NEW YORK — Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs, who is prone to peddling conspiracy theories and is a prominent supporter of President Trump, asserted without evidence on Thursday that it was “fake news” that suspicious packages were mailed this week to high-profile Democrats and the New York City offices of CNN.
“Fake bombs,” Dobbs wrote in a tweet posted to his verified account Thursday morning. “Who could possibly benefit by so much fakery?”
Dobbs deleted his tweet after immediate and widespread condemnation. Authorities have said that the bombs found in the packages were rudimentary, but functional.
It was not clear if Dobbs’ tweet violated the standards of the Fox Business Network or whether he would face any disciplinary action.
Spokespeople for Fox Business did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A wave of suspicious packages have been mailed to high-profile Democrats and figures who have criticized President Trump. Among the individuals targeted were former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, billionaire liberal philanthropist George Soros, and others. Another device, addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, was also mailed to CNN’s New York City office.
Dobbs appeared to suggest in his unsubstantiated tweet that the packages were part of a supposed “false flag” operation, a crime committed by one party that is disguised to give the impression that it was committed by another group.
That theory, which was not supported by any real evidence, was prominent on the fringes of the right on Wednesday. High-profile conservative figures, including talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh, suggested the culprit was a “Democrat operative” aiming to portray Republicans in the worst possible light ahead of the midterm elections.