WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) — Hillary Clinton doesn’t give off the wackadoodle vibe of a tin foil hatter.
If anything: In public, she’s viewed as too cautious and overly starched.
But behind the scenes, Clinton holds an affinity for conspiracy theories little known to the American public.
A multi-decade review of public and private records suggests the Democratic nominee is open to alternative explanations of long-disputed subjects ranging from aliens to JFK’s assassination.
‘Vast right-wing conspiracy’
Hillary Clinton’s most famous conspiracy-centric utterance came during an infamous “Today Show” appearance in January of 1998.
Under scrutiny from conservative activists and Whitewater special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, then investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair, the first lady described her husband’s enemies as agents of a “vast right-wing conspiracy.”
She confidently predicted that “the truth will come out,” declaring that the same groups had been “conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.”
“She portrayed Starr as an obsessed prosecutor in league with [Rev. Jerry] Falwell and others on the far political right whose only mission has been to ‘undo’ the results of the last two elections,” reported the Washington Post the next day.
Clinton’s accusations didn’t dissuade Starr from publishing a bombshell report on President Bill Clinton’s sordid sexual escapades in the White House, but did draw millions of supporters into the ranks of suspicious Democrats.
The Clinton camp is chock-full of UFO truthers.
In the late 1990s, President Bill Clinton called for a top-down review of Roswell documents, believing the classified information could reveal evidence of extraterrestrial life.
Turns out, it didn’t.
But he’s still open to the existence of ETs, telling ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel, “We know from our fancy telescopes that in just the last two years, more than 20 planets have been identified outside our solar system that seem to be far enough away from their suns, and dense enough, that they might be able to support some form of life, so it makes it increasingly less likely that we’re alone.”
His wife just might agree.
The New York Times tweeted that “UFO enthusiasts have declared Hillary Clinton the first ‘E.T. candidate.”
“Mrs. Clinton has vowed that barring any threats to national security, she would open up government files on the subject,” which NYT writer Amy Chozik noted will include “Area 51, the remote Air Force base in Nevada believed by some to be a secret hub where the government stores classified information about aliens and U.F.O.s.”
In April 2016, Clinton further fueled the paranormal fire by telling iHeart Radio hosts in an interview, “There are enough stories out there, that I don’t think everybody is just sitting in their kitchen making them up. I think people see things. What they see, I don’t know. But we’ve got to try to give people information; I believe in that.”
The man helping run Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, chairman John Podesta, is also on board.
Vanity Fair reports that Podesta, who also worked in the first Clinton administration, has a “ long history of fighting for the disclosure of government information on the topic and is well-known for his preoccupation with the unexplained.”
Books are still being written today about the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
The official story is that lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald shot the president as his motorcade rolled through downtown Dallas that November day.
Numerous official inquiries have ruled out additional gunmen and the involvement of government agencies.
However, Hillary Clinton seems to harbor skepticism.
Just a few months after entering the White House, Clinton sat down with Parade Magazine writer Dotson Rader in February 1993.
A 26-page transcript of their discussion reveals the former first lady had enjoyed a book, the name of which she couldn’t recall but thought resembled Leaves of Autumn, detailing a larger, more sinister plot to murder the 35th American president.
Clinton tells Rader that the book contained an “incredible and persuasive argument about the connection between President Kennedy’s assassination and the events in Vietnam and involving Cuba and North Vietnam and Russia and Mexico. You know, the never-ending conspiracy theory.”
As the chat continues on the next page, the discussion is redacted, hidden behind a large black box.
What else did the first lady say about the supposed plot to kill JFK? The truth is out there.
Follow Chance Seales on Twitter: @ChanceSeales