President Barack Obama told GQ in an interview with Bill Simmons, creator of ESPN's "30 for 30" documentary series, published Tuesday that his favorite conspiracy theory to come up during his administration concerned a military exercise in Texas that prompted the state’s national guard to keep a watchful eye.
When asked by Simmons what he found to be "most entertaining conspiracy theory" he had ever read about himself, Obama responded, “That military exercises we were doing in Texas were designed to begin martial law so that I could usurp the Constitution and stay in power longer. Anybody who thinks I could get away with telling Michelle I’m going to be president any longer than eight years does not know my wife.”
Obama was talking about Operation Jade Helm 15, which was led by U.S. Special Operations Command from July to September in Texas. It also included New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado.
The exercise included the Army Special Forces Command, better known as Green Berets; Navy SEALs; Air Force Special Operations Command; Marine Special Operations Command; Marine Expeditionary Units; and the 82nd Airborne Division.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) directed the Texas State Guard to monitor the joint military exercise and provide updates.
“During the training operation, it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed,” Abbott wrote in April.
Speaking more generally about conspiracy theories, Obama was asked, "Have you ever said, 'Give me the JFK-assassination files, I want to read them. Give me all the secret stuff?'"
"I gotta tell you, it’s a little disappointing," Obama replied. "People always ask me about Roswell and the aliens and UFOs, and it turns out the stuff going on that’s top secret isn’t nearly as exciting as you expect. In this day and age, it’s not as top secret as you’d think."