Far-right extremists ginned up a smear about Joe Biden. The Trump campaign brought it to Fox News.

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. 

Video file

Citation From the July 9, 2020, edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom

HOGAN GIDLEY (TRUMP CAMPAIGN SPOKESPERSON): I love the fact that James Carville would point to the past debates of Joe Biden. Let's be clear, that's why he was last in all the polls during the debates. It was only South Carolina that saved him. When you're on a debate stage, you can't reach out like Joe Biden has done so many times and said, “Please, please bring me my documents, I need to read off of them, the fact sheet that my staff has given me." You are going to hear 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.


GIDLEY: And how he doesn't know the dates of 9/11, when it happened, what year. Those are things that --

SMITH: Hold on -- hold on, Hogan. We are talking about whether or not the president wants to debate Joe Biden, and whether or not inside the Joe Biden camp they are urging Joe Biden to debate Donald Trump. Who benefits the most from a debate?