Drawing on the decades-old Vince Foster conspiracy theory, former Trump aide Steve Bannon is spreading an unfounded conspiracy theory that Michael Stenger, the U.S. Senate’s sergeant-at-arms during the Capitol insurrection, was murdered so he could not testify before the House select January 6 committee.
Stenger reportedly died of natural causes and had been fighting cancer. He was 71.
Bannon has repeatedly compared Stenger’s death to the suicide of Vince Foster. Foster was the deputy White House counsel to former President Bill Clinton early in his presidency. Conspiracy theorists used Foster’s tragic death in 1993 to suggest that the Clinton family killed Foster to hide his knowledge of their personal and professional affairs.
Decades after Foster’s death, the right-wing media still rely on the “Clinton body count” conspiracy theory to suggest Bill and Hillary Clinton target their enemies for murder. David Bossie, one of the of the earliest proponents of the Vince Foster conspiracy theory, appears semi-regularly on War Room: Pandemic, including as recently as today.
During the June 28 afternoon show, Bannon questioned, “Do we have a Vince Foster situation on our hands?”
Bannon’s crony, former special assistant to former President Donald Trump Boris Epshteyn, described Stenger’s death as “unbelievably questionable.”
Earlier in the day on an episode of War Room titled, “Is Stenger the new Vince Foster,” Bannon played Stenger’s opening statement from a February 2021 testimony in front of the Senate on how to prepare for another event like the Capitol insurrection.
During his statement, Stenger said that “professional agitators” at the riot should have been investigated. Stenger’s comments have sparked conspiracy theories that the FBI and left-wing activists were behind the insurrection. Reporting has demonstrated that those who stormed the Capitol were Trump supporters, not Antifa or left-wing activists.
Bannon said "I'm not saying it's another Vince Foster.”
Bannon then added, “Eh, we'll have to see. Yup, I said the quiet part out loud,” alluding to the idea that Stenger was murdered so that he could not testify to the January 6 committee about “agitators.”
Bannon’s use of Stenger’s death for his own political gain demonstrates his callousness and cruel disregard for the deceased. In light of recent testimony from former Georgia election worker Shaye Moss presented in front of the House Select Committee investigating January 6, there is more than enough evidence that these types of conspiracy theories can take on a life of their own, hurting families and ruining lives in the process.