On Tuesday, Fox News panelist Kevin Jackson tried to float a conspiracy theory that the FBI harbored a secret plot to assassinate President Trump, which Outnumbered host Harris Faulkner quickly tried to shut down. Jackson brought up a text message sent by FBI agent Peter Strzok that mentioned how “an insurance policy” would be necessary if Trump got elected. His interpretation was that Strzok’s insurance-policy comment could suggest a deep-state plan to take out Trump. Jackson said this:
“Well, I think they’re going to say, is it — what was his intent, right? Because that’s exactly what FBI Director, former FBI Director [James] Comey said when he was letting Hillary Clinton off the hook. And his intent, regardless of whether it was an assassination attempt or whatever, it was definitely something … there’s a spectrum of what does it mean, but one thing that we know for sure, is that he was plotting in an election against a candidate, and there’s FBI fingerprints all over this.”
Faulkner tried to step in and caution Jackson, reminding him that his comments could be taken out of context on social media. “I just want to make sure that we press in on the fact that no one has floated any sort of an idea that it was…” said Faulkner before trailing off.
“Oh, it’s been floated,” Jackson rebutted. “When I talk about this, I’m talking about social media stuff and, you know, that’s out there, I’m not talking about media sources.” That’s when another panelist, Sandra Smith, spoke up, noting that the sources Jackson referred to aren’t vetted news sources. “Nothing credible,” she said, to which Jackson replied, “Well, yeah.”
So where did Jackson dig up his dubious perspective? That’s not entirely clear, and Jackson declined to come out with it. But there is one other noted far-right personality who is floating a similar conspiracy theory — Alex Jones of Infowars. Yesterday, Jones claimed that, because of the Mueller probe, the FBI will “go ahead and make their move to kill the president.” He said, “I think in the next 30 days, I think they’re going to make an assassination attempt.”
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal quoted a source who attempted to clarify Strzok’s text. Apparently it referred not to a sinister deep-state murder plan, but to the FBI’s early attempts to investigate Trump’s Russian ties. The “insurance policy” wasn’t on Trump’s life, but on the FBI’s probe should Trump get elected instead of Clinton, who then seemed the likely victor. As is usually the case with these wild-eyed conservative conspiracy theories, it’s usually wise to turn to the old principle of Ocham’s Razor. The simplest answer is most probable. Like, for example, a lawman fretting over the future of his agency’s investigation.