In a nasty, angry outburst with the parents of children slaughtered in Newtown, Connecticut in the courtroom, conspiracy theorist and far right wing provocateur Alex Jones said he "legitimately" thought the massacre of 20 young children and six adults during the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting "might have been staged."
It was an ugly, vicious scene.
Christopher Mattei, attorney for the Sandy Hook families, "raised his voice, turned and gestured toward the families packed into the front of the court room and told Jones, 'You put targets on all their backs,'" the Hartford Courant reports.
"Just like all the Iraqis that you liberals killed," Jones responded. "You're unbelievable. You switch on emotions on and off," he accused, calling Mattei an ambulance chaser.
"Why don't you show a little respect?" Mattei replied.
"Objection!" Jones' attorney decried.
"You have families in this courtroom here, that lost children, sisters, wives, moms..." Mattei told Jones.
"Several of the victims’ families were sitting in the courtroom Thursday, many crying during parts of the testimony," NBC News reports. "A jury is being asked to decide how much he should pay in damages to the families of eight Sandy Hook shooting victims and an FBI agent who responded to the attack, all of whom say his lies about the shooting led to emotional distress and harassment by people who believed his lies."
"Is this a struggle session? Are we in China?" Jones snapped in response, referring to what some call "denunciation rallies," public humiliation methods from the Maoist period designed to shape public opinion.
“I’ve already said I’m sorry hundreds of times and I’m done saying it,” Jones retorted. "I didn't regenerate this, I wasn't the first person to say it."
"American gun owners didn't like being blamed for this," Jones said, referring to the Sandy Hook mass shooting, "as the left did, so we rejected mentally and said it must not be true."
Jones appeared to be using as a defense that he has the right to "decide" what is or is not fact, based on his political beliefs.
"But I legitimately thought it might have been staged, and I stand by that and don’t apologize for it.”
There is no record of mass shootings in modern America ever having been staged.
"Please don't apologize" the families' attorney retorted.
"I've already apologized to the parents," Jones added. "I don't apologize to you."
"Objection!" one man yelled.
"You're going to do it again, aren't you?" Mattei, the families' lawyer, challenged Jones with, appearing to suggest Jones will continue to promote conspiracy theories of staged mass shootings again.
On social media rebukes of Jones were strong.
"Every bit of information from this trial is a portrait of a brain-poisoning, brain-poisoned monster," said Toronto Star columnist Bruce Arthur.
"Human beings rarely come in worse, more pathetic packages than Alex Jones. The trick here is to never, never forget about all the kids that were slaughtered and how Jones profited from that and made the lives of their families a living hell," wrote journalist Stephen Tustin.
Watch Jones' remarks below or at this link.