jones video as evidence. In Illinois, GOP groups revoked their endorsements of congressional candidate Bill Fawell because he promoted conspiracy theories, including about 9/11.