GOP lawmaker open to 9/11 'truther' claims

A freshman Republican lawmaker recently expressed sympathy for the concerns of 9/11 "truthers" who believe that the government conspired to bring down the World Trade Center.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) appeared in a video with a representative of "We Are Change Utah." 

The person interviewing Chaffetz says that his group "believes it was a falsified terrorist attack, that the buildings came down with internally placed explosive demolition" and think it is "crucial that an investigation be held to find out why it was done and who is behind it."

The congressman did not specifically endorse the idea but said that "We appreciate good Americans being vigilant in every aspect."

Here is a partial transcript of the interview:

Q: A reopening into the investigation of 9/11?

CHAFFETZ: Well there’s a lot we still need to learn. Of course we want to look into that issue, look at every aspect of it. [...] Who was the BYU professor? [...] Steve Jones, yeah I’ve met with him. He’s done some interesting work.

Q: Have you given much thought to the possibility it was a falsified terrorist attack on 9/11?

CHAFFETZ: Well I know there’s still a lot to learn about what happened and what didn’t happen, we should be vigilant and continue to investigate that, absolutely.

Multiple government investigations have found such claims to be untrue but "truthers" have questioned the validity of those inquiries.

"Trutherism" has typically been a third rail for national politicians and political candidates.

Chaffetz's office released this statement from the congressman Wednesday night:

"I am not sympathetic to claims that 9-11 was a government conspiracy.  I have never believed the government was in any way complicit or responsible for those attacks.   When asked yesterday during a town hall meeting about the need to investigate the attacks, I answered truthfully that we should always continue to investigate new information.  The 9-11 attacks were the biggest terrorist attacks in the history of the United States of America.  We should always be asking questions, looking for answers, and learning from that experience, but I have no reason to believe claims that the government was responsible for the attacks."

VIDEO:


h/t Think Progress

This post was updated at 8:58 p.m.