GOP congressman condemns Trump-promoted theory that Bin Laden killing was a hoax

An outgoing Republican congressman blasted President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE for amplifying a baseless conspiracy theory that the Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden actually killed a body double and were later murdered to cover it up.

“It’s a dangerous tweet, and it’s the kind of thing we cannot do,” Rep. Denver RigglemanDenver RigglemanHouse Democrats select Riggleman as Jan. 6 committee adviser Virginia Democrats seek to tie Youngkin to Trump's election claims The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Jan. 6 probe, infrastructure to dominate week MORE (R-Va.) told CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperOvernight Health Care — Nicki Minaj stokes uproar over vaccines Fauci responds to Nicki Minaj's vaccine worries Tapper presses top Biden aide on Afghanistan: 'How are you going to get those Americans out?' MORE on Wednesday. He went on to note that the since-suspended account the president retweeted linked to a YouTube video calling for the hanging of former President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Business coalition aims to provide jobs to Afghan refugees MORE and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Democrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles MORE.

“That is the language of radicalization,” Riggleman told Tapper. “People go down these rabbit holes and I think the people that believe this … are the same people that believe Lord of the Rings was a documentary and that’s how crazy they are.”


“There are technical terms for that,” he added. “Let’s be honest, let’s use the technical term for what’s going on here, and it’s batshit crazy.”

The GOP Virginia lawmaker has sponsored a measure condemning the QAnon conspiracy theory, which numerous 2020 GOP candidates have expressed belief in. 

“I just think we have jumped the shark, crossed the Rubicon and now we’re on the crazy train about to run into the ice cliffs that guard the flat earth,” Riggleman told The Washington Post on Thursday. “I think the flirtation with crazy comes with wanting to get votes.”

Riggleman, who was elected in 2018, lost the nomination for Virginia’s 5th Congressional District in a June nominating convention.

Robert O’Neill, the SEAL who claims to have killed bin Laden, has also vocally pushed back on the conspiracy theory.

O’Neill, a vocal supporter of Trump, tweeted on Tuesday, “Very brave men said goodby to their kids to go kill Osama bin Laden. We were given the order by President Obama. It was not a body double."