Trump's crazy JFK conspiracy theory

Stephen Hayes:
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"I don't know his father. I met him once. I think he's a lovely guy. I think he's a lovely guy. All I did was point out the fact that on the cover of the National Enquirer there was a picture of him and crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast. Now, Ted never denied that it was his father. Instead, he said Donald Trump—I had nothing to do with it. This was a magazine that, frankly, in many respects should be very respected."

He continued: "Did anybody ever deny that it was the father? They're not saying: 'Oh, that wasn't really my father.' It was a little hard to do. It looked like him."

Trump believes it is a picture of Cruz and Oswald. "I know nothing about his father. I know nothing about Lee Harvey Oswald. But there was a picture, on the front page of the National Enquirer, which does have credibility—and they're not going to do pictures like that because they get sued for a lot of money if things are wrong, okay?"

Both Cruz and his father have vehemently—and repeatedly—denied any suggestion that the man in the photograph is the elder Cruz or that he was an associate of Oswald, contrary to Trump's claim. That hasn't stopped Trump's innuendo. In May, when he first raised questions about the elder Cruz, Trump said: "What was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the shooting?"

The Kennedy assassination is one of the most heavily investigated events in the past century. Cruz's father was not implicated. There is no evidence to support claims that he was ever in the presence of Lee Harvey Oswald or had a role in the Kennedy assassination. And scholars who have studied those events have said without qualification that Cruz wasn't involved. But Trump peddles his nonsense anyway.

There are two explanations. Either Trump believes Rafael Cruz was involved or he's making the implied accusation in a continued attempt to discredit Cruz's son. In either case, this isn't the behavior of a rational, stable individual. It should embarrass those who have endorsed him and disgrace those who have attempted to normalize him.

The degree of this normalization is stunning. The Republican nominee for president made comments Friday that one might expect from a patient in a mental institution, the kind of stuff you might read on blog with really small print and pictures of UFOs. And yet his remarks barely register as news. There are no condemnations from fellow Republicans. His supporters shrug them off as Trump being Trump.
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His amplification of the Cruz-Oswald conspiracies is part of a long pattern of embracing crazy. He hinted that Antonin Scalia was murdered. He's suggested autism is linked to vaccinations. He claimed "thousands" of Muslims celebrated in the streets of New Jersey after 9/11. He said many people consider Vince Foster's death a "murder" and called it "very fishy." And before he ran for president, his deepest foray into politics was a campaign to prove that Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States. (It failed.)
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If he believes this crazy stuff, what if he believed the US was under attack and launch nukes when it was not the case?  He comes across as that unhinged from reality.  Most fo the media criticism has been focused on the obvious poor tactical judgment of the attacks on Cruz when he should be focused on Clinton, but don't be surprised if Clinton and the Dems focus on the Trump craziness.

The expert who first raised the issue of the similarity of the photo with one of Cruz father also declared Trump's assertion "stupid."  As for Trump's assertion that neither Cruz or his father had denied it was him in the picture, he is just flat wrong:
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“This is another garbage story in a tabloid full of garbage,” Communications Director Alice Stewart told McClatchy. “The story is false; that is not Rafael in the picture.”

“It’s ludicrous, it’s ludicrous,” Rafael Cruz told ABC News on May 3. “I was never in New Orleans at that time.”

Ted Cruz dismissed the Enquirer story as “idiotic” and called Trump a “pathological liar” who is “utterly amoral” and a “bully.”

“Donald Trump alleges that my dad was involved in the assassinating JFK,” Cruz said. “Now, let’s be clear, this is nuts. This is not a responsible position. This is just kooky.”
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It should be clear to any sane observer that Trump does not know what he is talking about and is just making a bogus suggestion in order to lash back at a political opponent.  While Trump may be too ignorant to be lying,  he is as reckless with the facts as Clinton was with classified materials.

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