A bizarre theory has emerged on right-wing Twitter about why the FBI supposedly failed to look into the Florida shooter

  • Right-winger Twitter users have started theorizing that the FBI didn't have time to investigate tips about Florida shooter Nikolas Cruz because they were distracted by the Russia investigation.
  • Donald Trump Jr. reportedly liked one tweet that espoused this unsubstantiated theory.
  • FBI Director Christopher Wray pre-emptively poured cold water on claims like these on Tuesday with a cheeky comment during his Senate testimony.
  • The FBI employs over 35,000 people. They run more than just a couple investigations at once.


Less than 24 hours after the shooting stopped at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on Wednesday, several prominent right-wing figures and journalists started pushing a theory about why the FBI failed to stop the massacre.

Kurt Schlichter, a conservative columnist at Townhall, tweeted early Thursday morning that the FBI failed to follow up on multiple tips about the suspected shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, because they were too busy with the investigation into President Donald Trump's ties to Russia.

screenshot schlichterScreenshot via @KurtSchlichter/Twitter

Trump's son, Donald Trump, Jr., reportedly liked Schlichter's tweet despite its highly speculative assertion, the according to the Washington Examiner.

Schlichter was responding to an open question posed by conservative commentator and author Jack Posobiec, who then also jumped onboard the bandwagon to echo this theory.

screenshot posobiecScreenshot via @JackPosobiec/Twitter

Posobiec is referring to former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russian officials.

Posobiec expanded upon his theory in a second tweet that referenced communications between FBI agent Peter Strzok and his colleague and mistress Lisa Page that were released last year. 

screenshot posobiec FBIScreenshot via @JackPosobiec/Twitter

Strzok and Page came under fire from Republicans because they espoused anti-Trump views in texts they sent each other. Strzok, who had been working on special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, was removed from the investigation in July after Mueller learned of his political inclinations.

According to the FBI's website, the agency employs about 35,000 people nationwide — Strzok and Page were but two agents working for the bureau.

After Posobiec, right-wing journalist and conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, who infamously peddled the debunked Pizzagate conspiracy that claimed 2016 Democratic president nominee Hillary Clinton was running a sex ring out of a pizza parlor, also added his own two cents to the conversation.

screenshot cernovichScreenshot via @Cernovich/Twitter

Such unsubstantiated claims about the FBI have become more commonplace after months of partisan attacks on the bureau as a result of the Page-Strzok texts, the controversial memo released by Rep. Devin Nunes, and Trump's own verbal assaults on the agency and its leaders. 

Despite the extensive media attention the Trump-Russia investigation has received, it is a myth that the entire FBI is only handling a handful of investigations — although the exact number cannot be known because ongoing investigations are classified, the bureau is likely conducting hundreds of probes simultaneously.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, whom Trump appointed after his dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey, pre-empted the kinds of claims Posobiec, Cernovich, Schlichter, and others have been making on social media during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this week.

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WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 28: Former FBI director Robert Mueller attends the ceremonial swearing-in of FBI Director James Comey at the FBI Headquarters October 28, 2013 in Washington, DC. Comey was officially sworn in as director of FBI on September 4 to succeed Mueller who had served as director for 12 years. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama applauds outgoing Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) director Robert Mueller (L) in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington on June 21, 2013 as he nominates Jim Comey to be the next FBI director. Comey, a deputy attorney general under George W. Bush, would replace Mueller, who is stepping down from the agency he has led since the week before the September 11, 2001 attacks. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller applauds key staff members during a farewell ceremony held for him at the Justice Department in Washington, August 1, 2013. On Monday the U.S. Senate confirmed former Deputy Attorney General James Comey to replace Mueller, who has led the bureau since shortly before the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW HEADSHOT)
391489 03: U.S. President George W. Bush speaks during a conference as he stands with Justice Department veteran Robert Mueller, left, who he has nominated to head the FBI, and Attorney General John Ashcroft July 5, 2001 the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller stands for the national anthem during a farewell ceremony for him at the Justice Department in Washington, August 1, 2013. On Monday the U.S. Senate confirmed former Deputy Attorney General James Comey to replace Mueller, who has led the bureau since shortly before the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)
Outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller (L) reacts to a standing ovation from the audience, Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole (C) and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (R) during Mueller's farewell ceremony at the Justice Department in Washington, August 1, 2013. On Monday the U.S. Senate confirmed former Deputy Attorney General James Comey to replace Mueller, who has led the bureau since shortly before the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)
Outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller gestures during his remarks at a farewell ceremony held for him at the Justice Department in Washington, August 1, 2013. On Monday the U.S. Senate confirmed former Deputy Attorney General James Comey to replace Mueller, who has led the bureau since shortly before the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)
FILE PHOTO -- U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft (R) and FBI Director Robert Mueller speak about possible terrorist threats against the United States, in Washington, May 26, 2004. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
Outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller reacts to applause from the audience during his farewell ceremony at the Justice Department in Washington, August 1, 2013. On Monday the U.S. Senate confirmed former Deputy Attorney General James Comey to replace Mueller, who has led the bureau since shortly before the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 19: Chairman Pat Leahy, D-Vt., right, and FBI Director Robert Mueller make their way to a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Dirksen Building on oversight of the FBI. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller (C) delivers remarks at a farewell ceremony for him at the Justice Department in Washington, August 1, 2013. On Monday the U.S. Senate confirmed former Deputy Attorney General James Comey to replace Mueller, who has led the bureau since shortly before the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Also onstage with Mueller are Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole (FROM L), U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, former CIA Director George Tenet and TSA Administrator John Pistole. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 15: (L-R) Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, FBI Director Robert Mueller and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton attend the National Peace Officers' Memorial Service at the U.S. Capitol May 15, 2013 in Washington, DC. Holder and other members of the Obama administration are being criticized over reports of the Internal Revenue Services' scrutiny of conservative organization's tax exemption requests and the subpoena of two months worth of Associated Press journalists' phone records. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Federal Bureau of Investigation oversight on Capitol Hill in Washington June 13, 2013. Mueller said on Thursday that the U.S. government is doing everything it can to hold confessed leaker Edward Snowden accountable for splashing surveillance secrets across the pages of newspapers worldwide. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)
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FBI Director Robert Mueller (L) arrives for the Obama presidential inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol January 21, 2013 in Washington. President Barack Obama was re-elected for a second term as President of the United States. Woman at right is unidentified. REUTERS/Win McNamee-POOL (UNITED STATES)
WASHINGTON, : FBI Director Robert Mueller answers questions before Congress 17 October 2002 on Capitol Hill in Washington. Mueller was testifying before the House and Senate Select Intelligence committees' final open hearing investigating events leading up to the September 11, 2001. AFP Photos/Stephen JAFFE (Photo credit should read STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images)
(L-R) CIA Director Leon Panetta, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and FBI Director Robert Mueller testify at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 16, 2011. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
399994 02: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert Mueller visits the American military compound at Kandahar Airport January 23, 2002 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Mueller had lunch with FBI officials and Haji Gulali, commander of the Kandahar region. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert Mueller (L) stand during the National Anthem alongside Attorney General Eric Holder (R) and Deputy Attorney General James Cole (C) during a farewell ceremony in Mueller's honor at the Department of Justice on August 1, 2013. Mueller is retiring from the FBI after 12-years as Director. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
399994 01: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert Mueller greets American forces on the American military compound at Kandahar Airport January 23, 2002 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Mueller had lunch with FBI officials and Haji Gulali, commander of the Kandahar region. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 19: FBI Director Robert Mueller, center, talks with Chairman Pat Leahy, D-Vt., right, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, talk before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Dirksen Building on oversight of the FBI. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 06: OVERSIGHT HEARING ON COUNTERTERRORISM--Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, and Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, before the hearing. (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)
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“Although you would never know it from watching the news, we actually have more than two investigations,” Wray told lawmakers on Tuesday. "Every day — many, many, many times a day — I'm confronted with unbelievable examples of integrity and professionalism and grit. There's 37,000 people in the FBI who do unbelievable things all around the world."

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