Conspiracy-touting Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy said Thursday that pro-Ukraine protesters attacked his car, a claim that the local police department sharply refuted.
Ramaswamy, who wants to cut U.S. aid for war-ravaged Ukraine, tweeted that at a campaign stop in Grinnell, Iowa, two protesters "got into their car & rammed it into ours." The Grinnell Police Department in a press release rebutted that claim, finding that driver Celia Meagher was backing up when her Honda accidentally bumped an empty rental car used by the Ramaswamy campaign, causing "minor damage." Ramaswamy, the police department stated, was at a coffee house across the street when the incident occurred.
"It was reported on social media that two protestors intentionally rammed into the [campaign's] vehicle and fled the scene," the police department noted. "Our investigation has found no evidence to substantiate that information. Meagher stated she was not in the area to protest, she did not know who the vehicle she struck belonged to, she did not intentionally back into the vehicle, and she did not flee the scene of the accident."
The Ramaswamy campaign stood by its claim, posting a video of what appears to be a protester honking at the candidate. It has not released any video of the collision.
This is far from the first time Ramaswamy has made a dubious claim. The candidate, who has repeatedly flip-flopped on whether he'd provide U.S. aid to Israel, also appeared to endorse 9/11 conspiracy theories. He told the Atlantic that asking "how many police, how many federal agents, were on the planes that hit the Twin Towers" is a "legitimate" question and told CNN that the 9/11 Commission "lied."
Ramaswamy's New Hampshire campaign chairman, meanwhile, is a 9/11 "truther" who has asked whether former president George W. Bush's administration was behind the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Ramaswamy is the only Republican presidential hopeful who would lose to President Joe Biden in a general election, according to a CNN poll released last month.