As Anderson Cooper explained on his show this week, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) was recently spreading his completely unfounded conspiracy theory that women are coming to the United States to have "terror babies".
REP. LOUIE GOHMERT: I talked to a retired FBI agent who said that one of the things they were looking at were terrorist cells overseas who had figured out how to game our system.
And it appeared they would have young women who became pregnant, would get them into the United States to have a baby. They wouldn't even have to pay anything for the baby. And then they would return back where they could be raised and coddled as future terrorists.
And then, one day, 20, 30 years down the road, they could be sent in to help destroy our way of life, because they figured out how stupid we are being in this country.
Then he went on Fox Business Network and changed his story.
GOHMERT: It first came to my attention. Some of us were traveling to the Middle East last August, a year ago. And a lady on the plane was telling one of our group that they were about to have their second granddaughter. Her husband was with Hamas. Her grand -- I'm sorry -- her son-in-law was with Hamas -- and that they were going to do with the second as they did with the first grandchild. Daughter is going to come to America right before it's born on a tourist visa, have the baby.
They just like the option of having American citizens in the family.
Hamas, we recognize as terrorists. They're coming over -- oh, and she added, as a real kicker: And you know what the best part of it is? We don't have to pay anything for the baby to be born.
Apparently Rep. Gohmert didn't want to come AC360 and defend his story, so we got treated to this wingnut Texas State Representative Debbie Riddle instead. If Michele Bachmann ever gets ousted from the House of Representatives it looks like we've got a replacement waiting in the wings in the Texas State House. Does she remind anyone else of a cross between Mary Matalin and Marsha Blackburn?
Rep. Riddle insisted that the conspiracy theory put out there by Rep. Gohmert is a real threat and claimed as Gohmert did that her sources were "ex-FBI agents". When questioned for any proof of her claims, Rep. Riddle didn't take to kindly to Cooper's tepid questioning.
COOPER: Representative Riddle, you told my producer that pregnant women are coming here as tourists, having babies, and then going back home -- quote -- "with the nefarious purpose of turning them into little terrorists, who will then come back to the U.S. and do us harm." You said it's part of an organized terrorist element and could cost us lives. Where did you hear that?
DEBBIE RIDDLE (R), TEXAS STATE REPRESENTATIVE: That is information that is coming to my office from former FBI officials.
COOPER: What former FBI officials -- I mean, what evidence is there of some sort of long-term plot to have American babies born here and then become terrorists -- raised as terrorists overseas and then come back here?
RIDDLE: Well, at this point, I don't have the hard evidence right here in front of me.
However, this is something that is being talked about by various members of Congress. This is being looked into. This is an issue with not only folks coming across our southern border, with what is called anchor babies, and coming over for the entitlement programs and for that sort of thing, but I think that this is a lot more sinister issue.
All of these issues, we need to look at, because this is a critical, critical issue for all of the American -- American public.
COOPER: But you have no actual evidence?
RIDDLE: Other than that coming from former FBI folks.
COOPER: Can you tell us who these former FBI folks are, and what evidence they have or what evidence they have shown you?
RIDDLE: At this point, I'm not going to reveal that.
COOPER: I mean, if this is a real threat to the security of the United States, why wouldn't current FBI people be worried about it as well? I mean, why wouldn't this actually be...
RIDDLE: You know what? That's a really good question, because right now we have serious current threat that the government seems to be ignoring, and ignoring on our southern border. Quite honestly...
COOPER: But -- but they haven't told you any actual evidence, right? So, some former FBI -- you say some former FBI agents have talked to your office. Have they given your office actual facts or proof?
RIDDLE: That information, we are still gathering.
But the point that I think you are trying to make is about folks coming over here, having their babies when they are not here legally, or they might have overstayed their visa, whether they are coming from south of the border or whether they're coming from Middle Eastern countries.
We must protect and make sure the safety and security of the people of Texas and the folks of this country is secure. That's the number-one job of every elected official. And, quite frankly, it is altogether possible to make a dirty bomb, stick it in a suitcase, walk it across our southern border, and take it to downtown Houston or any other city, and blow it up, and kill a million or more folks.
Yet, why isn't the government taking that seriously? So, you're questioning me on details of this. And that's -- those -- they're fair questions. And we can deal with that now or we can deal with it at a later time. But that issue with dirty bombs that can be walked across our porous border that our president refuses to protect and secure...
RIDDLE: ... could -- could endanger people today.
COOPER: Right. Well, I mean, border security is certainly...
RIDDLE: That's the question.
COOPER: Border security is certainly an issue, and it's a good topic. It's not the topic, though -- I mean, you have made statements about these basically terror babies that are being raised overseas to be brought back here. I'm just asking for proof. You say you're still gathering it from unnamed former FBI people.
RIDDLE: Well, actually, I -- when your folks called me in the preliminary, that was part of the conversation. They did not tell me that you were going to grill me for this specific information that I was not ready to give to you tonight. They did not tell me that, sir.
COOPER: OK. OK.
Well, if you do have follow-up information, we would love to get it.
COOPER: And we will continue to follow up with her office.
You can read the rest of the transcript of the exchange here.
Of course Cooper waits until the following night to bring someone on to rebut Rep. Riddle. Former FBI Assistant Director Thomas Fuentes followed up and basically said Riddle didn't have any idea what she was talking about. Cooper also said her office wasn't returning any follow up calls. Shocker right?
So Anderson, you couldn't have had Thomas Fuentes on while the crazy wingnut lady was on there to rebut her to her face? It took a day to find someone who was going to let your audience know that the woman you had on the night before was nothing more than a fear mongering hate monger who wants to make the white people in Texas afraid of them thar turrists purely for political gain? Really? Better late than never I guess but I'd have rather seen the woman have to try to spread her lies with someone who could actually rebut them right there.
This latest wingnuttery from these extremists is a two-fer. They get to spread hatred of Muslims and Mexicans in one fell swoop. Isn't that special? "Terror babies"... just when I thought I'd heard it all they manage to take the crazy up another notch on the dial. These people should be ashamed of themselves, but that would mean that they have the capacity to feel shame in the first place, which I highly doubt.
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