One of the stranger aspects of having a conspiracy theorist in the Oval Office is that it goes against the way conspiracy theorizing usually works.
Conspiracy theories are a way to stand up, through disbelief, against the powerful. Those who spread conspiracy theories in earnest are, whether they mean to or not, partaking in an act of defiance against established institutions as much as they are questioning accepted truths. Usually, then, a refusal to believe the widely accepted explanation of how something happened originates from outside of official channels like government. A president might be the one accused of the conspiracy; rarely is he the one spreading rumors.
Donald Trump is not like other presidents.
Trump is powerful, yes. And he has been for decades. Before he was president he was a wealthy television star and real-estate developer. He was long famous for being famous, a fixture in the New York City tabloids since the 1980s. Yet he has all the while gravitated toward tall tales and hoaxes. Today he is the president who falsely cries “fake news” about the legitimate information he dislikes. He is also the most famous champion of Birtherism, the lie that Barack Obama was born outside of the United States. And he is a performer who has, for decades, relished occupying the public space between real and make-believe, whether as a game-show host on reality television or in the pro-wrestling cameos he made.