Brad Parscale’s Suicide Threat Sparks Conspiracy Claims

By Saranac Hale Spencer

Posted on September 29, 2020

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Quick Take

Social media accounts that boost conspiracy theories make a baseless claim that the Clintons were involved in a recent incident at the home of Brad Parscale, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager. The police report describes a domestic dispute during which Parscale threatened suicide.

Full Story

Brad Parscale, who runs the digital strategy for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, was hospitalized under a Florida mental health law after threatening suicide Sept. 27.

Within hours, an Instagram account that promotes the QAnon conspiracy theory had posted a picture of Parscale with text that said: “My name is Brad Parscale. 24 hours ago I said I would expose the Clinton families connections to Haiti.”

The same account had posted other memes over the last two months referring to the child trafficking and cannibalism claims that are part of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which is based on the idea that there is an elite group of leaders who secretly run the government. Another account posted the Parscale claim with this comment: “Tonight’s he’s in a Florida hospital on suicide watch! 🤔 #neverevealyourplans #clintoncided.”

The term “clintoncided” refers to the long-running conspiracy theory that Bill and Hillary Clinton are responsible for the deaths of their political adversaries. We’ve written about similar claims before.

But there’s no evidence that the Clintons were involved in Parscale’s recent incident.

The police report describes a domestic dispute between Parscale and his wife, Candice Parscale, during which he had brandished a loaded gun and she fled their home.

Candice Parscale told police that her husband, who was replaced as Trump’s campaign manager in July, had been “depressed and suicidal recently,” according to the police report. “This has led him to consume alcohol a lot more frequently and make suicidal statements,” it said.

During the couple’s argument on Sept. 27, Brad Parscale “took possession of one of his firearms, racked the slide, loading it right in his wife`s presence,” according to the report. Candice Parscale left the house and thought she heard a gunshot. A realtor who was showing a house down the street from the Parscale’s home called police on her behalf.

When Fort Lauderdale police arrived, they “noticed several large sized contusions on both of [Candice Parscale’s] arms, her cheek and forehead,” according to the report, which also said that Candice Parscale “stated Brad Parscale hits her.”

The only two people noted in the report as being in the house at the time were Brad and Candice Parscale. There is no mention of the Clintons or anyone else.

After Brad Parscale was convinced to come out of the house, a SWAT team apprehended him. Officers then collected 10 guns from the house and brought him to a local hospital under the Baker Act, a Florida law that allows for the involuntary evaluation of those with mental illnesses.

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here.

This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here for more.

Sources

Trump, Donald (@realDonaldTrump). “I am pleased to announce that Bill Stepien has been promoted to the role of Trump Campaign Manager. Brad Parscale, who has been with me for a very long time and has led our tremendous digital and data strategies, will remain in that role, while being a Senior Advisor to the…” Twitter. 15 Jul 2020.

Fort Lauderdale Police Department. Incident/investigation report. 27 Sep 2020.

Hale Spencer, Saranac. “Baseless Clinton Conspiracy Theory Still Circulating.” FactCheck.org. 11 Dec 2019.

Fichera, Angelo. “False Story Ties Clintons to Doctor’s Death.” FactCheck.org. 18 May 2018.

Fort Lauderdale Police Department. “FLPD Releases Video of September 27th Baker Act Incident.” YouTube. 28 Sep 2020.

Florida Court Education Council. Baker Act Benchguide. Nov 2016.

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