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

An outgoing Republican congressman blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote 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 RigglemanSunday shows - Spotlight shifts to positive tests among Pence aides Outgoing Va. Republican: Two-party system is failing Americans Sunday shows preview: Trump, Biden gear up for final sprint to Election Day MORE (R-Va.) told CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperTrump is cruising for a bruising Meadows doubles down on White House pandemic response: 'We're not going to control it' Biden: Meadows coronavirus remark a 'candid acknowledgement' of Trump strategy 'to wave the white flag' 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 Obama and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocrats warn GOP will regret Barrett confirmation Trump campaign eyes election night party at his sold-out DC hotel Harris blasts GOP for confirming Amy Coney Barrett: 'We won't forget this' 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."