Conspiracy theories sprouted after Iowa's Democratic Party was unable to identify a winner in the state's primary caucus -- and President Donald Trump and his allies were happy to sow seeds of doubt.
The president, along with his eldest son and his re-election campaign manager, happily jumped into the gap to suggest the Democratic caucus had been rigged, a conspiracy theory Trump has been pushing since 2016, according to conservative columnist Amanda Carpenter for The Bulwark.
"Recall that in 2016 Trump insisted that the Democratic primary was 'rigged' against Bernie Sanders to favor Hillary Clinton," Carpenter wrote. "To support his claims, he relied upon the Democratic National Committee emails that were hacked by Russians and showed some DNC staffers speaking about Sanders in disparaging terms."
"Did he genuinely have Bernie’s well-being in mind? No," she added. "It was a transparent play to appeal to Sanders supporters and delegitimize Clinton."
He's doing it again after Iowa's caucus debacle, and Carpenter warned that Democrats don't seem to have learned from the last election how to respond to Trump's outlandish -- but frequently repeated -- attacks.
"At this point, it almost doesn’t matter what the Democrats eventually say, other than perhaps 'the Iowa caucuses are cancelled,'" Carpenter wrote. "The damage has been done. The caucus has failed. Discord has been sown."
"The Russians couldn’t have done it better themselves."