The latest conservative conspiracy theory trying to explain why Donald Trump lost the 2020 election involves infamous Philadelphia mob boss "Skinny Joey," who they claim was hired by Joe Biden to fabricate thousands of ballots.
The already-debunked conspiracy theory was spread online by Jordan Sekulow, the son of prominent Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow.
Follow all leads #Elections2020 EXCLUSIVE: How a Philly mob boss stole the election — and why he may flip on Joe Bi… https://t.co/Amf2bKD4Bt— Jordan Sekulow (@Jordan Sekulow) 1605534345.0
Of course, the claim has no basis in reality. "Skinny Joey" Merlino himself even weighed in to say he's not cooperating "with anybody," including Biden.
NEW: Joe Biden did not hire a reputed Philadelphia mob boss named “Skinny Joey” Merlino to fabricate hundreds of th… https://t.co/uleSBTHjVb— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) 1605738040.0
well, in light of the "Skinny Joey" hilarity, let's rehash Donny's mob ties https://t.co/tJKxBQAGnI— LynnieRe (@LynnieRe) 1605746531.0
For good measure, Merlino's lawyer even threw in this statement:
"My client categorically denies all the allegations and Joey would rather die than ever be a snitch."
Yeah, it wasn't Skinny Joey with the ballots in Philly. It was this guy. They call him Johnny Two Times because h… https://t.co/ARWbxburJj— Karlo ♥︎ Takki (@Karlo ♥︎ Takki) 1605747144.0
According to the false theory, Merlino was paid $10 per ballot and worked with a team for 60 consecutive hours to create 300,000 illegal ballots for Joe Biden.
Merlino thought the people claiming these things were "out of control."
Trump apologists are now claiming that Joe Biden hired a mob boss named Skinny Joey to fabricate election ballots.… https://t.co/SUzZDG6Ifb— Paul Cogan (@Paul Cogan) 1605803260.0
Okay are you ready for this one? Republicans are now saying that Joe Biden hired a mobster named "Skinny Joey" to f… https://t.co/mJP7kcyssf— Mindy Fischer Writer (@Mindy Fischer Writer) 1605746278.0
On Twitter, the "Skinny Joey" conspiracy theory was mercilessly mocked by everyone with sense.
As a philly native, Trump's whole Skinny Joey Merlino fabricating thousands of ballots is absolutely hilarious. Why… https://t.co/Oz2Y4QXvYP— Isabella Perri (@Isabella Perri) 1605747799.0
Donald Trump wouldn’t know the truth if Skinny Joey took a dead fish and smacked him in the face with it.— Shari Lynn (@Shari Lynn) 1605757155.0
After reading about his alleged involvement in the election, Merlino reportedly told his lawyer:
"These people are crazy!"
Rudy Giuliani in court try’n to blame Skinny Joey... Get outta here... Everybody knows only Fat Donnie has hands sm… https://t.co/2LKEZLpI4L— Hadley Sheley (@Hadley Sheley) 1605750114.0
From here on out, I'm calling my cat "Skinny Joey" https://t.co/VWibd2w0MR— niktastik (@niktastik) 1605746653.0
Even Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who's well known for peddling many insane conspiracy theories, felt the one involving "Skinny Joey" may be a bit too much to believe.
"There is an allegation about a mobster, but I think it's a far-fetched one."
Skinny Joey looking for the rat-liar Trump..... https://t.co/mY282KdzPg— VeggieBoss (@VeggieBoss) 1605748429.0
Everyone knows that Skinny Joey isn’t the ballot guy. You have to find Tommy The Teeth for that kind of job. https://t.co/c9cTTEFkqb— Farron Cousins (@Farron Cousins) 1605739310.0
Merlino is currently serving a "supervised release" sentence in Florida after striking a plea deal in 2018. He has been reportedly "out of the mob life" since 2013.
Though "Skinny Joey" notably endorsed Trump's hatred of "snitches" in 2017, his support of the President stops there.