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The Elephant in The Room
A journey into the Trump Campaign and the Alt-Right
By Jon Ronson
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The TVs at the Equinox were showing a Donald Trump rally. I plugged in my headphones and heard someone in the crowd shout out to Trump: "Are you going back on the Alex Jones show?"
"Alex Jones?" Trump said. "He was a nice guy! You like him?"
"It was a GREAT interview!" the man called back.
"Oh good," Donald Trump said. "Alex Jones. Nice guy."
I was so jolted by this exchange I almost fell off my elliptical. Donald Trump knows Alex Jones?
I am basically Alex Jones's Simon Cowell. I star-spotted him in the late-1990s. He'd been a locally renowned radio talk show host in Austin, Texas, back then, but I gave him the idea that catapulted him to fame. My idea was for the two of us to sneak into a secretive summer camp in the forests of Northern California called Bohemian Grove, where powerful men like George H.W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Henry Kissinger were rumored to undertake an annual ritual in which a human effigy was thrown into the fiery belly of a giant stone owl.
As I watched Trump praise Alex, I suddenly had an exciting realization. I had had no way into Trump's world. But now I did. If I could somehow rekindle my relationship with Alex, he was my way in. The Republican National Convention was approaching. Perhaps Alex would be there. I flew to Cleveland.
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