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Fake news, real bullets: Suspect with rifle arrested at DC restaurant named in ‘Pizzagate’ story

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Police arrested a gunman armed with an assault weapon at a Washington, D.C. restaurant named in a fake pro-Trump news story that spread online.

The Washington Post said no shots were fired and no one was injured at Comet Ping Pong, a Northwest Washington pizza restaurant with ping pong tables that are popular with families.

A phony online news story that circulated days before the Nov. 8 election said that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and a top campaign aide were running a child sex ring out of the back room at Comet Ping Pong.

The story was one of many canards floated by pro-Trump propaganda mills. Not a word of it was true, but the restaurant’s employees and their families have been receiving death threats and other forms of harassment since the phony story circulated, which is known in right-wing conspiracy circles as “#Pizzagate.”

Comet Ping Pong’s owners contacted the FBI, the local police, Facebook and other agencies in an attempt to get the defamatory post taken down.

Gareth Wade, 47, and Doug Clarke, 50 told the Post that they were inside the restaurant when a commotion erupted.

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“(T)he server said someone just walked in with a shotgun,” said Wade.

They quickly ducked out of the restaurant and attempted to go to the bookstore across the street, but were prevented from entering by police, who were turned out in force.

D.C. police spokeswoman Aquita Brown said that the department received a call about a man with a weapon at the restaurant at around 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Social media users picked up the story as it spread:

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Elections 2016

Conservative Ben Shapiro tweeted something many found offensive — so now he’s calling his critics ‘garbage’

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Right wing "thought leader" Ben Shapiro appeared today to say not using the "N" word is nearly impossible as he defended conservative, pro-gun teen Kyle Kashuv, one of the Parkland survivors who just had his acceptance to Harvard rescinded over his racist remarks, which included repeated use of the "N" word.

To be clear, Shapiro denies that's what he meant.

Here is Shapiro on Twitter, in what many took as him appearing to call not using the "N" word – in Kashuv's case, repeatedly, over and over and over again, "an insane, cruel standard no one can possibly meet."

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2020 Election

Obsessed Trump: ‘Only fake polls show us behind’ Democrats. Fox News: 5 Dems would beat him

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President Donald Trump is obsessed with polls – but not facts – and increasingly so. He just fired his internal pollsters after leaked internal poll numbers show devastating lossesfor Trump in key battleground states.

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CNN

If Trump really believed he was falsely accused ‘that is not a corrupt motive’ for removing the special counsel: Bill Barr

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Attorney General William Barr told Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that if President Donald Trump really and truly thought he was being falsely accused of collaborating with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election, that it was "not a corrupt motive" for firing Robert Mueller, a stunning statement from the nation's highest law enforcement officer.

"As a matter of law, I think the department's position would be that the president can direct the termination or the replacement of a special counsel," said Barr. "And as a matter of law, the obstruction statute does not reach that conduct."

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