The son of the soon-to-be national security adviser has promoted the conspiracy theory even after it led to violence. A man tried to attack a pizzeria over a fake news story that it was tied to a child sex-ring.
Michael Flynn Jr., the son of Donald Trump's pick for national security adviser, was fired from the president-elect's transition team late on Tuesday over support of a fake news story that led to violence in Washington, D.C.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence told CNN that Flynn "is no longer associated with General Flynn's efforts or with the transition team and we're focused eyes forward." The son of the retired officer had been helping his father with scheduling and secretarial work.
The announcement came on the heels of a controversial tweet the 33-year-old (pictured above with his father) wrote about an armed assault on a pizza restaurant in Washington over the weekend. A man named Edgar Maddison Welch was inspired to attack the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria by a viral fake news conspiracy theory called "pizzagate," which claims the restaurant was a front for a pedophilia ring run by political elites, including Hillary Clinton.
Welch managed to fire off one round of his AR-15 in the incident but was arrested before he could injure anyone. Police found two other weapons amongst the man's possessions as he explained he had driven himself to the capital from North Carolina to "investigate" pizzagate on his own.
Police responded to the scene. The restaurant had already endured threats since the fake news story began appearing on websites during the 2016 presidential campaign
Flynn Jr. repeatedly promotes fake news
Despite the attempted violence, Flynn Jr. later wrote on Twitter: "Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it'll remain a story."
He then retweeted numerous other users promoting fake stories about the popular restaurant.
Despite being a professed "pro-life Democrat," Flynn's father was a keynote speaker at the 2016 Republican National Convention, and was mentioned by several Republican hopefuls as a possible pick for national security adviser.
The retired lieutenant general served as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama from 2012 to 2014, but has since become critical of what he sees as a weakening of the US on the international stage due the president's policies. Flynn is no stranger to controversy, having accused Iran of helping plan the 2012 attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya, without offering any evidence. He has also courted scandal by pressing for increased military cooperation with Moscow right after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.
es/kms (AP, AFP)