*Editor’s Note: Future Now’s director of research is Aaron Kleinman, not Aaron Kleiner.
The Republican candidate for a state House seat outside Scranton shared a conspiratorial post on social media referencing debunked and unsubstantiated claims of child abuse and murder by the Clintons.
Frank Scavo, a school board president, shared the post to Facebook on Sept. 17, during his unsuccessful run for state Senate against incumbent Democratic Sen. John Blake. He is currently the GOP nominee for the 114th House District special election in Lackawanna County.
The image, shared but not created by Scavo, focuses on Jen Moore, a conspiracy theorist who died in August.
“This is Jenny Moore. You might not have heard of her…,” the text on a photo of a woman who is not Moore reads. “Jenny aka ‘Task Force’ was a Journalist Investigating Child Trafficking by the D.C. Elite, including Bill Clinton… She was found dead, August 12, 2018.”
True Pundit, a conspiracy site that has pushed false claims in the past, was the first right-wing source to suggest Moore was murdered after she contacted the FBI with details of alleged child sexual abuse by Bill Clinton.
That conspiracy theory has no basis in fact or evidence.
Snopes.com, a fact-checking site, ruled the claim unproven in August 2018. A spokesperson for Prince George’s County Police in Maryland told the Capital-Star they have found nothing suspicious about Moore’s death.
In the past, True Pundit helped push falsehoods about Seth Rich, a murdered Democratic National Committee staffer, and the existence of a Clinton-connected pedophilia ring based out of a Washington, D.C. pizza shop. A believer in the baseless “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory fired an assault rifle inside the restaurant in 2016.
Scavo shared the post with his own commentary: “Child trafficking is alive and well… I’ve heard reports of it as close as Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania. Should I get into the Senate, it will be an expose on this bigger than that of the Catholic Church.”
As of Friday morning, the post was still live on Scavo’s public Facebook page. It was first highlighted on Twitter by Aaron Kleinman*, director of research for the progressive political activism group Future Now.
Scavo did not respond to requests for comment.
‘Lies and Treachery’
The Capital-Star reviewed Scavo’s other Facebook posts between March 2018 and the present. Mixed in with posts about his campaigns and local issues are statements that could be construed as anti-Muslim.
On Jan. 5 of this year, Scavo posted that “Muslims swear on the Quran, because the Quran allows the practice of lies and treachery against the Infidel. It is even defined and spelled out with the word taqiyya.”
Taqiyya is a concept in Islam that lets a practitioner hide their faith if at-risk of bodily harm or death.
“That’s why it’s important to use the Bible,” Scavo continued. “The Bible does not allow for treachery and lies. And the Bible is not a complete political system as is the Muslim political system.”
Scavo also shared “big news” of a speaking engagement by Brigitte Gabriel, the founder of ACT for America, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated a “hate group.”
The 114th House District seat has been unoccupied since last October, when former Democratic Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich died. A Democrat has represented the district, which President Donald Trump narrowly won in 2016, since 2000.
A staffer for Democratic candidate Bridget Malloy Kosierowski, a registered nurse, declined to comment on Scavo’s social media posts.
The election is March 12.
Sarah Anne Hughes contributed reporting.