A major source of the fake news surrounding the 2016 presidential election has died outside Phoenix at 38 years old.
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Casey on Tuesday said authorities found Paul Horner dead in his bed on Sept. 18.
“Evidence at the scene suggested this could be an accidental overdose,” he said of Horner, who had a history of prescription drug abuse.
Casey also noted that the Maricopa County medical examiner performed an autopsy which revealed there were no signs of foul play.
Toxicology reports from the medical examiner’s office remain pending, Casey added, and Horner’s case will remain open until those results are known and a cause of death is finalized.
Some Twitter users on Wednesday reacted to Horner’s death after he gained notoriety for spreading hoaxes and false stories on the internet.
"Famous fake news writer". I'm old but those are 4 shocking words— Jeri Chilcutt (@jhchilcutt) September 27, 2017
Horner attracted national attention during the 2016 race after fake articles he penned went viral on social media.
The author told The Washington Post last year that he believed he was responsible for President Trump winning the White House.
“My sites were picked up by Trump supporters all the time,” Horner said. “I think Trump is in the White House because of me.”
“His followers don’t fact-check anything – they’ll post everything, believe anything,” he continued.
“His campaign manager posted my story about a protester getting paid $3,500 as fact. Like, I made that up. I posted a fake ad on Craigslist.”
Horner admitted in the same interview, however, that he regretted the role he played in Trump’s victory over 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
“Looking back, instead of hurting the campaign, I think I helped it,” he said of last year’s GOP presidential nominee. “And that feels [bad].”
Horner’s stories included one falsely claiming former President Barack Obama was gay and a radical Muslim.
The writer also claimed in a separate article that protesters were getting paid thousands of dollars to demonstrate at Trump’s 2016 election campaign rallies.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.