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Candidate for Ohio Senate seat retweets ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy theorist

By Eric Garcia • Jul 21, 2017 at 10:00 AM

WASHINGTON — Ohio state treasurer and Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel retweeted the right-wing conspiracy theorist behind the “Pizzagate” theory.

Mandel, who is running for a rematch against Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in 2018, retweeted a post on Medium by Mike Cernovich, who is a host on fellow conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars.

In the post, Cernovich accuses the Anti-Defamation League, an anti-hate group, of “inciting terrorism.”

In the end of the post, Cernovich writes “The mainstream media in America is ISIS.”

Mandel tweeted that it was “sad” to see the ADL “become a partisan witchhunt group targeting people for political beliefs” before saying he stood with Cernovich and his colleague Jack Posobiec.

Cernovich notably promoted the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory that posited that Comet Ping Pong Pizza, a pizzeria in Washington, D.C., was the location of a child sex ring that was tied to Hillary Clinton.

The assertion was debunked a number of times, but in December, Edgar Madison Welch entered the restaurant and fired three times. Welch pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison.

Posobiec has also promoted conspiracy theories about the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.

But Erica Nurnberg, Mandel’s campaign spokeswoman, defended Mandel’s retweet.

“As the grandson of Holocaust survivors and as a Marine who defended our freedom, Treasurer Mandel believes the ADL is dead wrong for creating hit lists on American citizens,” Nurnberg said. “Of all organizations, the ADL should know that making target lists of people based on their political beliefs is a dangerous practice and slippery slope.”


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