A fake news writer who claimed responsibility for President Trump’s shock election win was found dead in his Arizona home at the age of 38. Paul Horner was found in his bed on Sept. 18, and an autopsy found no signs of foul play, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Casey announced Tuesday.
The 38-year-old had a history of prescription drug abuse, and “evidence at the scene suggested this could be an accidental overdose”, according to Casey. Toxicology reports from the medical examiner’s office, as well as a cause of death are still pending.
Horner was known for writing false stories and disseminating internet hoaxes that often went viral on Facebook and hoodwinked thousands of people. They included a story falsely claiming President Barack Obama was gay and a radical Muslim, and another saying protesters were being paid thousands of dollars to demonstrate at Donald Trump’s campaign rallies. Horner took on greater prominence during the presidential election when false stories were widely shared on social media during the race between Trump and Hillary Clinton. In an interview with The Washington Post in 2016, Horner said he thought Trump won the White House because of him. Horner said Trump’s supporters did not fact-check his stories before posting them.