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Conspiracy theory scholars explain why Trump’s paranoid rants are historically unprecedented

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From rants about former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate to paranoid ramblings about the “Deep State,” to fact-free declarations about “illegal votes” costing him the popular vote in the 2016 election, President Donald Trump has publicly spouted conspiracy theories in a way that is unprecedented for an American president.

Russell Muirhead, a professor of government at Dartmouth, and Nancy Rosenblum, a professor of government at Harvard, have now written a new book on Trump’s embrace of conspiracy theories titled “A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy.”

In a review of the book in The New Yorker, staff writer Elizabeth Kolbert says the authors do an exception job of documenting just how strange it is to hear the most powerful person in the world talking like an InfoWars listener.

“Historically, Muirhead and Rosenblum maintain, it’s been out-of-power groups that have been drawn to tales of secret plots,” Kolbert writes. “Today, it’s those in power who insist the game is rigged, and no one more insistently than the so-called leader of the free world.”

Additionally, conspiracy theories have traditionally popped up to explain real-world events, such as JFK’s assassination or the 9/11 terror attacks. However, Trumpian conspiracy theories such as Pizzagate and QAnon are literally fiction that have no basis in reality whatsoever.

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“There is often nothing to explain,” the professors argue. “The new conspiracism sometimes seems to arise out of thin air.”

Read the entire review here.

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How Jeffrey Epstein was moving ‘a lot of dough’ in an investment fund run by an ex-girlfriend’s husband

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In a bizarre twist in the ongoing questions about where Jeffrey Epstein got his billions, Vanity Fair has details about a very close relationship he holds with the family of an ex-girlfriend.

Epstein once dated a former Miss Sweden for years, before she ultimately met her husband and had a family. Eva Andersson-Dubin, who is now a doctor, married billionaire founder of Highbridge Capital Management, Glenn Dubin. It's thought that's how Epstein was able to connect with Dubin's investments.

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Rudy Giuliani is running a backchannel with Ukraine to take down Mueller and Trump’s critics: report

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A new report reveals that Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor currently working as President Donald Trump's lawyer, has established a backchannel with the Ukrainian government in order to dig up dirt on potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, a pair of political operatives who have helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Republican candidates, are instrumental players in Giuliani's scheme, according to a new report by BuzzFeed News. They have repeatedly met with top political officials in Ukraine and then set up meetings with Giuliani so that the information they obtained could be potentially utilized against Democratic presidential contenders.

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Trump’s bizarre claim of being a Kashmir ‘mediator’ is quickly denied by India: ‘No such request has been made’

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India's official government spokesperson contradicted President Donald Trump's suggestion that he would "meditate" the conflict in the Kashmir region.

At a press conference with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, Trump said that India Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to be a mediator between the two countries.

Donald Trump on #Kashmir

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