Donald Trump has been touting the support of Carl Gallups, a Florida-based pastor and radio host; Trump said it was a “great honor” to receive his “endorsement,” and the campaign invited Gallups to appear at a January 13 rally. Gallups not only pushes the conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT, was a “staged” “hoax,” but he's also forwarded claims that the Boston Marathon bombing and a fatal 2013 shooting at Los Angeles International Airport were orchestrated “false flag” events.
Trump Says It's A “Great Honor” To Be "Endorsed" By Carl Gallups
Carl Gallups Is A Pastor And Radio Host. According to his biography, Gallups is the senior pastor of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church in Milton, FL. He founded the PNN News and Ministry Network (also sometimes called the PPSIMMONS News and Ministry Network) and hosts Freedom Friday Radio on the Milton station WEBY. [Amazon.com, accessed 3/7/16, via CarlGallups.com; CarlGallups.com, accessed 3/7/16]
Trump: “Great Honor” To Be "Endorsed" By “Prominent” Leader Carl Gallups. A January 13 press release -- headlined, “DONALD J. TRUMP ENDORSED BY SEVERAL COMMUNITY LEADERS IN FLORIDA” -- on Trump's website touted Gallups as “incredible” and one of several “prominent community leaders in Florida” to endorse him. Trump stated in the release that it's a “great honor” to receive Gallups' endorsement:
Today Donald J. Trump received the endorsement of several prominent community leaders in Florida prior to his rally in Pensacola where more than 10,000 were in attendance. Businessman George Scarborough, Pastor Carl Gallups, 2nd Amendment activist Clover Lawson, and Veterans Terry Busbee Sr., Gary O'Neal and Capt. Allen Brady each spoke prior to Mr. Trump's speech, in addition to Kathryn 'Kat' Gates-Skipper the first female Marine in Combat Operations, who endorsed Mr. Trump's candidacy in November at his Sarasota rally.
Mr. Trump stated, “It is my great honor to receive endorsements from each of these incredible people. Their support for my message and endorsement of my candidacy for President of the United States means so much to me, and with their help, and the help of so many great people in Florida and all over the country, we will Make America Great Again!” [DonaldJTrump.com, 1/13/16]
Gallups Gave Invocation At January 13 Trump Rally. Gallups gave the invocation at the Trump campaign's January 13 Pensacola, FL, rally. Gallups told a radio program that a representative of the Trump campaign asked him to do the event. [YouTube.com, 1/14/16, 1/19/16]
AP On March 7: Gallups Has Been Having “Conversations With Fellow Conservative Christians About Making A Pragmatic Choice In Favor Of Trump.” In an article about conservative Christian support for Trump, the Associated Press reported that Gallups has been trying to convince Christians to make a “pragmatic” vote for Trump:
The Rev. Carl Gallups, a Southern Baptist pastor from Milton, Florida, who gave the invocation at Trump's Pensacola rally last January, said he has had many conversations with fellow conservative Christians about making a pragmatic choice in favor of Trump.
“I tell them, if you are not thoroughly satisfied with what you might interpret the depth of his faith might be, then the next thing we must look at is the candidate who will best preserve your First Amendment rights and allow you to express your Christian faith,” Gallups said. “We're not electing a priest, a pope or a pastor. We're electing a president, a CEO, a commander in chief. I'm not perfectly happy with Donald Trump either, but I'm a realist.” [The Associated Press, 3/7/16]
Gallups Is A Sandy Hook Truther: “No Denying” Evidence That Sandy Hook Is A “Hoax.” Gallups believes the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT, was a “staged” “hoax” and that the father of one of the victims was an “actor employed by the Obama administration to take away your guns.” [Media Matters, 3/8/16]
Trump Campaign Says It Was “Not Aware” Of Gallups' “Personal Views.” Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks told the New York Daily News, “The Campaign was not aware of this individual's personal views, which we do not share or support.” [New York Daily News, 3/9/16]
Yahoo News: “While The Trump Campaign Condemned Gallups' Views On Sandy Hook, It Did Not Dismiss His Endorsement.” As of this writing, Gallups' “endorsement” is still being touted on the campaign's website. [Yahoo News, 3/9/16; DonaldJTrump.com, accessed 3/9/16]
Gallups-Founded Website Responded To Controversy By Claiming He Hasn't Endorsed Trump, Doubling Down On Sandy Hook Conspiracies. A PPSIMMONS post by executive editor Mike Shoesmith claimed that “Carl has never 'endorsed' a candidate in the primary race - and that includes Donald Trump. Carl has repeatedly said that if Ted Cruz is the nominee, Carl will support Cruz.” That contradicts the Trump campaign's press release announcing that Gallups has “endorsed” Trump. Shoesmith also doubled down on Sandy Hook conspiracies, writing that “questions remain” about the “alleged” shooting. The website criticized Media Matters by writing: “Asking questions about the alleged 'biggest school shooting in US history' oddly disturbs Media Matters.” [PPSIMMONS News and Ministry Network, 3/8/16]
Trump Campaign Has Also Been Courting Leading Conspiracy Theorist And Sandy Hook Truther Alex Jones. Trump and his campaign have been courting the radio host and leading conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Jones believes the government was behind the 9/11 attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, and the mass shootings in San Bernardino, Aurora, Newtown, and Tucson (among others). Trump appeared on Jones' program and praised the host as having an “amazing” reputation. A reporter for Jones' Infowars.com website joined Trump adviser Stephen Miller in trying to get out the vote for Trump before the New Hampshire primary. [Media Matters, 2/10/16]
Gallups Subscribes To Conspiracy Theories About Boston Bombing And LAX Shooting
Gallups Promoted Conspiracy About How The Boston Bombing “Smelled To High Heaven.” During an April 2015 program, Gallups introduced guest “Brandon Big B” by claiming he's presented evidence that shows the attack “smelled to high heaven” and forwarded the claim that the attack was “a setup. You know, a false flag event”:
GALLUPS: So now we've got -- you, when this Boston bombing thing took place, you were on the air with me, we were talking about it. I mean, within, I don't know, it might have been the same day, or the day after, it was very fresh, and you were saying you had already put together a whole bunch of stuff that smelled to high heaven. We'll talk about some of that. But one of the things you said on the show was you wouldn't be surprised if this didn't turn out to be a setup. You know, a false flag event. Again, somehow, some kind of connection to government, you know, PSYOPs, etcetera. And you said all of that. And a lot of people around the country kind of said that with you. But now, now we have the young man's parents in the headline news proclaiming the same thing that you proclaimed day one. [WEBY, Freedom Friday with Carl Gallups, 4/18/15]
Gallups Claimed “The Same Three” “Supposed Law Enforcement Officers” Who Responded To Sandy Hook Were Also At Boston Bombing. Gallups later forward the conspiracy theory that police officers who responded to the Sandy Hook shooting may have been connected to the Boston bombing:
GALLUPS: The freakiest one was a shot of three guys -- they look like cops or military guys the way they --
BRANDON BIG B: They had on the fatigues. The khaki fatigues and the brown and the black shirts with the Punisher symbol on.
GALLUPS: They're walking down the street together. A security camera catches their full body shot, their full face, and it's the same three guys in the exact same order by -- in other words, where they were standing, walking down the street, left to right, as the same three guys who were on the news quote testifying about the Sandy Hook massacre. These guys were supposed law enforcement officers at the Sandy Hook --
BIG B: Yeah, they were interviewed as Newtown police officers.
GALLUPS: They were interviewed as Newtown police officers who were experts on what happened at Sandy Hook assuring America that that really did happen. And then we find a security camera that's got these same three guys walking down the road in the exact same order that they were sitting on the news. Now that would be just a coincidence, but the fact that they were together, and they were there at the Boston bombing, the same three guys. We've got the photos. That is just eerie to me. Could it be a coincidence? It could be, but that is just weird. [WEBY, Freedom Friday with Carl Gallups, 4/18/15]
The PPSIMMONS website had a April 2013 post headlined, “Same agents at Boston as at Sandy Hook? THE THREE STOOGES?” [PPSIMMONS News and Ministry Network, 4/25/13]
Gallups: “We Now Have Some Hardcore Evidence In Our Hand That The LAX Shooting Of The TSA Officer Might Have Been A False Flag, Staged Event.” In a YouTube video -- headlined, “Busted! LAX shooting a false flag event! Police Official messes up LIVE!” -- Gallups suggested the November 1, 2013, fatal shooting of a TSA officer at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) “might have been a false flag, staged event.” Gallups' evidence was that a Los Angeles police official said they had previously trained to respond to such an event. [YouTube.com, 11/2/13; New York Times, 11/1/13]