Fake news report leads to shooting

The restaurant had faced social media threats ahead of the November 8 election after fake news stories, known as "Pizzagate", claimed that Clinton and campaign chief John Podesta were running a child sex ring out of the pizzeria. He has been charged with assault with a risky weapon.

On Monday, Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, of Durham, North Carolina, was charged with four criminal counts, including assault with a unsafe weapon for discharging his AR-15-style weapon three times while combing Comet Ping Pong for the child sex slaves that he told police he thought were being confined there.

Largely ignored by established media outlets like the Washington Post and CNN until this week, Pizzagate believers contend that Comet Ping Pong is the hub of a child-sex ring that reaches its slimy tentacles into the belly of the Democratic party's elite, including Hillary Clinton and her former campaign chairman, John Podesta. Comet Ping Pong is scheduled to open at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Edgar Maddison Welch, 28 of Salisbury, N.C., surrenders to police Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Washington. Welch, who said he was investigating a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton running a child sex ring out of a pizza place, fi. It morphed into fake online news stories about a child sex trafficking ring run by prominent Democrats operating out of a Washington, D.C., restaurant.

No one was hurt and the man was arrested.

The White House on Monday denounced the rise in similar politically inspired fake news, calling the stories "corrosive" to democracy.

The elder Flynn, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's pick to be national security adviser, also tweeted the false story a few days prior to the election.

Police soon surrounded the restaurant and arrested Welch, who they say told them "he had read online that the Comet restaurant was harboring child sex slaves and that he wanted to see for himself if they were there".

The man allegedly pointed the gun at a restaurant employee, who managed to escape, then fired the weapon multiple times inside the restaurant. Police said an additional weapon was recovered from his vehicle.

If that's the case, perhaps the best thing for all of us is to just grab a slice, sit back, and forget this whole thing ever happened.

"There will be a time and a place to address how and why this happened in greater detail but for now I will simply say we should all condemn the efforts of some people to spread malicious and utterly false accusations about Comet Ping Pong", owner James Alefantis told WUSA-TV. Flynn Jr., who has accompanied his father to presidential transition meetings inside Trump Tower and lists the presidential transition website as part of his Twitter bio, tweeted Sunday night that, "Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it'll remain a story".

Evidence for the PizzaGate theory comes only in the way of what proponents say are "code words" hidden within leaked emails from Podesta.

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