Even as Republican leaders condemn the brutal assault on Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s husband, other GOP figures are broadcasting a much different message on social media — at turns downplaying, mocking and trading in disinformation about the attack.
Former Republican President Donald Trump has so far remained silent online about the Pelosi home invasion, but his son Donald Trump Jr. retweeted a proposed “Paul Pelosi” Halloween costume featuring men’s underwear and a hammer, saying “The Internet remains undefeated.” Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.), who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee, embraced a false anti-LGBTQ conspiracy surrounding the attack, tweeting and then deleting a post suggesting the perpetrator was a “male nudist hippie prostitute.”
Trump Jr.’s and Higgins’ posts followed a deleted tweet from Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, that also gave credence to the same disinformation about David DePape, the 42-year-old perpetrator of the Friday morning attack on the Pelosis’ San Francisco home. DePape’s previous ties to a prominent nudist activist in that city appear to have inspired the false claims that continue to gain traction online among conservatives. [Continue reading…]