Iowa Congressman Steve King has found a new conspiracy theory to peddle on social media, this time involving a former Department of Homeland Security official who accused the Obama Administration of falsifying government records related to terrorist groups plotting attacks in America.
Philip Haney was found dead Friday of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to a Feb. 22 Fox News article.
A day after Haney’s death, King tweeted out the Fox News story with the caption: “Phil Haney was a friend & patriot. He was a target because of all he knew of Islamic terrorist coverups. He insured his life by archiving data that incriminated the highest levels of the Obama administration. Phil Haney didn’t kill himself. RIP, Phil.”
Phil Haney was a friend & patriot. He was a target because of all he knew of Islamic terrorist coverups. He insured his life by archiving data that incriminated the highest levels of the Obama administration. Phil Haney didn’t kill himself. RIP, Phil. https://t.co/pvy7MflFwc
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) February 23, 2020
Breitbart and several other right-wing conspiracy sites have picked up the story, alleging the 66-year-old Haney was not suicidal and had plans to write a sequel to his 2016 book, “See Something, Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad.”
In February 2016, Haney wrote an op-ed for The Hill alleging that the Obama Administration “had been engaged in a bureaucratic effort to destroy the raw material” DHS had gathered on certain Islamist terror groups.
Haney and then-Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson both testified before the GOP-led Senate Judiciary Committee about Haney’s allegations, though no evidence surfaced confirming cover-ups.
At the time of the hearings, President Obama faced some scrutiny for his unwillingness to use the phrases “radical Islamic terrorism” or “radical Islam” when describing potential threats to the U.S. During his testimony. Haney said “documents were ordered, modified, scrubbed or deleted to remove references to jihad or the Muslim Brotherhood or other similar references.”
King’s social media feeds have long been a forum for fake news articles and memes to be liked, shared and discussed. The congressman does not shy away from promoting debunked material, including false information about the intelligence community whistleblower who spoke out against President Donald Trump and his efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating Joe and Hunter Biden.
Last fall, King added fuel to the viral fake news story that George Soro’s son was the whistleblower.
At his town hall meetings last year, he often brought up a far-right theory connecting former FBI Director James Comey, Hillary Clinton and multiple federal agencies he said were working to undermine Trump’s presidency.
By Elizabeth Meyer