Posted: 9:52 am Sunday, March 26th, 2017
By Jamie Dupree
In a surprise legal turnabout, Alex Jones, the chief of the website Infowars has publicly backpedaled on the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory, issuing a written and videotaped apology to the owner of a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor that became a target for many election critics of Hillary Clinton.
The Pizzagate theory developed from emails hacked from top Clinton aide John Podesta – many seemingly taken out of context – which somehow convinced people that a child sex ring was operating out of the Comet Ping Post restaurant in D.C., a popular neighborhood pizza joint owned by Clinton supporter, James Alefantis.
“We raised questions about information in Mr. Podesta’s emails and the Comet Ping Pong restaurant,” Jones explained, reading directly from a script that was shown on screen in his apology video.
“I made comments about Mr. Alefantis, that in hindsight, I regret, and for which I apologize to him,” Jones said, in what seemed like a very legalistic apology.
The video surfaced on the same day that a North Carolina man plead guilty to a series of charges stemming from a December incident, in which Edgar Maddison Welch drove to D.C., armed and ready for a possible shootout at the restaurant.
Patrons and staff fled unharmed as Welch entered the restaurant with an AR-15 rifle; he was convinced that he would find evidence of the child sex ring, but nothing but food at Comet Ping Pong.
While no evidence to back up any wrongdoing at Comet Ping Pong has emerged, the conspiracy theory lives on, as was evidenced by a very small rally in D.C. on Saturday that supported the child sex claim.
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) March 25, 2017
Even with the reversal of Alex Jones and Infowars, there are still plenty of people on social media pushing a link between John Podesta and child sex ring.
One of the more vocal about it remains Michael Flynn, Jr., the son of the ousted National Security Advisor to President Trump.
The younger Flynn tweeted this past week, “What else is John Podesta covering up?”
— Michael Flynn Jr🇺🇸 (@mflynnJR) March 21, 2017
A few weeks ago, my wife and I took our kids to Comet Ping Pong for the first time since the December incident involving the guy who was convinced there was a child sex ring in the restaurant.
It was a busy Saturday, as the restaurant was jammed – the ping pong tables were all in use much to the consternation of my kids.
But while the patrons have stuck with the restaurant, the impact of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory is still being felt, as different security measures had to be taken by the owner, as there are still some people who won’t let go.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.