|Born||August 20, 1953|
Rick Wiles (born August 20, 1953) is a far-right American conspiracy theorist, pundit, and senior pastor at the non-denominational Flowing Streams Church. He is the founder of TruNews, a website promoting racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, and antisemitic conspiracy theories.
Wiles has said that Jews seek to obtain control of countries to kill millions of Christians, and has claimed that Jews are "deceivers" and that Jews "plot, they lie, they do whatever they have to do to accomplish their political agenda." In February 2020, YouTube permanently banned the TruNews channel.
Before becoming a radio host, Wiles worked as an advertising and marketing sales manager for CNN and ESPN in the early 1980s, and in 1984 joined the Christian Broadcasting Network as their first National Cable Marketing Manager. In 1995, he was hired as the Marketing Director for Trinity Broadcasting Network. He resigned from the network in September 1998.
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Wiles founded the organization later to be called TruNews in September 1998, based in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, supposedly as a Christian ministry. During later months, Wiles toured America where he spoke of moral decline and aimed to prevent "economic collapse" and "war on American soil". On May 24, 1999, the organization, then named America's Hope, made its first broadcast. After five years of regular broadcasts, the news station changed its name to America Freedom News for a brief period. Wiles later changed it a second time to its current name, TruNews. It has also been known as Christian News Channel.
Wiles was reported by The Colorado Independent in October 2014 to have said the spread of Ebola "could solve America's problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion". In late January 2020, he said the coronavirus was God's "death angel" and "plagues are one of the last steps of judgment."
TruNews frequently described President Barack Obama as a "demon from hell". Obama, he claimed while the former president was in office, was the "jihadist-in-chief" who was "waging jihad against the United States from inside the White House" and murdered Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as a "pagan sacrifice".
In 2017, Wiles' guests included someone who claimed President Bill Clinton is a flesh eating cannibal leading to his contraction of related diseases. Another asserted that Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom is a "lizard person" who had Diana, Princess of Wales murdered because the Princess was in the process of revealing that the Royal Family was involved in satanism. He has also asserted that Israel and the "Jewish mafia" had President John F. Kennedy assassinated. Another edition of Wiles program claimed Israel and the "synagogue of Satan" are pushing the United States to fight wars on their behalf.
Wiles has asserted that the effects of Hurricane Harvey upon the city of Houston, Texas, in September 2017 resulted from Houston's "LGBT devotion"; has described Judaism and Islam as "the Antichrist"; has called Central American immigrants a "brown invasion" being used by God to punish White Americans for legal abortion; has claimed that the 2017 Las Vegas shooting was conducted by government death squads from a "gay/lesbian Nazi regime"; and, in July 2018, predicted an imminent coup (led by CNN's Anderson Cooper and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow) that would result in the nationally televised decapitation of the Trump family on the White House lawn.
TruNews is known for promoting racist and antisemitic conspiracy theories. Wiles promoted antisemitic conspiracy theories of Jewish world domination while discussing the 2019 AIPAC conference. He said on TruNews in November 2019 that the congressional hearing concerning the impeachment of Donald Trump are "infested with Jews" and constitute a "Jew coup". He claimed: "That's the way the Jews work. They are deceivers. They plot, they lie, they do whatever they have to do to accomplish their political agenda" and asserted the United States would reach a state of civil war before Christmas. Millions of Christians would be murdered by Jews as a result. Of the hoax Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Wiles said the authors had "accurately predicted what was going to happen in the world." TruNews and Wiles have also claimed that the transgender rights movement is a Zionist plot to make all of humanity androgynous, that this supposed plot was inspired by Talmudic and Kabbalistic doctrines, and that it involves "putting specific things in food, in drink".
Via Twitter in November 2019, TruNews said its channel had been suspended by YouTube. It was removed for violating YouTube's rules on hate speech. Wiles has denied his rhetoric has antisemitic intent: “It’s hard to say. I don’t know. I can tell you from my heart there is no ill will toward the Jewish people, with all sincerity.” He blamed George Soros for organizing a campaign against him. In late February 2020, TruNews was permanently banned from YouTube.
In March 2020, at a TruNews broadcast, Wiles claimed that the COVID-19 pandemic was God's punishment to Jews for opposing Jesus Christ and the disease spread in synagogues. Wiles also claimed that the outbreak in the United States started at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington, D.C. on March 2, 2020.
Wiles has claimed that the vaccines for protection against coronavirus are a plot for "global genocide" and has opposed vaccination efforts. In late May 2021, it was reported that Wiles himself had contracted COVID-19 and had been hospitalized. He said that his wife was "very fatigued," that his daughter-in-law was hospitalized, and that his grandson and other family members were suffering from coronavirus symptoms. He added that three staff members at TruNews were also ill with the virus.
Advocating violence and mass murder
In October 2019, Wiles stated that if Trump was defeated in the 2020 presidential election:
there is going to be violence in America. There are people in this country, veterans, cowboys, mountain men, guys that know how to fight, and they’re going to make a decision that the people that did this to Donald Trump are not going to get away with it and they’re going to hunt them down. If these people in Washington think that they are going to get away with it, it’s not going to happen. The Trump supporters are going to hunt them down. It’s going to happen and this country is going to be plunged into darkness and they brought it upon themselves because they won’t back off.
In late July 2020, Wiles urged President Trump to use “billions of hollow-point bullets” against Black Lives Matter protestors in Portland, Oregon to put down the "insurrection". He claimed the bullets were hoarded by President Obama "to round up Christians and constitutionalists under a President Hillary Clinton".
In late November 2020, after Trump's defeat was confirmed, Wiles stated that the Trump administration "plan to shoot some people". He said:
They’re going to have a bunch of traitors, they’re going to line them up against the wall, and start shooting them, because that’s what they deserve. The Democrats, the news media...If the leftists, if the scientists, professors have been working secretly with the Chinese Communist Party, then line them up against a wall and shoot them. That’s what you do with them.
- Wiles, Richard. "Final Day Book Introduction". TruNews. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- Maule, Will (August 6, 2019). "Pastor Rick Wiles Asks for $100 Million to Set-Up End Times Global Broadcasting Network". Christian Headlines. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
- Thebault, Reis (March 29, 2019). "News outlet that covered 'lizard people' and called Obama a demon just interviewed Trump Jr". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
The TruNews archive reads like a greatest hits collection of far-right conspiracy theories, a veritable potpourri of Nazi references and fear mongering about secret cabals.
- Rudoren, Jodi (November 27, 2019). "Far-Right Pastor Calls Impeachment A 'Jew Coup,' Begs Trump To 'Wake Up'". Forward. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
- "TruNews and Rick Wiles: 'End Times' Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism". Anti-Defamation League. January 13, 2020. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
TruNews is a fundamentalist Christian streaming news and opinion platform that has increasingly featured anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist content, and also has a long record of disseminating radical Islamophobic and anti-LGBTQ messages.
- Kampeas, Ron (January 23, 2020). "Trump White House Again Credentials Website That Called Impeachment a 'Jew Coup'". Haaretz. JTA. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
- Slisco, Aila (February 20, 2020). "YouTube Bans Anti-Semitic Channel TruNews After Founder Calls Trump Impeachment 'Jew Coup'". Newsweek. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
- Conti, Allie (July 11, 2014). "Man Behind Trinity Broadcasting Network Says Gays Are Tryng to Create a "Homosexual Special Race"". New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
- Elfrink, Tim (September 27, 2018). "Trump Takes Question From Racist, Homophobic Florida Conspiracy Website". Miami New Times. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
- "WRMI Radio Miami International – Outdated TruNews broadcasting schedule". Facebook.
- "About TruNews". TruNews. Archived from the original on May 14, 2019. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
- Martinez, Michael (October 18, 2014). "What's more disturbing than Ebola? The outrageous commentary". CNN. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
- Lemon, Jason (January 28, 2020). "Christian Pastor Claims Coronavirus is God's 'Death Angel,' Blames Parent's 'Transgendering Little Children'". Newsweek. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
- Malaea, Marika (November 18, 2019). "Florida Pastor Rick Wiles Claims Barack Obama is Anonymous Author of 'A Warning'". Newsweek. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
- Pasha-Robinson, Lucy (September 6, 2017). "Gay people to blame for Hurricane Harvey, say evangelical Christian leaders". The Independent. London. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
- Williams, James (July 23, 2018). "Florida Talk Show Host Rick Wiles 'We Are 72 Hours Away From An Attack On The White House.'". News Talk Florida. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
- Jensen, Tasia (March 28, 2019). "Far-Right Show TruNews Fearmongers: You're Going to See 'Christianity Become Criminalized'". Daily Beast. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
- MacGuill, Dan (November 27, 2019). "Did Pastor Rick Wiles Call Trump Impeachment a 'Jew Coup'?". Snopes. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
- "'There Will Be a Purge:' U.S. Pastor Warns of 'Jew Coup' to Impeach Trump". Haaretz. November 27, 2019. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
- Mantyla, Kyle (February 14, 2020). "TruNews: Zionism Is Using the Transgender Rights Movement to Make All of Humanity Androgynous". Right Wing Watch.
- Grynbaum, Michael M. (January 26, 2020). "Site That Ran Anti-Semitic Remarks Got Passes for Trump Trip". The New York Times. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
- Slisco, Aila (March 26, 2020). "Conservative Pastor Says Coronavirus Spreading in Synagogues is God's Punishment to Jews for 'Opposing' Jesus Christ". Newsweek. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
- Kilander, Gustaf (June 1, 2021). "Anti-vaxxer hospitalised with Covid after saying vaccines would wipe out 'stupid people'". The Independent. London. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
- Fieldstadt, Elisha (June 2, 2021). "Right-wing pastor gets Covid after saying vaccines were part of 'mass death campaign'". Yahoo News. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
- "Rick Wiles: Trump Supporters Will 'Hunt Down' Democrats For Impeachment". October 23, 2019.
- Thalen, Mikael (July 25, 2020). "Pastor begs Trump to use 'hollow-point bullets' on Portland protesters". The Daily Dot. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
- Lemon, Jason (November 30, 2020). "Pastor Urges Trump Admin to 'Shoot' Democrats, Journalists if They Conspired to 'Rig' Election". Newsweek. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
- Nash, Charlie (November 30, 2020). "Far Right Conspiracy Theorist Rick Wiles Predicts Trump Administration is Planning to Execute Democrats and Media 'Traitors'". Mediaite. Retrieved November 30, 2020.