- The Washington Times - Friday, May 15, 2020

The U.S. Secret Service confirmed Friday that the agency interviewed right-wing media personality Alex Jones after he claimed to know about plots to assassinate President Trump.

Secret Service records obtained by The Washington Times revealed that Mr. Jones, a talk show host who also runs the website Infowars, was questioned by the agency in late 2017.

The records, provided in response to a request made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), are redacted in parts and do not reveal what was discussed during the interview.

But in addition to confirming the conversation occurred, the records show that Mr. Jones has landed several times on Secret Service’s radar and that the agency is well aware of his history of spreading right-wing conspiracy theories through his talk show and Infowars site.

The Times filed the FOIA request after the Secret Service declined to comment when asked about a claim Mr. Jones made during an episode of his talk show aired on Dec. 6, 2017.

“I had the Secret Service call me yesterday, and it wasn’t a secret meeting, but they want to come here and — it’s total twilight zone — and want me to brief them on all the data we’ve collated on whose setting up a plan to kill the president,” Mr. Jones said at the time.

Indeed, the newly released Secret Service records show that Mr. Jones was interviewed by phone by an agent working out of the department’s office in Austin, Texas, on Dec. 5, 2017. The entirety of a summary of the conversation that the interviewer provided afterward was redacted in the records released by the agency to protect personal and private information, however.

Nonetheless, the records show that a query of government databases — namely the Secret Service’s Protective Threat Management System (PTMS), Criminal Investigative Division’s Field Investigative Reporting System (FIRS) and Targeted Violence Information Sharing System (TAVISS) — found that the agency’s Protective Intelligence Division has a record for Mr. Jones, and that he has come to the Secret Service’s attention “multiple times due to conspiracy theory articles posted on his website and comments made during his broadcasts.”

The records released by the Secret Service proceed to describe Mr. Jones as one of the first individuals to discuss the conspiracy surrounding former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, citing a movie he released in early 2009, “The Obama Deception.”

“He has a history of referring to major terrorist attacks as hoaxes, including the attacks on 9/11 which he believed were orchestrated by globalists to further the U.S. Government’s goal of enslaving the world,” the records continue. “Jones also claimed the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting was staged with child actors and alleged there were no fatalities. Jones made similar statements regarding the Boston Marathon bombings, the movie theater shooting in Aurora, the Columbine school school and the San Bernardino shooting.”

The Secret Service’s records also note that Mr. Jones interviewed President Trump during his White House campaign in December 2015.

“Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down,” Mr. Trump said at the time.

Elsewhere records mention that, later during the 2016 presidential race, Mr. Jones offered to pay individuals thousands of dollars to appear on television proclaiming that former President Bill Clinton — the husband of Mr. Trump’s rival in the election, former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton — is a rapist.

“As a result, several individuals appeared at various campaign sites for candidate Hillary Clinton and attempted to appear on television as part of Jones’ campaign,” the Secret Service records say.

The records also connect Mr. Jones to the boosting the bogus “Pizzagate” conspiracy that erupted in late 2016 as well as several claims made the following year about Mr. Trump.

“Between March 2017 and December 2017, Jones made references to several assassination plots targeting President Trump, including a theory that the ‘deep state’ was planning to assassinate President Trump, a poisoning plot referencing the President’s drinks, and a globalist plot evidenced through a plea agreement of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn,” the Secret Service’s records state.

The records proceed to mention again that Mr. Jones was interviewed by the agency in December 2017, but the rest of that section is redacted as well.

Mr. Jones, 46, did not immediately return a message requesting comment.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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