A faction of local, county and state Republican officials across the country is pushing lies, misinformation and conspiracy theories online that echo those that helped inspire the U.S. Capitol insurrection.

These GOP officials’ posts are being amplified by algorithms that boost extreme content, allowing the officials to grow their bases on social media and exert outsize sway on their communities, city councils, county boards and state assemblies.

The Associated Press reviewed social media accounts of nearly 1,000 federal, state and local elected and appointed Republican officials. The rhetoric exposes the GOP’s internal struggle over whether it can include traditional conservative politicians, conspiracy theorists and militias.

 

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