GOP Candidate’s Wife Promoted Conspiracy Theories About Mail Bombs

UNITED STATES – JULY 9: Amy Tarkanian, chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Party, speaks at the 2011 Conservative Leadership Conference at the M Resort Spa Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 9, 2011. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call Group

Far-right media figures aren’t the only ones promoting dark conspiracy theories about the pipe bombs sent this week to Democratic figures and news organizations.

Amy Tarkanian, former chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Party and a surrogate for her husband Danny’s 2018 congressional race, shared messages on Wednesday suggesting that the “fake” bombs were a Democratic political ploy.

On her Twitter account, Tarkanian shared several posts from far-right activist Laura Loomer, calling reports on the suspicious packages a “lie” and dismissing the “fake bomb[s].”

In another post Tarkanian retweeted, Loomer claimed that law enforcement officials are “lying to all of us to gin up sympathy for violent Democrat politicians.”

Tarkanian also shared her own suspicions about the source of the mail bombs.

“Well isn’t this interesting…hmmm…this is all so sick and bizarre,” she wrote, linking to a Daily Wire story headlined “Return Address Found On Suspicious Packages Belongs To Well-Known Democrat.”

The FBI said the return address listed on all of the packages was the Sunrise, Florida, office of Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. There’s no indication that Wasserman Schultz herself sent the packages.

In a statement, Nevada Democratic Party spokesman Michael Soneff accused the Tarkanian campaign of “actively spreading misinformation.”

“The Tarkanian campaign is spreading conspiracy theories before we even know the full facts,” Soneff said.

In response, the Tarkanian campaign sent TPM an email saying that “Mrs. Tarkanian is a political commentator. She has her own views and Danny has his own.”

“Danny does not believe that Democrats are behind it,” the statement continued. “Both Mr. and Mrs. Tarkanian condemn these cowardly acts and agree with what President Trump said yesterday: ‘…threats or acts of political violence have no place in the United States of America.’”

Amy Tarkanian served as chair of the Nevada GOP from 2011 to 2012, when she stepped down to help manage her husband’s congressional bid. She has “campaigned beside” her husband in several of his previous runs for public office, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

President Trump campaigned with Tarkanian and other Nevada Republicans at a late September rally. The President’s tweet granting his “total and complete Endorsement” to his “great friend” Danny Tarkanian is currently pinned to the top of Amy Tarkanian’s Twitter page, with a note promising that their “family is working tirelessly” to win the seat in Nevada’s 3rd congressional district.

Danny Tarkanian will also hold a fundraiser with Trump ally Roger Stone in Florida next week.

The mail bomb scare has lent a panicky note to the final days before the November 6 elections. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, philanthropist George Soros, actor Robert DeNiro, CNN and other individuals and entities that have clashed with the President were all sent similar amateur pipe bombs.

The crude, unsophisticated nature of the explosives—some of which were addressed to misspelled names—and fact that none actually reached their targets made some on the right suspicious that it was a “false flag” operation by progressive interests.

Anti-Islam activist Frank Gaffney, Turning Point USA’s Candace Owens, and Fox Business host Lou Dobbs are among the figures who’ve mocked or dismissed the bombs as bogus.

Like those individuals, the Tarkanians have flirted with conspiracy theories—and theorists—before.

Most recently, the couple stepped away from their roles as administrators of a popular “racist and conspiracy-obsessed Facebook group” after facing criticism from local press. Posts on the page claimed that the Charlottesville white nationalist rally was “orchestrated by the left” and that Islam was a “cancer.”

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