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House Republicans Are Posting Conspiracy Theory Videos on Rumble

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If you want to watch the House GOP’s latest video on the issue of immigration, make your way to the conspiracy theory-riddled alternative to YouTube. House Judiciary Republicans uploaded a video featuring Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-TX) speaking about the so-called “border crisis” to Rumble, a Peter Thiel-backed video platform that has become the home to Holocaust deniers, anti-democracy activists, and QAnon conspiracy theorists looking to peddle dangerous bigoted lies that may get them flag on YouTube. But Rumble is probably a fitting choice for the official House Judiciary Committee video that lays out a white nationalist conspiracy theory that has inspired multiple deadly terrorist attacks in recent years.

While Jordan has previously uploaded videos to the platform, this appears to be the first video bearing the official logo of the House Judiciary Committee. The video was also promoted in an official email from the House Judiciary Committee, which directly linked to the Rumble site.

“President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas deliberately created a crisis at our southern border,” Hunt claims amid low-production value graphics and paranoid background music, repeating the same pernicious lie that was a mainstay in the House GOP’s sham impeachment proceedings against the Secretary

Hunt then goes on to suggest that fentanyl trafficking and certain aspects of the federal government’s transportation of migrants on flights weren’t issues during the Trump administration. But fentanyl overdoses soared under his administration, nor is fentanyl trafficking an immigration issue. Migrant flights to other parts of the U.S., meanwhile, have been routine under multiple presidents, including Trump. But Hunt is correct that Republicans were not talking about the fentanyl crisis or demagoguing routine practices while Trump was in charge, revealing more about Republicans cynical political theater than anything else.

Hunt also spews the white nationalist “invasion” rhetoric, a racist conspiracy theory that has inspired multiple terrorist attacks in cities like El Paso, Buffalo, and El Paso in recent years. Just a few weeks ago, the FBI foiled a plot by three men looking to bomb and shoot federal agents and migrants at the border in a terror attack they hoped would kickstart a civil war that was inspired by the white nationalist invasion conspiracy.

Moreover, Hunt’s rhetoric of an “intentional” plan and a migrant “invasion” is inexorably linked to the great replacement conspiracy theory – a racist lie that feeds election deniers that actively threatens our democracy. I guess they do know their audience on Rumble.

The fact that House Republicans posted their video to Rumble should also be deeply alarming. The site has “become absolutely rife with false, bigoted, hateful, dangerous, and violent content — in part because it has encouraged creators banned on other platforms to find a home on Rumble,” Media Matters reported in May 2023.

Media Matters also reported in August 2023 that Rumble placed ads “for the Republican National Committee on pro-Hitler and neo-Nazi videos on its streaming site ahead of the Republican presidential debate.” The Associated Press reported that ahead of the first Republican debate, “the live feed for the GOP’s official pre-show on Rumble was overridden with racial slurs and bigoted comments. The episode was then hidden from public view.”

House Republicans’ embrace of this website is emblematic of the party’s swift downward trajectory on immigration and the border. Previous tracking from America’s Voice revealed how GOP officials and candidates have amplified this anti-immigrant rhetoric across social media platforms, floor speeches, and conservative conferences. That trend has only sharply increased, even as this rhetoric has resulted in real-world dangers. America’s Voice tracking has newly identified nearly 700 instances of “invasion” and other nativist messaging from elected Republicans from August 2023 to December 2023. 

“This video is a perfect but deeply disturbing encapsulation of Republicans in 2024,” said Zachary Mueller, Political Director at America’s Voice. “Instead of legislating and doing their jobs to improve the lives of working families, Republicans are using taxpayer dollars to create low-quality videos about their favorite conspiracy theories. They recorded a wild-eyed, bigoted conspiracy theory video that they posted on a hard-right alternative tech platform tailored to a niche audience. They stamped it with the official seal of one of Congress’ most powerful committees. They are echoing domestic terrorist’s white nationalist and antisemitic conspiracy theories, actively courting more deadly violence and threats to our democracy as part of their official duties.”

“What was once the style and rhetoric of lonely bigots huddled in a dark basement is now that of the majority in control of the House,” Mueller continued. “And it is hard to overstate the concern this move portends for the nation.”