Former President Donald Trump is pushing the claim that the man who was shot dead after while trying to breach an FBI building was part of a false flag operation, Rolling Stone reports.
In an attack that appeared to be a direct response to the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, an armed man tried to storm an FBI office in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The assailant, who was shot dead by police after exchanges of gunfire and an hours-long standoff, reportedly posted on Trump's Truth Social platform that he hoped his actions would serve as a "call to arms."
While Trump hasn't mentioned the conspiracy theory publicly, sources tell Rolling Stone that he's been telling people close to him that the attacker, Ricky Shiffer -- who was on law enforcement's radar due to his connection to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot -- might actually have been someone acting to discredit Trump supporters.
Posts from a Truth Social account in Shiffer's name expressed fury at the FBI after it raided Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. He even described his attention to attack the FBI.
Trump's alleged private claims about Shiffer reflect claims being made online by some of his most fervent supporters.
As Business Insider points out, multiple posts on Patriots.win, a place for people who used to frequent the banned subreddit r/The_Donald, show the conspiracy theory gaining traction in the wake of Shiffer's attack.
Leading Republicans have rallied around Trump and some members of his party have accused the Justice Department and FBI of partisanship in targeting the ex-president.
Attorney General Merrick Garland last week criticized what he called "unfounded attacks" on the FBI and Justice Department while FBI Director Christopher Wray, a Trump appointee, denounced "violence and threats against law enforcement."
With additional reporting by AFP