John Bolton, the hawkish former Bush administration official now reportedly under serious consideration for deputy secretary of state, suggested during a Fox News interview on Sunday that the reports of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election might be a "false flag" by the Obama administration, an accusation characterized as "insane" by observers.
"It’s not at all clear to me just viewing this from the outside that this hacking into the DNC and the RNC computers was not a false flag operation," the former UN ambassador said. "The question that has to be asked is, why did the Russians run their smart intelligence service against Hillary’s server but their dumb intelligence services against the election?"
"False flag, that's a very serious charge," Shawn responded, apparently stunned by the accusation. "False flag by whom?"
"We just don't know," Bolton said. "But I believe intelligence has been politicized in the Obama administration to a very significant degree."
A false flag is a conspiracy in which events are designed to appear as though they are being carried out by a group or nation other than the entity actually responsible for them.
ThinkProgress' Jedd Legum characterized Bolton's charge as an "absolutely insane theory":
4. Bolton called it a "false flag," which is a favorite term of InfoWars, the people who brought you pizzagate https://t.co/oRUPSkz7NV
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) December 12, 2016
If the U.S. election was interfered with by a foreign power, Bolton added, such actions should provoke a military response.
Watch the full interview here: