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Elon Musk has been accused of promoting a long-debunked conspiracy theory which alleged high-profile Democrats ran a paedophile abuse ring from a Washington pizza restaurant.

The billionaire posted and later deleted a meme referencing “Pizzagate” on X on Tuesday, NBC News reports.

It was an image from TV show The Office, with fake dialogue superimposed on to the scene to make it look like the characters were arguing about whether the conspiracy was real.

“Does seem at least a little suspicious,” Musk wrote.

His post was seen by NBC News – Sky’s US partner network – before it was taken down.

The conspiracy began during the 2016 US election to smear Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton, and led to a man entering the pizza restaurant in question with an assault rifle.

It has previously been promoted by the likes of Alex Jones and former staff of Donald Trump.

NBC News reports Musk has replied to X posts about Pizzagate at least four times since 20 November.

They feature unfounded insinuations that journalists were involved.

No evidence has ever been uncovered that a child trafficking ring was being run from the pizzeria, or that Democrat politicians were involved and journalists covered it up.

Musk is a regular critic of the media and purveyor of conspiracies, including that aliens built the pyramids.

Last year, shortly after buying the platform formerly known as Twitter, he posted a link to an article featuring an unfounded rumour about an attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband.

More recently, he has been accused of endorsing an antisemitic conspiracy theory. It led to major advertisers pulling promotions from X and criticism from Israeli politicians.

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Musk shown Hamas attack scene by PM

The SpaceX owner has since visited the country to be shown the scene of Hamas’s attack on 7 October.

He has also sued a media watchdog group which alleged adverts from the likes of Disney and Warner Bros were appearing next to neo-Nazi and white nationalist content on his platform.

Sky News has contacted X for comment.

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