Lou Dobbs, the most prominent host on the Fox Business network, peddled an unfounded conspiracy theory to his nearly 2 million followers on Twitter that potentially deadly pipe bombs mailed to several prominent Democrats over the past few days were fake.
"Fake News—Fake Bombs. Who could possibly benefit by so much fakery?" Dobbs wrote in a tweet Thursday morning that has since been deleted.
Dobbs, who is among Trump's most outspoken media supporters, seemed to be responding to comments made by the president earlier Thursday morning that the media was in some way culpable for the pipe bombs, which were intercepted before reaching the homes and offices of several prominent Democrats, including former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. One package, directed to former CIA director John Brennan, forced the evacuation of CNN's offices in midtown Manhattan on Wednesday.
Three more devices were discovered Thursday. Two were addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden, while another was directed at actor Robert DeNiro, who has been an outspoken critic of President Trump and his administration.
"A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News," Trump wrote on Twitter.
Dobbs also deleted a subsequent tweet where he put quotation marks around "suspicious packages" and linked the incident to false right-wing rhetoric surrounding a migrant caravan making its way through Central America toward the Mexico-U.S. border.
"This is the top host for Fox Business Network, peddling a groundless conspiracy theory after what are believed to be potentially lethal devices were sent to the nation's leading Democrats — and CNN," NBC media correspondent David Folkenflik wrote in response to Dobbs' tweet.
When asked for comment, a Fox Business spokeswoman pointed to a subsequent tweet in which Dobbs clarified his sentiment.
Dobbs is only the latest conservative commentator to make the baseless suggestion that bombs mailed to Democrats are a false flag intended to hurt Trump ahead of the midterm elections.
On Wednesday, popular conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, whose show is heard daily in Philadelphia on 1210 WPHT, suggested a "Democratic operative" was likely to have sent the devices because, "Republicans just don't do this kind of thing."
"You've got people here trying to harm CNN, and Obama, and Hillary and Bill Clinton, and Debbie blabbermouth Schultz. It just – it might serve a purpose here," Limbaugh said. "It's happening in October. There's a reason for this."
Jim Fitzgerald, a former FBI profiler, brought up the idea of the attack being a "false flag" to Fox News host Martha MacCallum Wednesday night.
While not ruling out the possible involvement of an international actor, such as Russia, Fitzgerald said a "low-level" Democrats could have decided to unleash an attack against prominent Trump foes "because two weeks before a major election, who's going to look like the bad guy here? The Republicans."
On Fox & Friends Thursday morning, Vincent Guastamacchia, a former NYPD officer, suggested Democrats could be "planting these devices" in order to bolster their chances in the upcoming election.
"The fact that these bombs have not gone off is a great indication that I feel these are false flag bombings," Guastamaccia said. "I really think that the left feels they're losing on many levels, and I feel they're planting these devices just for — to play the role of the victim."
Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy pushed back on Guastamacchia's suggestion, telling his guest there has been no information provided by law enforcement about who might be behind the spate of attempted bombings.
"I've heard those kind of conspiracy theories but, I think at this point, less than 24 hours after the first one it's too early to go that direction," Doocy said.