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now there's a theory
September 10, 2018

It's still unclear which administration official wrote an op-ed in The New York Times that described an internal "resistance" to President Trump's agenda, but some conservatives are latching on to the theory that it wasn't a government employee at all.

Conservative website The Daily Caller hypothesized Monday that "maybe the [Times'] anonymous op-ed originated from within," writing that the article could be a "hoax" concocted by Times staff. The author didn't explain why the New York Times would do such a thing, nor did they offer any evidence of such a coup, outside of a list of "the left's constant hoaxes, lies, and fake news."

"A fake op-ed is a distinct possibility," the article concluded. The conspiracy theory echoed a claim from conservative personality Candace Owens on Fox News on Sunday night. "How do we know it's not just The New York Times publishing that?" she asked, per Mediaite. While the show's hosts were not eager to consider the idea, Owens insisted that it could be a possibility, due to the lack of "transparency" from the anonymous source. "We're taking this at face value," she said.

Whatever the case, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Monday that Trump has asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate the identity of the author. Sanders did not specify whether that investigation would extend beyond the White House to The New York Times opinion desk. Summer Meza

Update: Geoffrey Ingersoll, editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller, told The Week in a statement that this op-ed by Armando Simon does "not represent the views of The Daily Caller."

March 13, 2017

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway might not have any evidence for President Trump's wiretapping claims, but she does have a lot of theories. On Sunday — the day before Conway admitted she has "no evidence" former President Barack Obama wiretapped the phones at Trump Tower — Conway noted during an interview with the Bergen County Record that the surveillance of Trump Tower could be even more extensive than Trump has suggested. “What I can say is there are many ways to surveil each other," Conway said. "You can surveil someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets — any number of ways."

Conway didn't stop there. She also pointed out that surveillance can be done with "microwaves that turn into cameras." "We know this is a fact of modern life," Conway said.

Conway offered no evidence for how these claims may tie into Trump's wiretapping allegations, nor has the president provided any evidence since he broadcast the accusations on Twitter. The House Intelligence Committee, tasked with investigating Trump's baseless claims about Obama, has requested all evidence for wiretapping be turned over by Monday.

Read Conway's full interview with the Record here. Becca Stanek

December 12, 2016

John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has a theory that it was actually President Obama's administration — not Russia — that hacked the presidential election. In an interview Sunday on Fox News, Bolton, who is reportedly being considered for deputy secretary of state, suggested breaches of the Democratic National Committee as well as other Democratic officials and organizations were part of a "false flag" operation. The term, The Washington Post explains, is "popular among conspiracy theorists" and is "typically used to describe a covert attempt by the government to advance an agenda by making it seem like its activities are being carried out by another entity."

"We just don't know," Bolton said, when asked whether he was accusing Obama's administration or the intelligence community of a cover-up. "But I believe the intelligence community has been politicized in the Obama administration to a very significant degree." Bolton's suggestion followed The Washington Post's report Friday that CIA officials informed senators in a closed-door meeting that there is mounting evidence Russia interfered in the presidential election to help Trump win. Obama has called for an investigation, while Trump has dismissed the claims as "ridiculous."

Bolton said his tip-off to the possibility of a "false flag" was the fact that no evidence of foreign interference was found in the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server, but evidence was found in the election hacking. "The question that has to be asked is, why did the Russians run their smart intelligence service against Hillary’s server but their dumb intelligence services against the election?" Bolton said, questioning why the Russians would "leave fingerprints" if they "did this."

Catch the rest of Bolton's theory below. Becca Stanek

August 24, 2016

Donald Trump's new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway is confident there are more people voting for Trump than polls would suggest — they just don't want to admit it. In an interview with the UK's Channel 4, Conway explained why the polls, which overwhelmingly show Trump lagging behind rival Hillary Clinton, don't tell the whole story. "Donald Trump performs consistently better in online polling where a human being is not talking to another human being about what he or she may do in the election," Conway said. "It's because it's become socially desirable, especially if you're a college-educated person in the United States of America, to say that you're against Donald Trump."

When asked if she had any numbers to support that claim, Conway demurred, saying it's "a project we're doing internally" and that she can't yet discuss the details. "I call it the 'undercover Trump voter,'" Conway said, "but it's real."

Head over to Mediaite to watch Conway explain her theory on Channel 4. Becca Stanek

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