A new report from Vice News shows how conspiracy theory-spouting supporters of former President Donald Trump have been systematically taking over state Republican parties.
Although the ouster of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from GOP leadership at the national level has drawn the most media attention, Vice News has found that pro-Trump fanatics have been taking major strides at the state level that show the former president's grasp of the party is even stronger than previously reported.
"A Vice News review of public positions of all 50 GOP state chairs shows a significant number are openly pushing conspiracy theories, spouting unhinged rhetoric, and actively undermining voters' trust in democracy," the publication writes. "Many of the most extreme chairs just won their chairmanships or have been reelected since Trump left office four months ago, a number of them with his explicit endorsement."
Many of the pro-Trump chairs reviewed by Vice are explicitly pushing the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from the former president, despite the fact that the Trump campaign's lawsuits attempting to establish such supposed fraud got tossed out of courts all across the country.
And some extreme Trumpists go well beyond just pushing false claims about the election: New Oklahoma GOP chairman John Bennett, for instance, once said the entire religion of Islam was a "cancer" that needed to be eradicated, while also declaring that Hillary Clinton be put before a firing squad.
"Oregon's state party is similarly off the rails," writes Vice News. "Its executive committee put out a statement in late January claiming there was "growing evidence" the Capitol insurrection was a "false flag operation designed to discredit" Trump and the GOP."