AP NEWS

Mike Cernovich, right-wing conspiracy theorist, considers congressional campaign in California

February 9, 2018

Mike Cernovich, a right-wing internet personality who propagated the baseless “Pizzagate” concept, said he’s considering running for government office.

Mr. Cernovich, 40, teased the possibility of pursuing a congressional campaign Thursday and subsequently highlighted his hypothetical platform in a series of tweets sent Friday to his over 400,000 Twitter followers.

“Running for Congress this year.....It’s looking like a real possibility,” Mr. Cernovich tweeted

“Running for Congress is utterly taxing emotionally and financially, [but] the right seat *might* be opening up, one where there’s a real shot. Running as PR stunt for media is stupid, I turn down 90% of media. Will only run if there’s a play to win,” he tweeted.

Mr. Cernovich currently resides in Laguna Niguel, California, a suburb in Orange County currently represented in Congress by Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, The Los Angeles Times reported. He told the newspaper in an interview Thursday that he wouldn’t challenge Mr.Rohrabacher “under any circumstances,” but that he’d weigh considering vying for the seat currently held about 100 miles northeast of his residence by Rep. Paul Cook, California Republican, The Times reported.

“Can I take on the Republican Party machine? Get real. No. Zero percent,” Mr. Cernovich told The Times. “But if there are 10 people running in the primary and the establishment is split among them, I’m competitive in a 10-way knife fight. Then we’re in the game.”

Mr. Cernovich tweeted that he would campaign on items ranging from student loan bankruptcy reform, to opening “a special inquiry into pedophilia in Hollywood.”

He previously propagated the so-called “Pizzagate” conspiracy that alleged unfounded connections between a D.C. pizzeria and a supposed pedophilia ring operating in its basement. The concept spread wildly upon being touted online by outlets including Infowars, a far-right website run by fellow conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and culminated in a North Carolina man opening fire inside the restaurant while “self-investigating” the theory in December 2016.

Mr. Cernovich downplayed the extent of his involvement in Pizzagate when reached Friday by The Washington Times and emphasized instead the recent rash of allegations involving disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein and other entertainers recently accused of sexual misconduct.

“I posted to a hashtag a few times, it’s not a big deal to anyone outside the D.C. media echo chamber,” Mr Cernovich said in regard to Pizzagate. “And given what Weinstein has been up to, and given that the media covered this up for decades, people wonder what Hollywood is hiding, and why the media is protecting Hollywood.”

Nonetheless, Mr. Cernovich’s social media posts are certainly capable of getting his opinions heard far and wide. His Twitter account is one of roughly 1,200 followed by President Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and one of fewer than 900 followed by Sean Spicer, the president’s former press secretary.