Paul Horner, who wrote fakes news and political-satire articles, such as ones with Bill Murray running for president and President Obama opening a Muslim museum, was found dead in his Arizona home last Tuesday, according to authorities.
The Maricopa County medical examiner confirmed that there were no signs of foul play but was evidence that the death could be due to an “accidental overdose.”
During the 2016 presidential election, Horner created a list of websites that appeared to be legitimate news sites in order to spread false information.
One of Horner’s fake articles that went viral on the internet claimed protesters that disrupted Trump rallies were paid $3,500. Despite there being no evidence presented, the story sparked endless rumors about the alleged conspiracy.
According to an article in the New York Post, President Trump repeated the charge about the paid protesters while on stage during one of his rallies. However, it’s unknown if he learned about it from Horner’s story or if he was referring to the fact that groups funded by activist George Soros, such as MoveOn.org, do pay protesters to disrupt Trump rallies. This fact was uncovered through James O’Keefe’s “Project Veritas,” in which DNC operatives confirmed that they were paying thugs to attend and disrupt Trump’s events. There was also a slew of ads for paid protesters found on Craigslist.
Horner told the Washington Post last November that although the information was clearly fabricated, he made thousands of dollars each month from it because Trump’s supporters were “easy to fool.”
In the same interview, Horner claimed that Trump won the White House because of him.
“His followers don’t fact-check anything — they’ll post everything, believe anything,” Horner told the paper about Trump’s supporters.
Another notable fake news item claimed Horner was a Secret Service agent who penned a book revealing President Obama to be a gay Muslim. The Associated Press reportedly took the story seriously initially, until it later fact-checked sources and found it to be false.
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