State Politics

Idaho congressional candidate pushes Las Vegas shooting conspiracy theories

Las Vegas police investigating leaked photos of shooter's hotel room

Police confirmed the authenticity of the leaked photos showing the inside of the hotel room used by Stephen Paddock to carry out the mass shooting that killed 59 people October 1. "We have opened up an internal investigation to determine the sour
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Police confirmed the authenticity of the leaked photos showing the inside of the hotel room used by Stephen Paddock to carry out the mass shooting that killed 59 people October 1. "We have opened up an internal investigation to determine the sour

A Republican candidate for Idaho’s District 1 Congressional seat has drawn attention and criticism after promoting several unfounded theories on his blog about the Las Vegas shooting that left 59 dead and more than 500 injured on Sunday night.

Michael Snyder, a conservative author who lives in Bonners Ferry, posted a entry on his blog “The Economic Collapse” on Tuesday posing “16 unanswered questions about the Las Vegas shooting that the mainstream media doesn’t want to talk about.” He has also posted two entries about the shooter, claiming he may have been an anti-Trump activist with ties to antifacist organizations, among other claims.

“Were there additional shooters? A taxi driver clearly captured video of an automatic weapon being fired out of a lower level window,” Snyder wrote, linking to a YouTube video that has since been removed by the user. Snyder’s post has been viewed by more than 1.2 million people according to CrowdTangle, a social media tracking site.

Multiple reputable news outlets have debunked the claims of multiple shooters, with the New York Times pointing out that a flashing light seen on the fourth floor that some claim is a second shooter can be seen flashing in footage taken before and after the shooting.

Several of Snyder’s other questions have also been answered: the New York Times posted a minute-by-minute analysis of what happened on Sunday night, as well as an analysis of leaked photos of the shooter’s hotel room.

The Statesman has reached out to Snyder for comment.

Snyder, who describes himself on his campaign website as “100% pro-gun,” isn’t the only one promoting such theories. Your News Wire, a conspiracy-focused site, has published similar posts, as has davidwolfe.com, a lifestyle blog.

It’s not the first time that Snyder has been publicly called out for endorsing hoaxes on his website. Last month, the Washington Post indicated Snyder as the source of a rumor that Hurricane Irma could turn into a Category 6 hurricane — no such category exists — and “wipe entire cities off the map.”

Though Snyder has “a strong religious following across the nation,” according to Idaho Associated Press reporter Kimberlee Kruesi, he “isn’t well-known in Idaho.”

Snyder is running against Republicans Russ Fulcher, David Leroy, Luke Malek and James Rockwell for Rep. Raul Labrador’s current seat.

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