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Las Vegas Mandalay Bay shooting

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  • NRATV mentions one-year anniversary of Las Vegas shooting only to attack idea of banning bump stocks

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    NRATV all but ignored the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, NV, that left at least 58 dead and over 500 injured.

    The National Rifle Association’s broadcast outlet weighed in on the anniversary only once, mentioning it to attack the idea of a ban on bump stocks -- a firearm accessory that allowed the Las Vegas gunman to fire his rifles at nearly machine gun rate -- by claiming “criminals will still find ways around the ban.” During the October 1 edition of NRATV’s Stinchfield, host Grant Stinchfield said the NRA is “fine … with letting the ATF regulate them” but that it “won’t solve the real problem.” He went on to say, “Violent people exist and they will always find ways to kill.”

    GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): One year ago today, a massacre unfolded in Las Vegas, Nevada, one of the worst crimes ever in America. Today I, like so many, want answers. Why? How? And what could we have done to stop the madman who opened fire on that concert from his perch in his hotel room from across the street? It’s odd, really, that we still have very little answers. Nothing makes sense when you look at the man who committed the crime and you try to come up with a motive. Here’s what I do know: No new law would have stopped him. I also know the victims are their families are still hurting. They are ingrained in my mind -- I will never forget the horror on their faces, and I still pray for them today. Also today, the left-wing media continued to focus on what? Bump stocks. Just moments ago the media got the president to announce bump stocks are quote “gone, done,” he says. He said that in a news conference at the White House. I’m fine, just as the NRA is, with letting the ATF regulate them like machine guns. But let’s not kid ourselves -- even that won’t solve the real problem. Violent people exist and they will always find ways to kill. Still, the president acknowledged that being done with bump stocks involves a process, which also includes public comment and the like. Let’s let the process play out. But make no mistake: If you ban bump stocks, criminals will still find ways around the ban. Just because they’re deemed illegal doesn’t mean criminals will stop using them.    

    In the days following the Las Vegas shooting, the NRA deceptively offered its support for a bump stock ban by calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) to “review” the legality of the devices. The ATF previously said it does not have that authority -- that it’s reserved for Congress -- but in March 2018, the DOJ and the ATF declared “that the agency can ban bump stocks under current law.”

    The Department of Justice has proposed a rule that would ban “the manufacture, importation and possession of bump stocks” and would require “anyone owning one … to destroy it.” The rule is currently under review by the Office of Management and Budget. During an October 1 press conference, President Donald Trump said bump stocks would be banned “over the next couple of weeks,” though the the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Trump asked the DOJ to write regulations in February and that the White House said the approval process “takes about a year.”  

    Stinchfield previously claimed Congress will “start with bump stocks” and “end with an all-out assault on the Second Amendment.”

  • Study: Lessons for the media following the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history


    The nation's most prominent news programs found little time to discuss gun policy and solutions to gun violence while covering the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history, and what little discussion they did have disproportionately featured Republicans with ties to the gun industry.

    Media Matters analyzed evening news shows and Sunday political talk shows on CBS, NBC, and ABC between October 2 and October 22 that included discussion of the October 1 Las Vegas, NV, massacre and found that conversations about how to solve gun violence -- via policy or other means -- were few in number and quickly tapered off in the days following the shooting. During the limited gun policy discussions, the shows hosted and quoted Republican officials who have received much more money from the gun lobby than their pro-gun-safety Democratic counterparts.

    Conservative media and their gun lobby allies often respond to mass shootings by saying that the immediate aftermath of the event is not the time to talk about solutions to gun violence. Overall coverage of the Las Vegas massacre appears to follow that advice, as the vast majority focused on breaking news and updates, with only 19 percent even mentioning gun policy and solutions. The entirety of the coverage -- including breaking news and updates on the incident, gun policy and solutions-oriented discussions, and non-gun-policy discussions related to the shooting -- was largely contained to the immediate aftermath of the shooting, with 83 percent taking place in the first week of the study period. As the drastic drop in coverage during our analysis indicates, there is no period “appropriately” removed from a high-profile incident of gun violence when a gun debate actually takes place. None of the segments analyzed from October 8 through the end of the study period on October 22 included gun policy and solutions-oriented discussion.

    As the country grapples with yet another horrific mass shooting following the November 5 church massacre in Sutherland Springs, TX, here are several key takeaways from our analysis of broadcast news coverage of the Las Vegas shooting:

    • Coverage of the shooting dramatically dropped following a week of heavy reporting.
    • The vast majority of segments on the shooting were devoted to breaking news and updates and not solutions-oriented gun policy discussion -- even during the period immediately following the shooting, which would have been the best opportunity to have a policy debate at a time when coverage dominated the news.
    • Much of the discussion around gun policy occurred on a single day.
    • CBS led other broadcast networks in airing segments about gun policy.
    • Shows hosted or quoted Republican members of Congress -- who have received large sums of money from the gun lobby -- more often than Democrats during gun policy discussions.

    CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, ABC’s World News Tonight, and the networks' Sunday political talk shows -- CBS’ Face the Nation, NBC’s Meet the Press, and ABC’s This Week -- ran a total of 140 segments on the shooting between October 2 and October 22. Forty-six segments were broadcast on the day after the shooting, October 2, when broadcasts networks extended their normal show hours to run additional segments. The shooting received heavy, but declining, coverage in subsequent days, and then briefly spiked on October 8 when segments on Sunday political talk shows helped to bring the total number for that day to 18.

    After October 8, coverage fell off. Political talk shows on October 15 and October 22 included no segments on the shooting, and coverage on evening news programs tapered off.

    Broken down by week, 83 percent of segments occurred during the initial week following the shooting (October 2-8), 12 percent came the following week (October 9-15), and 4 percent of segments occurred in the final week of the study (October 16-22).

    Our analysis also sought to determine the substance of segments run on the shooting. While broadcast news programs’ stature gives them the authority to set an agenda for what topics will be covered long term, they do have limited time and must move forward with reporting on new topics. Given those constraints, we wanted to analyze how the programs used the time they had; to do so, we coded three common occurrences in segments: breaking news and updates on the Las Vegas shooting, gun policy discussions, and non-gun policy discussions.

    The first category included reports on the facts of the shooting -- the who, what, when, where, and why -- and often included updates about the perpetrator, the victims, the timeline, and the weaponry that was used. Gun policy and solutions-oriented discussions typically included segments about the prospect of legislative action to address the massacre, but non-policy discussion of solutions to gun violence were also included. Finally, non-gun policy discussions included segments that discussed policy changes in the wake of the shooting that were unrelated to the regulation of firearms -- for example, segments that covered mental health policies or non-gun-related security screening measures to prevent mass shootings.

    During the period when the shooting was receiving the most coverage, gun policy and solutions-oriented discussion was largely drowned out by other types of coverage. In the first five days of coverage following the shooting -- Monday, October 2, through Friday, October 6 -- segments were far more likely to focus on breaking news and updates than gun policy or solutions-oriented discussion. Given the later overall drop in coverage of all types on the shooting, this would have been the time to have a rigorous debate over policy and solutions. But that didn’t happen. During this week, 15 segments included gun policy and solutions-oriented discussion, while 85 contained breaking news or updates.

    Of the 140 segments in the entire study period, 115 (82 percent) included breaking news or updates, 27 (19 percent) included gun policy and solutions-oriented discussion, and 16 (11 percent) included non-gun policy discussion. Some segments fell into more than one category, i.e. a segment that provided updates on the timeline of the shooting that also included discussion of legislative proposals to prevent further massacres.

    Gun policy and solutions-oriented discussions spiked on the Sunday following the shooting, when all three Sunday shows included in the study ran multiple segments that met our criteria. That day featured 12 segments on gun policy and solutions-oriented discussion, representing 44 percent of total segments meeting that criteria.

    But then the discussion of what should change following the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history was over: Between October 9 and October 22, zero segments included gun policy and solutions-oriented discussion, a time period when the programming missed an opportunity to continue the conversation.

    Of the 27 segments that included gun policy and solutions-oriented discussion, nearly half occurred on CBS. NBC and ABC accounted for the other 14 segments.

    Media Matters also analyzed the people news programs hosted and quoted in discussing the shooting. Among gun policy and solutions-oriented discussions featuring members of Congress, 63 percent of individuals quoted or hosted were Republicans:

    These segments typically focused on questions about banning or otherwise regulating bump fire stocks -- a firearm device the Las Vegas gunman used to rapidly accelerate his gunfire. Based on a review of transcripts, it is likely that the overrepresentation of Republican lawmakers was due to reports that Republicans were open to regulating the devices, a concession rarely seen from Republicans on gun policy.

    But since those initial reports on Republicans’ supposed willingness to take action, the waters have become significantly muddied. Republicans have the numbers in Congress to quickly move legislation banning the devices, but they have chosen not to do so. (A hearing that will include testimony on bump fire stocks will take place this week, but that is no guarantee legislation will pass or even be advanced.) House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) made statements on October 11 that further cast doubt on the idea that Republicans are serious about passing bump fire legislation. During a press conference that day, Ryan advanced the position of the National Rifle Association, which is that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) should regulate bump fire stocks. (Ryan received $171,977 from the gun lobby during the 2016 election cycle, more than double any other U.S. representative.) The ATF, however, does not have the authority to regulate the devices because it hasn’t been granted the agency by Congress. Ryan and the NRA’s position is really just a gambit that allows them to appear conciliatory in the face of public outcry while actually preserving the status quo.

    Ryan’s claims were just a portion of several developments that could have warranted further segments on gun policy, but as previously noted, segments that included gun policy and solutions-oriented discussion were nonexistent after October 8.

    Beyond Ryan, every Republican who came up in the study had received money from the gun lobby for the 2016 and/or 2018 election cycles, with the exception of Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who has backed some gun safety laws. Those members were: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (LA) ($24,550), Sen. John Thune (SD) ($32,460), Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC) ($4,500), Sen. Bill Cassidy (LA) ($4,700), Sen. Tom Cotton (AR) ($8,085), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL) ($7,900), and Rep. Scott Taylor (VA) ($2,000). In total, Republicans who appeared, or were quoted, on shows in the study received nearly $300,000 from the gun lobby over the last two election cycles. Among Democrats who appeared on the shows monitored in the study, just one, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT), received money ($18,165) from gun safety groups in 2016 or 2018

    Beyond not adequately discussing gun policy, the shows also failed to invite guests with expertise on the issue during the period of our analysis. The shows examined hosted just one gun violence researcher -- Dr. Daniel Webster of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research -- during the study period.


    Media Matters searched Nexis transcripts for CBS Evening News, Face the Nation, NBC Nightly News, Meet the Press, World News Tonight, This Week between the dates of October 2 and October 22 for the terms “gun” or “firearm” or “shooting” or “domestic violence” or “suicide” or the word “accident” within five words of the word “gun” or “hate crime” or “officer involved” or “police shooting” or “shot” or “massacre” or “Las Vegas.” We counted segments that fit our criteria, omitting teasers and headlines.

    We downloaded transcripts for these search results and analyzed them. To determine what the substance of segments on gun violence was, we split segments into three categories. The first category is segments that reported on the facts of the shooting -- the who, what, when, where details, including but not limited to reports on victims, perpetrators, how the shooting was carried out, the location of the shooting, and what firearms were used in the shooting. Second, we coded for segments that included policy or solutions-based discussion. The final substance category we coded for was non-gun-related policy discussions during segments that we coded as coverage of the Las Vegas shooting, such as when mental health policy was discussed.

    For segments that included policy or solutions-based discussion, we coded members of Congress by their party affiliation when they were hosted as guests or quoted on the topic. Segments that quoted members of Congress discussing only news updates about the shooting were not included in this count. We also coded for guests' professional affiliations during policy segments.

  • Tucker Carlson keeps hyping baseless conspiracy theories about the security guard injured during Las Vegas shooting

    Blog ››› ››› THOMAS BISHOP

    In the last couple weeks, Fox News host Tucker Carlson has repeatedly pushed conspiracy theories about the Mandalay Bay mass shooting that left 58 people dead and over 500 more wounded, including about a security guard who was injured.

    Carlson aired a report on October 5 by Fox News correspondent Trace Gallagher, who reported that “the Clark County Sheriff has gone on the record saying that he believes Stephen Paddock did have an accomplice in all this.” Immediately after, Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt debunked the claim, saying, “I'd like to correct at least one thing that was said in the last segment. You know, the Sheriff did not say there was any evidence of an accomplice … as of right this moment, it is still a single person operation.”

    Carlson stepped it up and began floating full-fledged conspiracy theories about the security guard, Jesus Campos, on October 17. Carlson claimed on his show that “Campos may have used someone else’s federal ID” to work at the Mandalay Bay. That claim too was corrected; the hotel sent a statement to Carlson’s show reporting that it had verified Campos’ status in 2015.

    And on October 25, Carlson, citing a “document from a confidential source,” questioned why authorities allowed Campos to travel to Mexico when he was “the only eyewitness to the biggest mass shooting in modern American history” and “investigators thought” shooter Stephen Paddock “may have had an accomplice.” As evidence of something fishy, Carlson pointed to the claim that Campos had driven a different car on this trip from one he had used in January. Carlson went on to speculate about the extent of Campos’ injuries, whether he has a criminal record, and why “so many people [have] gone to so much trouble to shape this story” (full transcript here):

    The next day, Carlson’s conspiracy theories were again debunked. On October 26, he hosted David Hickey, union president for the International Union, Security, Police, and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA), of which Campos was a member, to discuss the shooting. Hickey explained that Campos went to Mexico on a previously scheduled trip to see his family and that police were fully aware of his vacation.  Hickey explained that Campos had been treated at a hospital for two shrapnel wounds in his left thigh beforehand. He said “to his knowledge,” Campos had not met Paddock before the shooting: 

    Carlson is certainly not the only one pushing conspiracy theories about Campos and about the shooting. Fake news purveyors and online message boards have been active on the subject, and noted conspiracy theorist Alex Jones spent the week after the shooting recklessly accusing a multitude of people and groups of involvement, while also claiming that the whole thing might have been staged. And right-wing radio host Mark Levin promoted an article on Facebook and Twitter suggesting that Campos was involved in the shooting -- only to later delete his posts when he realized the article was from a fake news purveyor pretending to be CNN.

    But Carlson is the only one who hosts Fox News’ 8 pm prime-time show. And, as victims continue to recover from their physical, mental, and emotional wounds, the spread of baseless speculation and conspiracy theories not only has the potential to re-traumatize those victims; it has led to some, like Jesus Campos,  being smeared and even receiving death threats.

  • Tucker Carlson forced to issue correction after Mandalay Bay shuts down conspiracy theory that injured guard worked under false Social Security number

    Blog ››› ››› BRENDAN KARET

    Fox host Tucker Carlson was forced to issue a correction after parroting far-right internet troll and conspiracy theorist Laura Loomer, who baselessly claimed Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos worked under someone else’s Social Security number.

    Carlson promoted the baseless conspiracy theory during the October 17 edition of his show, claiming Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos had worked under “someone else's Social Security number.” One day later, Carlson admitted “MGM reached out” to him, and verified that Campos used had his own Social Security card when MGM verified his employment in 2015:

    TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): Meanwhile, MGM reached out to us after a report came out suggesting that Jesus Campos was using someone else's Social Security number.

    MGM Company claims they verified his employment eligibility back in 2015, and it was his Social Security card.

    Conspiracy theorist and far-right troll Laura Loomer first promoted the claim, tweeting, “EXCLUSIVE: #JesusCampos intel report reveals he shared SSN w/ Jesus Quintero. Is #JesusCampos an illegal alien?” Loomer’s unsubstantiated conspiracy theory was subsequently promoted by Jim Hoft’s conspiracy theory-driven website, The Gateway Pundit.

  • Alex Jones' week of irresponsible Las Vegas shooting conspiracy theories

    Jones has recklessly accused a multitude of people and groups of being involved in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Hours after the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, America’s most famous conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones, took to the airwaves to name the culprit as a “leftist” who was “angry about Trump” before connecting the shooting to the 100-year anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution -- and Jones was just getting started.

    No credible reporting had said anything of the sort. But the falsehoods from Jones kept flowing as he spun increasingly convoluted and wide-ranging conspiracy theories out of his initial claims. In the three days following the shooting, Jones would make wild claims about the gunman, Stephen Paddock, including alternately claiming that Paddock was a left-wing extremist and that the mass killer was actually innocent, the victim of a setup. And he was reckless in ascribing blame, claiming the shooting was ordered by various groups including the Democratic Party.

    To give his irresponsible -- and often contradictory -- conspiracy theories a sheen of credibility for his audience, Jones often cited anonymous, supposedly highly-placed sources in law enforcement, the military, and the government.  

    For years, Jones has concocted conspiracy theories following tragedy. Other shootings he has claimed were false flags or hoaxes include the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, the Aurora, CO, movie theater mass shooting, the Columbine High School attack, and the Pulse nightclub shooting. The narrative is always politically expedient for Jones: When Democrats are in power, the government often stages the attacks, and when they are not, outside leftist forces are usually responsible.  

    There are real-world consequences to Jones’ conspiracy theories. The man who opened fire in December inside a Washington, D.C., restaurant that Jones’ website Infowars had claimed was involved in a child trafficking ring appears to have watched Infowars material in the days leading up to the shooting, according to court documents.

    Families of Sandy Hook victims have said that Jones has spurred harassment against them, with angry callers telling parents their children didn’t actually die. Jones’ Las Vegas comments are primed to cause a similar phenomenon. Significantly, Jones is pushing conspiracy theories surrounding people with no involvement in the shooting, including the gunman’s brother and the owner of the Mandalay Bay Resort, the site from which the gunman carried out his attack.

    Also significant is the fact that Jones apparently has the ability to get his information on the desk of President Donald Trump. The two men have a warm relationship, with Trump appearing on Jones’ show in December 2015 to praise Jones’ “amazing” reputation. Since then, Jones has claimed to be in regular communication with Trump and his inner circle. In one recent example of Jones’ influence, racist former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio credited Jones with bringing his case to Trump’s attention, ultimately leading Trump to issue Arpaio a pardon.

    Below are Jones’ myriad conspiracy theories about the Las Vegas attack, made on The Alex Jones Show between October 2, the day following the shooting, and October 4:


    Jones has offered numerous contradictory claims about the gunman’s background, including that Paddock was a left-wing extremist who attended anti-Trump rallies, a patsy, “an Islamist,” and a spy who “got set up and double crossed.” Jones also claimed that there were multiple gunmen and in one scenario suggested that Paddock was “a patsy taken up there and killed,” allowing the real perpetrators to escape:

    • While credulously repeating ISIS’ claim of responsibility for the attack, Jones said that Paddock “was basically a leftist” who “was so angry about Trump and everything that was happening that he went out and carried out this attack.”

    • Jones weaved Paddock’s reported interest in gambling into his conspiracy theories, stating at one point that “this guy was an Islamicist (sic) or an Islamicist (sic) patsy being handled and set up to pay off gambling debts that were being paid out of the Middle East for him to carry out this attack or to at least be set up in the attack.”

    • Just before showing a graphic image purportedly of Paddock’s corpse, Jones said, “He could clearly be a patsy taken up there and killed; the folks that actually did it escaped.”

    • He also promoted the evidence-free theory that there were multiple gunmen. According to “Army and Navy SEAL contacts” whom Jones says he talked to, “it’s very clear at some points you’ve got multiple shooters going on.”

    • While playing video footage and stills supposedly from a past demonstration against Trump in Reno, NV, Jones fixated on a man in the crowd and said, “I’m sorry, that last video looks like [Paddock]. I’m sorry. Bone structure, the way he smiles, he looks like an idiot,” and, “If that isn’t him, that’s his brother.” Later while playing the same footage, Jones said, “You know it’s going to be antifa because it looks just like him getting in the cop's face on the video. And I mean, if it isn’t him, it’s his twin brother.” Jones made the claims even though one his own reporters previously said that the man shown in the video is “almost certainly” not the gunman.

    • Jones said that “the consensus around the office” is “that this guy’s a patsy and he was set up.”

    • Referencing Paddock’s past employment with Lockheed Martin, Jones said that Paddock “worked for clandestine-type groups” and could be a “spook.”

    • Riffing on his “patsy” theory, Jones said, “We also have all the telltale signs of a patsy: working for Lockheed Martin, connected to the Skunk Works, traveling all over the world, millions and millions of dollars that he couldn’t show for from shadowy investments, a wife or girlfriend married to two other men connected to Islamic groups, connected to antifa groups.”

    • Jones claimed that Paddock “was hooked into intelligence agencies” and “got set up and double crossed.”


    While authorities have not determined Paddock’s motive, Jones has made a laundry list of claims of who supposedly directed or was connected to the attack. People and groups he named include ISIS, supporters of the Bolshevik Revolution, “deep state Democrats,” former Vice President Al Gore, former high-level CIA officials, “the shadow government,” antifa, globalists, the Democratic Party, the owners of the Mandalay Bay Resort, and supporters of restrictions on guns:  

    • While most news outlets were skeptical of ISIS’ claim of responsibility, Jones promoted the terror group’s claim as fact, saying that Paddock “had converted to Islam.” He also stated, “Well now we see what appears to be the first Islamist attack on a conservative group or a conservative venue.”

    • Moments after first making the ISIS claim -- which he would repeat throughout the week -- Jones linked the shooting to the 100-year anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution.

    • Jones claimed that the attack “has the hallmarks of being scripted by deep state Democrats and their Islamic allies using mental patient cut-outs.”

    • Ascribing a racist motive, Jones stated that the attack was part of a plot by the “left” to “mainly go out and kill white people.”

    • Jones connected the attack to former Vice President Al Gore and two former CIA officials, claiming, “Who was allied with ISIS and Al Qaeda during the entire last six years of the Arab Spring? Well, Al Gore called for an Arab Spring here in America. Al Gore, Phil Mudd, and many others also said -- like the former deputy director of the CIA Phil Mudd said, or like the former head of the CIA Mr. [John] Brennan said -- there will be terror attacks in America and they’re coming and Trump is going to be overthrown in the next two months.”

    • Claiming that all of his CIA sources believe “this is basically leaning towards a left-wing false flag attack,” Jones suggested it could have been “staged by the shadow government,” and added, “You think, well, logically if it’s hitting a group of patriots, then that would look bad on Obama and Hillary and the globalists, but that’s not how this works.”

    • Jones claimed that sources from the FBI’s hostage rescue team told him that “they found antifa information in the room and photos of the woman in the Middle East.”

    • Citing violence in Ukraine, Jones said the shooting fit within the “globalist” tactic of using mass shootings to overthrow governments.

    • Jones said that “the deep state Democratic Party wing is 100 percent behind this thing and they are just a murdering pack of scum.”

    • Referencing the large variety of weapons found in Paddock’s room, Jones suggested that the shooting was staged to ban those weapons, saying, “They’ve got every manufactured type you can imagine of semi-auto and of different conversions to be able to ban all of those. You can see the whole cut-out.”

    • Jones alleged on multiple occasions that the employees of Mandalay Bay Resort knew of Paddock’s plan. His theory posits that hotel staff must have known about the arsenal of weapons in Paddock’s hotel room because housekeeping staff do a “security sweep,” including rummaging through all of people’s belongings. Jones also seized on a letter MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren sent several weeks ago that offered to match donations employees made to several nonprofit organizations, claiming Murren “is saying give to the big Islamic group here in the U.S., CAIR, give to the Chinese government-connected group, give to the Southern Poverty Law Center, you name it, ADL, you name it. So this is a big leftist hotel, big leftist group. So -- I mean there’s no way to get 42 guns up in there and they don’t know.” Citing the same letter, Jones said, “You look at where this ends up happening -- in a hard-core Democratic Party company stronghold involved giving massive amounts of money to the very suspect groups who had their hands in [the Oklahoma City Bombing] and other events.” He also said, “We should look at the insurance of Mandalay Bay, just like 9/11.”

    • Referencing his oft-repeated claim that the left is attempting to start a civil war in the United States, Jones said, “This is a Democratic Party production -- I will say it. They did it. They’ve been calling for a civil war, they’ve been calling to kill conservatives, they want our guns, they’re completely obvious, and they’re just -- it’s incredible.”

    • Jones repeated the claim of one of his employees that described the attack as “an arms deal gone bad with jihadis,” adding that “they set him up and that they then did the shooting and that that’s what happened.”


    Beginning on October 4, Jones began promoting conspiracy theories about media interviews given by Paddock’s brother Eric. While playing footage from interviews Jones said, “This guy is the worst actor,” and that he “is central casting, the squirrelist person I’ve ever seen.” Although not apparent on the video, Jones claimed that Paddock was wearing an “earpiece” and “they’re talking in it, you can see it’s happening, … and he’s just parroting talking points,” before saying, “This is a total cover-up.”