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Elon Musk spreads unfounded conspiracy theory about Paul Pelosi



Simply days after taking management of Twitter, Elon Musk posted an unfounded conspiracy idea on Sunday in regards to the assault on Paul Pelosi, the husband of Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Police say {that a} man broke into the Pelosi residence in San Francisco and beat Paul Pelosi with a hammer early Friday morning.

On Saturday, Hillary Clinton tweeted a Los Angeles Instances story profiling the suspect and his far-right extremist views.

“The Republican Get together and its mouthpieces now frequently unfold hate and deranged conspiracy theories,” she wrote. “It’s stunning, however not shocking, that violence is the outcome. As residents, we should maintain them accountable for his or her phrases and the actions that comply with.”

In response, Musk tweeted that “there’s a tiny risk there is perhaps extra to this story than meets the attention” and posted a hyperlink to an unfounded story providing a conspiracy idea in regards to the assault. The story was posted within the Santa Monica Observer, a publication identified for spreading misinformation.

The Instances, in a 2021 editorial, famous that the Observer “is infamous for publishing false information. In 2016, for instance, it claimed that Hillary Clinton had died and {that a} physique double had been despatched to debate Donald Trump. Months later it reported, incorrectly, that Trump had appointed Kanye West to a high-level place within the Inside Division. Final yr, it reported falsely that daylight may very well be a treatment for COVID-19 victims and that Invoice Gates, a significant funder of vaccine analysis, had been answerable for a polio epidemic.”

Authorities mentioned that David DePape, 42, attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer. A supply mentioned he shouted “The place is Nancy?” a number of instances. Police arrived on the scene after being alerted by a name from Paul Pelosi, who managed to hide the decision from his attacker.

Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) was in Washington on the time however has since returned to California to be together with her husband, based on information reviews.

Police haven’t supplied a motive for the assault.

Paul Pelosi, 82, is recovering from surgical procedure at Zuckerberg San Francisco Normal Hospital “to restore a cranium fracture and critical accidents to his proper arm and arms,” mentioned Drew Hammill, a spokesperson for Nancy Pelosi’s workplace. He’s anticipated to get well totally.

DePape was booked Friday afternoon on suspicion of tried homicide, first-degree housebreaking, assault with a lethal weapon, threatening a member of the family of a public official, elder abuse, battery with critical bodily harm, dissuading a witness and injuring a wi-fi system.

A Instances evaluation of his on-line accounts present that DePape had been drifting additional into the world of far-right conspiracies, antisemitism and hate.

In a private weblog that DePape maintained, posts embrace such subjects as “Manipulation of Historical past,” “Holohoax” and “It’s OK to be white.” He talked about 4chan, a favourite message board of the far proper. He posted movies about conspiracies involving COVID-19 vaccines and the warfare in Ukraine being a ploy for Jewish individuals to purchase land.

DePape’s screeds included posts about QAnon, an unfounded idea that former President Trump is at warfare with a cabal of Devil-worshipping elites who run a toddler intercourse ring and management the world. In an Aug. 23 entry titled “Q,” DePape wrote: “Both Q is Trump himself or Q is the deepstate moles inside Trumps inside circle.”

On Saturday, Nancy Pelosi instructed her congressional colleagues that she and her household had been “heartbroken and traumatized” by Friday’s occasions.

“Our kids, our grandchildren and I are heartbroken and traumatized by the life-threatening assault on our Pop,” Pelosi mentioned within the assertion, which was addressed to members of the U.S. Home of Representatives. “We’re grateful for the short response of legislation enforcement and emergency providers, and for the lifesaving medical care he’s receiving.”

Musk accomplished his $44-billion takeover of Twitter final week after a protracted authorized battle and months of uncertainty.

After backing out of an preliminary deal to purchase the corporate earlier this yr, Musk introduced this month that he was resuming the acquisition, stalling a lawsuit towards him in Delaware. A choose had ordered him to finish the deal by Friday.

The deal means Twitter will turn out to be a personal firm that on a regular basis traders will not be capable to purchase shares in.

Main personnel shakeups are broadly anticipated, and Musk ousted three prime Twitter executives final week, based on two individuals aware of the deal. However the tech guru and self-proclaimed “Chief Twit” has in any other case made contradictory statements about the way forward for the corporate — and shared few concrete plans for the way he’ll run it.

That has left Twitter’s customers, advertisers and workers to parse his each transfer in an effort to guess the place he would possibly take the corporate. Many want to see if he’ll welcome again numerous influential conservative figures banned for violating Twitter’s guidelines.

Musk has been taking to Twitter — his platform of selection even earlier than he made a bid to purchase it — to debate his imaginative and prescient for the corporate’s future.

“A good looking factor about Twitter is the way it empowers citizen journalism — individuals are capable of disseminate information with out an institution bias,” Musk wrote in a single tweet.

One other put up discovered him making an attempt to sq. two conflicting impulses on the root of Twitter’s enterprise mannequin: the necessity to domesticate an ecosystem that third-party advertisers wish to seem on, versus Musk’s continuously acknowledged need for the platform to be hands-off on the subject of moderating customers’ posts.

“The rationale I acquired Twitter is as a result of it is very important the way forward for civilization to have a typical digital city sq., the place a variety of beliefs will be debated,” wrote Musk, who prior to now has criticized the platform as overly censorious.

But on the similar time, Musk continued, “Twitter clearly can’t turn out to be a free-for-all hellscape, the place something will be mentioned with no penalties!”

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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