There is no shortage of conspiracy theories surrounding Barack Obama’s presidency: some people believe he was born in Kenya, some believe he’s secretly a practicing Muslim and others see his gun control efforts as a prelude to mandatory gun confiscation.
And those are just a few examples. But Obama really gets a kick out of one fever swamp dream in particular: the notion that he planned to use the “Jade Helm 15” military training exercise as a cover to implement martial law and stay in office for a third term.
Obama didn’t mention the U.S. Army exercise by name in an interview with former ESPNer Bill Simmons published in GQ this week. But when Simmons asked the President what he thought was the most entertaining conspiracy theory about himself, it was clear that Obama was having a laugh at the internet rumors surrounding “Jade Helm 15” that riled some southern states, particularly Texas, earlier this year.
“That military exercises we were doing in Texas were designed to begin martial law so that I could usurp the Constitution and stay in power longer,” he told Simmons. “Anybody who thinks I could get away with telling Michelle I’m going to be president any longer than eight years does not know my wife.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.