James Hodgkinson, the shooter at the Republican Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., posted on Facebook on March 22 stating, "Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It's Time to Destroy Trump & Co," with a link to a change.org petition to impeach Trump on charges of treason for allegedly colluding with Russian intelligence services to steal the election. And he wanted to kill as many Republicans as possible in his attempt to mow down GOP senators and representatives, where House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) was shot.
The petition also names former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, one-time Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and one-time Trump campaign advisor Carter Page as co-conspirators, all who have been similar smeared - thanks to irresponsible media reports and politicians - to be Russian agents.
Hodgkinson now stands as Exhibit A of how exceedingly dangerous these charges have become.
Former Alaska Republican Gov. Sarah Palin has urged for national unity in the wake of the shooting, calling for prayers and not to politicize the attack. "Today's shooter appears to be a Bernie Sanders supporter and campaign volunteer. But Bernie Sanders is not to blame," Palin stated in an exclusive interview with Breitbart.com.
That is true. Sanders is not to blame.
Rachel Maddow has blood on her hands.
The entire mainstream media that has been pushing this "Trump is a Russian agent" narrative for months - without President Donald Trump having ever even been a target of the federal government's investigation into alleged Russian meddling of the 2016 election - has blood on their hands.
All of the government officials who leaked this bull---t story to the media in the first place have blood on their hands.
Christopher Steele, who concocted the now-discredited dossier on behalf of Democrat donors to be used against Trump alleging that not only had Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and put it on Wikileaks, but that the Trump campaign was an accomplice in that enterprise - without a shred of evidence, mind you - has blood on his hands.
The Obama administration and government agencies including the FBI that then legitimized that dossier, and even offered to hire Steele to carry on his work, has blood on its hands.
Everyone who has been pushing this story in the affirmative has blood on their hands. Shame!
Congratulations, you've driven your supporters certifiably insane.
Because of months of ceaseless propaganda, blaming Hillary Clinton's election loss on supposed Russian hacking and blaming the Trump campaign, now rabid believers in this nonsense are taking matters into their own hands.
The Russia mass hysteria has now inspired real political violence, not just the imagined bit of political violence on the part of comedian Kathy Griffin. It's a miracle the only person who was killed in this domestic terrorist attack was the shooter himself.
But this is what happens when, for months on end, the national news media, along with complicit government officials including elected leaders, portray the president of the United States as a foreign agent. As a traitor.
It is likely just a coincidence, but this shooting occurred one year to the day from when the Washington Post published the original Russia hacking story on June 14, 2016.
And in just one year, an entire political faction has been driven mad.
A recent Yougov poll in May found that 55 percent of Democrats and 31 percent of Independents in the U.S. said it was probably true or definitely true that "Russia tampered with vote tallies in order to get Donald Trump elected president."
It's a conspiracy theory, by Yougov's own admission. No government agencies have stated that Russia tampered with voting machines or ballots. But people - millions of people - believe this false story nonetheless because that was what they saw on television from their leaders.
And now we know just how fervent that belief is.
This is the predictable result of mass propaganda, but it also points to a more widespread problem, with the advent of violent groups like Antifa ("Anti-fascists") and Black Lives Matter. These leftist organizations are seizing upon a fertile environment for political extremism that has been fomented.
This extremism has become mainstream. And now it threatens to engulf this country.
This sort of political violence is nothing new. It was seen in the French Revolution. The Russian Revolution. Mao's Cultural Revolution. In the fascists' rise to power in Italy and Germany. During the Roman civil wars.
And it is as dangerous today as it was in those times.
That is why it is now incumbent on the agencies leading this witch hunt to wrap up their investigations and publicly disclose their findings, even if it reveals abuses by officials of the government's surveillance powers.
Those who promoted this conspiracy theory also need to now be voices of calm. They need to tell their followers that they lack evidence to prove their outlandish, unhinged claims and that they're putting it to rest.
It is going to be hard enough to protect the country from the violence that is to come without the bitter, tin-foil hat conspiracists of the left continuing to peddle their lies on national television. It is now the responsibility for those who have spawned this monster to try to put it back in its cage.
Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.