Donald Trump: The long list of conspiracy theories the Republican candidate has pushed in 2016

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The Independent Online

When Donald Trump tweeted that “the shackles have been taken off” him last week, it was a sign that his campaign trail rhetoric was about to take a turn.

But it was unclear precisely what that meant until Trump began offering what is likely to be the core of his stump speech between now and Election Day.

The centre of his reworked pitch to voters is that the election, and by extension the American political system as a whole, is “rigged” — though he can't provide any concrete evidence of the voter fraud he seems to be predicting, or how an electoral process that is administered by state and local authorities might be influenced by unnamed but nefarious “global bankers” or others.

That hasn't stopped him from expressing total certainty that there's a conspiracy. It's not the first time.

In a way, Trump's entire candidacy is based on a conspiracy theory: He rose to political prominence in 2011 when he began pushing the false “birther” theory that President Obama wasn't born in the United States, and was hiding his real birth certificate. And the theories have flown fast and thick since Trump launched his presidential bid in mid-2015.

He has said he believes the Federal Reserve is artificially keeping interest rates low until Obama leaves office to make him look good. He suggested Sen. Ted Cruz's father was connected to JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. He even accused Hillary Clinton of using drugs before the Oct. 9 presidential debate and suggested she be subjected to a drug screening before the final debate on Oct. 19.

These theories have no real basis. But they're getting a wider audience than ever before, thanks to Trump — which means they're unlikely to go away any time soon.

Copyright: Washington Post