Viral Posts Spread Iran-‘Deep State’ Conspiracy Theory

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Quick Take

An online conspiracy theory falsely claims that Democratic leaders coordinated the June attacks on two oil tankers and a U.S. drone and that President Donald Trump caught them in the act. The Trump administration has placed the blame squarely on Iran.


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Facebook posts shared by tens of thousands tell of an elaborate “deep state” conspiracy by top Democrats to “drag” President Donald Trump into a war with Iran — despite the lack of any evidence to support that claim. The posts further allege that Trump “recorded” the scheme.

We found examples of the claim dating back to June 2019, around the time two oil tankers and an unmanned U.S. drone were attacked in the Middle East. Various posts attribute the text to a Facebook user who has shared other claims about the “Deep State.” One post — a meme with the text and a photo of former Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy that…

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