Trump says people 'in the dark shadows' are controlling Biden

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act MORE on Monday claimed nefarious unidentified individuals are controlling Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Joe Biden should enact critical government reforms if he wins MORE from "the dark shadows."

The president offered up the vague and unsupported theory during an interview with Fox News host Laura IngrahamLaura Anne IngrahamWill Chis Wallace's debate topics favor Biden over Trump? Trump assails Black Lives Matter in appeal to Black voters Ex-Pence aide: Trump spent 45 minutes of task force meeting 'going off on Tucker Carlson' instead of talking coronavirus MORE, who asked Trump who is "pulling Biden's strings."

"People that you’ve never heard of. People that are in the dark shadows," Trump responded.

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"What does that mean? That sounds like a conspiracy theory," Ingraham interjected.

"They're people that are on the streets, they're people that are controlling the streets," Trump responded.

He then cited a case of an unnamed individual getting on a plane "from a certain city" over the weekend. The plane, Trump claimed, was "loaded with thugs" in dark uniforms who planned to do "big damage."

Pressed for further details, Trump only said the matter was "under investigation."

Trump may have been referring to false and viral social media posts earlier this summer that claimed anti-fascist, or antifa, protesters were planning to travel to cause chaos. One such post claimed the demonstrators planned to fly to Boise, Idaho, to start riots. Law enforcement denied that was the case, according to the Idaho Statesman.

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White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews said in a statement that Trump was "referring to questions that need answers such as who may be funding travel and lodging for organized rioters.

"In Kenosha, violent rioters who were arrested hailed from 44 different cities," she said. "An investigation is underway to determine who is funding these organized riots happening across the country."

Democrats expressed disbelief at that portion of the interview.

"President Trump doesn’t just spread dangerous conspiracy theories and refuse to denounce them, he also makes them up on national television," Rep. Raja KrishnamoorthiSubramanian (Raja) Raja KrishnamoorthiCDC causes new storm by pulling coronavirus guidance Democratic chairman says White House blocked Navarro from testifying Democrats urge CDC to update guidance to encourage colleges, universities go tobacco-free MORE (D-Ill.) wrote in a tweet sharing the video.

"Never forget that when given a chance to remove this man, 247-of-248 republican senators & reps voted to keep trump in office," Rep. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellRep. Bill Pascrell named chair of House oversight panel Trump says people 'in the dark shadows' are controlling Biden Democrats tear into Trump's 'deep state' tweet: His 'lies and recklessness' have 'killed people' MORE (D-N.J.) tweeted in response to the president's comments. "So much of this tragedy could’ve been avoided but gop leaders value power more than democracy or even your life."

Trump has repeatedly attempted to blame radical left-wing protesters for chaos in American cities amid protests against racial injustice. The protests have been largely peaceful, but have at times devolved into violence and rioting in places like Portland, Ore., and more recently Kenosha, Wis.

The president has tried to tie Biden to the more unruly aspects of the protests, though the former vice president has condemned violence and called on Trump to do the same.

Updated at 12:33 p.m.