Several farmers who voted for President Donald Trump in 2016 are getting hurt by his trade war — but instead of blaming him, they’re concocting conspiracy theories about rogue government agents thwarting his will.
In interviews with Reuters, several Trump-backing farmers refused to believe that the president’s trade war was responsible for their current plight and instead claimed that the United States Department of Agriculture was out to hurt them in order to damage the president’s reelection prospects in 2020.
Kentucky farmer Byron Heppler, for example, told Reuters that “he believes USDA’s research methods are flawed and he feels its employees want to unseat Trump, although he offered no evidence to back up those views.”
The report claims that other farmers, meanwhile, think “that federal agriculture employees are overestimating corn plantings as part of a plot to hurt Trump in the 2020 election” because “they believe USDA employees are upset the administration is relocating hundreds of economists and other researchers to Kansas City from Washington.” Once again, the report notes, none of these farmers have offered up any evidence to back up their claims.
Trump-supporting corn farmer Wes Hitchcock even went so far as to post a 1,700-word manifesto on Facebook called “USDA vs. Trump” in which he alleges a shadowy conspiracy to unseat the president by hurting farmers in the American heartland.