Many people are saying Trump spreads claims by citing 'many people'

Donald Trump took to Twitter Monday night to suggest that Iran executed Shahram Amiri — a nuclear scientist accused of providing the United States with information on Tehran’s nuclear program — because he was apparently referenced in emails on the private server Hillary Clinton used for official State Department business.

“Many people are saying that the Iranians killed the scientist who helped the U.S. because of Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails,” Trump tweeted.

On CBS’ “Face The Nation,” Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton initially floated the idea behind Trump’s tweet.

“I’m not going to comment on what he may or may not have done for the United States government, but in the emails that were on Hillary Clinton’s private server, there were conversations among her senior advisers about this gentleman,” Cotton said. “That goes to show just how reckless and careless her decision was to put that kind of highly classified information on a private server.”

But critics quickly pushed back to debunk the Trump’s claim.

“Despite what you might read on Donald Trump’s twitter feed,” the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin wrote, “the Iranian execution of a nuclear scientist who defected to the United States and then changed his mind was not caused by Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The scientist outed himself; it wasn’t Clinton’s fault.”

On Sunday, an Iranian judiciary spokesman said Amiri, who defected to the United States in 2009 but returned to Iran, had been executed for treason. But there is no evidence that his execution was related to Clinton’s emails.

Cotton’s appearance led to a headline on the Drudge Report and Trump’s subsequent tweet, which inspired a hashtag #ManyPeopleAreSaying mocking his approach to pushing conspiracy theories without explicitly endorsing them.

At a rally in North Carolina on Tuesday, Trump used the “many people” line yet again, this time to illustrate the threat of ISIS facing Europe.

The real estate mogul has a history of using that phrase to fuel to his controversial claims.

But this one, many people might say, is the most controversial.