Infowars’ Alex Jones said he spread conspiracy theories about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School because of a “form of psychosis” caused by the government and mainstream media.
Jones is currently facing multiple lawsuits filed by family members of victims of the 2012 shooting who have accused him of irresponsibly pushing lies and conspiracies. In his defense, recorded in a video for his deposition, Jones claimed he truly believed the shooting — in which 20 children and six staff members were killed — was staged when he spread conspiracy theories via his show and website.
But, as he proclaimed his innocence, he continued to speak the language of conspiracy, blaming the government, mainstream media, and Democrats like Hillary Clinton for his actions.
“It really is the fact that we’ve allowed the government and institutions to become so corrupt that people have lost any compass of what’s real,” Jones said in the deposition taken earlier this month. “And I, myself, have almost had like a form of psychosis back in the past where I basically thought everything was staged, even though I’m now learning a lot of times things aren’t staged.”
Jones’ deposition was released Friday by Texas law firm Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball, which is handling four lawsuits against Jones and Infowars.
In the years since the massacre, Jones has suggested all or parts of it were staged and that grieving parents were actors. Over about four hours, Jones declined to answer questions about those topics and claimed he could not remember much of what he had said about Sandy Hook.
But he also ranted about free speech and denied that he had intentionally spread lies — which, if proven, would allow a judge to hold him responsible for the death threats, invasions of privacy, emotional distress, and other damages parents suffered.
“I think at that point in my life, in whatever the context was that I was saying, ‘I think basically the whole thing was fake,’ I mean, that’s my right to do that,” Jones said in the deposition. “I legitimately had believed that Sandy Hook was probably completely staged at different periods of my life. Like, I believed Jussie Smollett was staged or [weapons of mass destruction in Iraq] were staged.”
But Mark Bankston, a lawyer for the families, pressed Jones on if he really thought his statements about Sandy Hook were caused by psychosis.
“I’m just saying that the trauma of the media and the corporations lying so much, then everything begins,” Jones trailed off. “You don’t trust anything anymore, kind of like a child whose parents lie to them over and over again, well, pretty soon they don’t know what reality is.”
Jones added that he currently believes a massacre took place at the elementary school, and described it as a tragedy. He said he had in the past been misled by other people who were investigating the shooting and sharing theories on the internet.
But as he answered Bankston’s questions, he continued to spread conspiracies: He claimed he had seen video of a man who may have been a second shooter at Sandy Hook, he said he’d seen evidence the gunman who killed 59 people at a Las Vegas concert was an arms dealer involved in conflicts in the Middle East. He also questioned why the current lawsuit he’s facing was filed after Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election.
“You know, I think the government and the media that’s been caught lying so much has created an atmosphere where people don’t know what’s true,” Jones said.
“So you do not believe that you’ve done an outrageous wrong to these parents?” Bankston responded.
“No,” Jones said. “I’ve not done an outrageous wrong to the parents.”