As much of the nation starts working out how and when to reopen from lockdown policies meant to fight the spread of the coronavirus, some skeptics are openly wondering if resistance to those plans is just an act of partisan retribution.
Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh argued on Wednesday that some people in the U.S. government are focused more on grudges from the 2016 presidential race than an ongoing health and economic crisis, the Washington Examiner reported. According to Limbaugh’s speculation, the ultimate goal of shutting down much of the country is to punish President Donald Trump and his supporters for his victory over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Thought it was a slam dunk”
“The entire deep state bureaucratic apparatus was 1,000% invested in Hillary Clinton being elected, and they all thought it was a slam dunk,” Limbaugh said Wednesday, according to the Examiner.
Even more than three years after Trump’s inauguration, he surmised that the “shock of losing that election has not worn off” among Trump’s harshest critics. “It’s coupled with a commitment,” Limbaugh theorized. “They’re not [going to] lose another one ever again, either period or like that. It ain’t gonna happen. They aren’t [going to] get blindsided.”
Limbaugh went on to identify a perceived connection between disappointment over a lost election and current coronavirus-related restrictions.
“We are seeing this manifest itself in the form of advocating for an ongoing never-ending shutdown and lockdown of the United States,” he said, according to the Examiner. “This is what happens when you vote against the left, vote against the Democrat Party.”
“Silent coup against Trump”
Expanding his critique of government officials even further, the radio host focused particularly on federal intelligence and law-enforcement agencies.
“All these people at the FBI and the intelligence community who ran this hoax operation, this silent coup against Trump, they would’ve been rewarded, they would have had lifetime career appointments and jobs and what have you,” Limbaugh said of the unidentified operatives.
His remarks were a possible reference to an FBI investigation of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. Recently revealed documents include handwritten notes indicating agents intended to coerce Flynn to lie so he would be fired or prosecuted.
“He is an innocent man”
The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Thursday its decision to seek a dismissal of charges that Flynn lied to federal investigators, according to CBS News.
“He is an innocent man,” Trump said in response to the development, according to Fox News. “Now in my book, he’s an even greater warrior.”
Of course, Flynn is hardly the only Trump loyalist being denigrated by the current president’s political foes. Presented with evidence like the damning documents identified as part of this investigation, it is no wonder many Americans might find Limbaugh’s “Deep State” theory credible.