On Thursday morning, President Donald Trump’s campaign spokesperson Hogan Gidley appeared on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, where he pushed a far-right smear that has long circulated the internet falsely suggesting presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is a pedophile.
The smears have circulated for years, going back to at least 2017 and sometimes found in connection to the extreme QAnon conspiracy theory. The smear is often found in the dredges of message boards, social media, and far-right outlets, but it has also been pushed by members of Trump’s family. Both Eric and Donald Trump Jr. have suggested that Biden might be a pedophile, at times invoking a photo of Biden comforting his grandchildren at his son Beau’s funeral in 2015.
Now, the smear appears to have made its way to Fox News -- and it came from a Trump campaign spokesperson on one of the network’s supposed “news”-side programs.
On the July 9 edition of America’s Newsroom, Gidley was asked by co-anchor Sandra Smith about a possible debate between Biden and Trump. Gidley replied by pointing to “interesting comments from Joe Biden about how children love his leg hair and how he used to coax children up onto the porch with ice cream during quarantines,” seemingly referring to Biden discussing visiting with his grandchildren during the coronavirus pandemic. Smith quickly redirected the conversation back to the topic of debates, but did not debunk Gidley’s bizarre claims.