Author and Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson once again found herself the subject of ire on social media after she spread an unsubstantiated claim that Donald Trump was planning on posthumously pardoning murderer and cult leader Charles Manson.
“There is something deeply sinister about Trump pardoning Charles Manson, even posthumously,” Williamson tweeted to her 2.8 million followers. “Dog whistles of the very worst possible kind.”
Charles Manson died in 2017 while serving a life sentence for multiple murder charges. He is known for having led a murderous, racist, sexually abusive cult throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
Williamson’s tweet warning of the implications a Manson pardon would carry read with the somber tone of a candidate wanting to be taken seriously, but her claim about a forthcoming pardon was wholly unsupported.
After social media users noted she was spreading misinformation (with some noting the rumor could have begun as a satirical post on the progressive site Daily Kos), Williamson issued a pseudo-apology claiming she was “Glad To have been wrong.”
Williamson’s initial tweet spreading the hoax and her apology for doing so have since been deleted.
The Williamson campaign hasn’t seen any traction since the candidate announced her run for the presidency in January 2019. Williamson rose to fame in the 1990s and early 2000s as an author of self-help books. But while her prescriptive nature served her well in the literature world, voters in the political world haven’t shown interest in her policy prescriptions.
Williamson routinely polls below 1% among Democratic voters. Despite not qualifying for recent debates, she has vowed to remain in the race.