During a CNN interview this morning, Congressman Blake Farenthold of Texas cited online conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Seth Rich, suggesting there should be a Congressional investigation into this matter.
This came during a conversation about the investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
“There’s still some question as to whether the intrusion at the DNC server was an insider job, or whether or not it was the Russians,” Farenthold said.
When pressed on this claim, Farenthold said that there is proof of it “circulating on the Internet.” CNN’s Poppy Harlow asked Farenthold if he should be floating wild Internet conspiracy theories as a U.S. congressman, and Farenthold said that this is not much different from the media’s reports on Donald Trump and on Russia’s attempts to influence to 2016 election.
“I think the same is true of what the media is doing with Trump, we’re basing allegations on anonymous sources…” Farenthold said.
Farenthold’s comments referred to the conspiracy theories that have emerged online surrounding the murder of Seth Rich, a DNC staffer. These were largely based on a report last week that Rich was Wikileaks’ source for the DNC emails that were leaked in 2016.
However, since that report, it has become clear that there is no such evidence that Seth Rich was Wikileaks’ source. Law enforcement believes that Rich’s death may have had to do with a botched robbery.
On Tuesday, Fox News, which had promoted the Seth Rich conspiracy theories for about a week, issued an official retraction of their Seth Rich report, saying that it did not meet their editorial standards. Sean Hannity on his show subsequently said he would no longer be discussing the story out of respect for the family, who have been begging the media not to promote baseless conspiracy theories surrounding their son’s murder,
Blake Farenthold is a Congressman who in 2010 was elected to represent Texas’ 27th Congressional district. This is not the first time that he has been criticized for comments made in a cable news interview. In October 2016, Farenthold, who was continuing to support Donald Trump after the release of the infamous Access Hollywood tape, was asked if he would still back Trump if he theoretically said, “I really like raping women.” Farenthold responded, “I’d have to consider it.” He later apologized, writing on Twitter, “I apologize for my failure to immediately condemn anyone who would say something as outrageous as they like raping women.”
Farenthold has been critical of the media’s coverage of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the election, saying that it is a witch hunt.