A Republican lawmaker invited a notorious far-right troll who peddles absurd conspiracy theories to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida gave a ticket to the speech to Chuck Johnson, a blogger who was permanently banned from Twitter after asking for help “taking out” a civil rights activist. A Gaetz spokeswoman on Wednesday confirmed the invite to HuffPost.
“I certainly did a bunch of jumping out of my chair,” Johnson told The Daily Beast. “Trump was straight-up gangster.”
Reaction to President Trump's State of the Union address
Reaction to President Trump's State of the Union address
**Click through the slides to see how politicians, celebrities and well-known figures reacted to President Trump's first State of the Union address.**
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Tonight, @realDonaldTrump presented a self-congratulatory speech w/o vision. He promised unity, but sowed division.… https://t.co/MJSAkxnOZh
Nailed it!!! #sotu #sotu2018
I don’t understand how a president of the United States give a State of the Union speech and not mention climate change. #BernieResponds
Congratulations. Everyone who watched this entire speech is now the same age as me. Best of luck.
After a long and divisive year, many Americans were yearning for the President to present a unifying vision for the… https://t.co/pYihl52jca
Dreamers should not be used as a bargaining chip or held hostage in exchange for anti-immigrant policies. #SOTU
Congress should also pass commonsense, bipartisan legislation to reduce the cost of health care instead of sabotagi… https://t.co/NU7ANmk94Q
I work in the coal industry. Very little has changed.
Trump’s immigration policies are tearing families apart. Not helping families. #Dreamers deserve to know they are safe. #SOTU
We will not build a 21st century immigration system by building a 15th century wall. We need comprehensive immigration reform. #SOTU
Donald Trump's rhetoric on immigration at the #SOTU is nothing more than code words for a bigoted and hateful hard-line immigration policy.
People should be able to bring their parents. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and grandchildren were never el… https://t.co/q1zWzrNo67
When Trump says he wants to end "chain migration" he is really attacking Latino families. He is against "family reu… https://t.co/wds94ekJXs
"Chain Migration" is a term steeped in fear and hatred. We will not demonize families that are simply trying to be… https://t.co/SfS0bfcNzn
Opioids now. Paying close attention. I’ll be lending a hand to the White House on this front. #opioidcris… https://t.co/dSlMgnkR76
These ridiculous Republicans are mocking us by screaming loudest by Trump’s “black unemployment” line. #SOTU
I wrote a Facebook post about a decision I made 10 years ago, what’s changed, & on an issue you didn’t hear a singl… https://t.co/g26PP5U8qJ
Summary: The most dangerous part of the speech was the glorification of militarism and our aggressive foreign polic… https://t.co/ttQ8uejelF
Truly sad. Some Democrats won’t even stand to acknowledge the symbolism of our amazing @uscapitol #sotu #SOTU2018
Keeping open gitmo gets a big applause? That rooms seems out of touch with so much of the world i talk to.
Many of our members attended the #SOTU to stare racism in the face. Both those who attended & those who didn't wore… https://t.co/qPVhK1izfj
Somehow, Trump will claim that there were more people in the room for his State of the Union than Obama's.
.@tedcruz: "It was stunning to watch Washington Democrats sit there stone-faced and refuse to applaud more jobs, hi… https://t.co/thhYHpH5hb
Is he for real? “His family followed” @realDonaldTrump tells story of North Korean refugee in same speech where he… https://t.co/7qlPK14KsT
There’s evil genius in rebranding “family reunification” to the dehumanizing, infestation-sounding “chain migration… https://t.co/v6SwKGQJfr
I’ll give him this when he’s bored and sleepy he’s very soothing. Right this second if he just pivoted to Goodnight… https://t.co/BwnRl34aNm
Puerto Rico thanks you for the paper towels.
PS not all immigrants are in murderous gangs, one did my hair color today - I don’t really need to say this, right? #SOTU
#SOTU “America filled the world with art and music....” and then ended nearly every art and music program in public schools in the USA.
Is it Over?
.@POTUS said it right—the state of our union is strong. He laid out a clear agenda tonight with an open hand toward… https://t.co/PkkEkcF4Gg
The “legend from Louisiana” – that’s a new one. Thank you Mr. President! https://t.co/YVp7dcsPlD
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Johnson’s website, GotNews, is known for a wide range of false and dangerous writing, and promotes itself with the tagline: “President Trump reads us. You should too.”
In 2014, he falsely accused a New York Times reporter of posing for Playgirl. That same year, he published the name and photo of a person he claimed had falsely reported a rape (The photo, taken off Pinterest, showed the wrong person). He maintains that former President Barack Obama is “clearly gay,” and described Eric Garner, the unarmed black man who died in a New York police chokehold, as a “street thug.” Johnson said he identifies with the “alt-right.”
Gaetz also has shown a fondness for conspiracy theories. On Monday, he went on Alex Jones’ InfoWars broadcast to claim Special Counsel Robert Muller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties with Russia “is built on a rotten foundation,” and will soon turn to Hillary Clinton.
Alex Jones -- InfoWars
Alex Jones -- InfoWars
Alex Jones from Infowars.com speaks during a rally in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump near the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Conspiracy theorist, radio talkshow host and Infowars.net founder Alex Jones (C) talks with a fan (L) as he walks up Elm Street past the spot where U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza in 1963 one day before commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the assassination in Dallas, November 21, 2013. Commemorations of the anniversary will be held Friday in Dallas, Washington and Boston. REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ANNIVERSARY)
Alex Jones, of Infowars, and Roger Stone, former Donald Trump advisor, debate with Jonathan Alter during an episode of Alter Family Politics on SiriusXM at Quicken Loans Arena on July 20, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
Conspiracy theorist, radio talk show host and Infowars.net founder Alex Jones (C) walks up Elm Street past the spot where U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza in 1963 one day before commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the assassination in Dallas, November 21, 2013. Jones is a leading voice in the U.S. conspiracy theory community. Commemorations of the anniversary will be held Friday in Dallas, Washington and Boston. REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ANNIVERSARY)
Conspiracy theorist, radio talkshow host and Infowars.net founder Alex Jones (3rd R) walks past the Texas School Book Depository (top) where assassin Lee Harvey Oswald fired on President John F. Kennedy from the right corner 6th floor window in 1963 as Jones visits the assassination site one day before ceremonies commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination in Dallas, November 21, 2013. Ceremonies will be held Friday in Dallas, Washington and Boston. REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ANNIVERSARY)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21: Alex Jones, of Infowars, and Jonathan Alter shake hands during an episode of Alter Family Politics on SiriusXM at Quicken Loans Arena on July 20, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images for SiriusXM)