|U.S. President Barack Obama. (REUTERS)
A conservative lawmaker in Tennessee has apologized for reportedly passing along a fringe Canadian media rumour that U.S. President Barack Obama is planning to fake an assassination attempt to keep the November election from happening.
Kelly Keisling, a Republican in the state legislature, reportedly forwarded the e-mail from his official state legislature account Tuesday morning with the heading, "FW: Unbelievable election rumor."
The rumour in question -- which first appeared on canadafreepress.com -- states that Obama and the Department of Homeland Security are planning "a series of events" that may lead to "martial law" being imposed and delay the election.
While the original article appears to be removed from Canada Free Press, The Constitution Party of Canada quotes it liberally on their website, noting it "has potential" and "is worth spreading."
It alleges a Homeland Security "whistleblower" says the government is planning to stage a fake assassination attempt on Obama and blame it on white supremacists in order to cause mass riots and justify restricting civil liberties in urban areas.
"The whole purpose is to keep Obama in office for another term, no matter how unpopular he is, as he is not finished changing our country from a Constitutional Republic," the source said.
According to the Nashville newspaper, The Tennessean, Keisling released a statement Wednesday apologizing for forwarding the e-mail to constituents.
"Earlier this week, I forwarded an e-mail from my legislative office that should not have been sent out. The message was inappropriate for distribution," his statement reportedly reads. "I regret the error and pledge to be more cautious regarding the information distributed from my office in the future."