MSNBC Reporter Breaks Down How He Witnessed ‘Birth of a Conspiracy Theory’ by Trump Supporters at Arizona Vote-Counting Site
MSNBC’s on-the-ground reporter for the vote counting in Phoenix, Gadi Schwartz, offered up a blow-by-blow recounting of how he witnessed the “birth of a conspiracy theory” in real time by Trump supporters.
Schwartz has been covering the pro-Trump ballot sites protests in Arizona for days as the margin in that state continues to tighten, with Democratic nominee Joe Biden holding onto a roughly 40,000-vote lead over President Donald Trump with just over 200,000 ballots left to count.
Earlier in the day, however, the MSNBC reporter recalled that protestors lined up along a fence where the media parks its vehicles were starting to claim that press was trucking in ballots in what were, in fact, cases of audio and video equipment. Schwartz made a short TikTok video showing MAGA-clad protestors yelling at the press and saying: “There’s the ballots!” Schwartz then interviewed a member of the alleged conspirators — a news crew member from Fox News — who debunked the conspiracy about sneaking in ballots.
Watch how fast a conspiracy is born during a protest at the Maricopa county election center. Some people are convinced news vans parked in media spots are sneaking in ballots. We tried to explain its just camera equipment. They weren’t having it. @NBCNews @MSNBC pic.twitter.com/jc32kNcXOa
— Gadi Schwartz (@GadiNBC) November 6, 2020
A Daily Beast reporter, Will Sommer, also elaborated on Schwartz’s post to identify one of the oddly-dressed protestors — who was seen talking about ballot watermarks — as a well-known QAnon adherent.
Crazy video of the “Q Shaman” — a notorious Arizona QAnon promoter who dresses in pelts and horns — riling up a crowd about a bogus ballot fraud conspiracy theory. https://t.co/0dxiR3HKmd
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) November 6, 2020
Hours later, Schwartz laid out the moment in more detail on MSNBC, where anchor Brian Williams was leading the election coverage.
“We have been talking about some of the conspiracy theories we have seen boil up,” Schwartz said to Willaims. “We saw one happen in front of us, the birth of a conspiracy theory.”
“The conspiracy was [the press] were counting or bringing in ballots,” Schwartz noted. “They were bringing in ballots in vans that were from California. So everybody rushed over here and it was news crews, actually them over there. We tried to explain it was news crews loading in equipment.”
“Gadi, thank you for talking the time to tell that story,” Williams said, a clear look of concern on his face. “It is fascinating and it is troubling and in equal measure at the same time.”
Watch the video above, via MSNBC.
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