Washington DC pizzeria Comet Ping Pong wants to install some security upgrades, for obvious reasons, and it’s seeking the public’s help. A few days after a misled conspiracy theorist fired a gun inside the restaurant, Comet Ping Pong has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for a variety of new expenses.
The pizzeria set a goal of $28,000, and as of this posting, it has raised $12,778 from 348 people in one day. In the GoFundMe post, the Comet Ping Pong team explains it needs support for “lost wage compensation for our amazing cooks and FOH staff, paid security we have hired to ensure the safety of our patrons and staff, legal expenses, security upgrades, physical damage.”
The pizzeria has been the target of Donald Trump-supporting conspiracy theorists who falsely believe it is at the center of a child prostitution ring linked to former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Dubbed “Pizzagate,” believers of the conspiracy theory point to leaked innocuous emails between Podesta and Comet Ping Pong owner James Alefantis, a Clinton fundraiser.
On Sunday, a conspiracy theorist named Edgar M. Welch carried an assault rifle into the restaurant and fired at least one shot. Welch was arrested and told police he was investigating Pizzagate and carried a weapon so he could rescue imprisoned children he assumed were on the premises. None were found because Pizzagate is not based in reality.
The conspiracy theory has spread like wildfire on the internet, and now its believers are targeting at least two more pizzerias: Roberta’s in New York and East Side Pies in Austin. As with Comet Ping Pong, there is no evidence that links either to any sort of illicit activity.
• Comet Ping Pong [GoFundMe]
• Internet Crazies Think This DC Pizzeria Is the Center of a Clinton Sex Ring [E]
• Pizzagate Conspiracy Theorist Fires Gun Inside D.C. Restaurant [E]
• The Absurd 'Pizzagate' Conspiracy Theory Has Spread to New York and Austin [E]