UK

Fake News Writer Paul Horner Found Dead At Home

He claimed Obama was gay and a radical Muslim.

28/09/2017 09:07 BST | Updated 28/09/2017 13:07 BST

A writer known for promoting fake news during the 2016 US presidential elections has been found dead.

Paul Horner, who claimed he was responsible for Donald Trump’s presidency, died from a suspected drugs overdose, according to officials.

He was found dead at his home in Laveen, Arizona, the BBC reported.

His brother JJ confirmed his death in a Facebook post.

According to the Associated Press, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Casey said that Horner had a history of prescription drug abuse and that “evidence at the scene suggested this could be an accidental overdose.”

Toxicology reports from the medical examiner’s office are still pending.

Horner was well known for his false stories and hoaxes, through sites such as newsexaminer.net, many of which went viral.

Perhaps his best-known lie was that Barack Obama was gay and a radical Muslim.

PA Wire/PA Images
Paul Horner claimed Donald Trump won because of him

In an interview with the Washington Post last year, Horner said: “I think Trump is in the White House because of me.

“My sites were picked up by Trump supporters all the time... His followers don’t fact-check anything - they’ll post everything, believe anything.”

His brother said Horner considered much of what he did to be satire.

The news comes after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that he was wrong to dismiss the idea that fake news on Facebook influenced the US election.

In a Facebook post, he admitted that he regretted dismissing the notion as “crazy”, adding: “This is too important an issue to be dismissive.”