President Obama gestures during a press conference following the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, on Nov. 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO /OZAN KOSEOZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images

For months, the conspiracy theories wouldn’t go away: Critics of President Obama insisted that he would use a new military exercise called Jade Helm 15 as a way to set the conditions for the eventual hatching of martial law in parts of America.

There’s a long history to why those rumors persisted so long, most of it covered in detail on Checkpoint. In short, U.S. Special Operations troops participating in the exercise last summer would use it as cover to prepare for a takeover by the federal government, keeping Obama in office indefinitely.

The exercise, organized by U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., came and went quietly after the fuss — but Obama took notice. In a new interview published by GQ magazine, former ESPN executive and TV personality Bill Simmons asked the president what the most entertaining conspiracy theory he ever read about himself was, and he didn’t hesitate in answering.

[Why Operation Jade Helm 15 is freaking out the Internet — and why it shouldn’t be]

“That military exercises we were doing in Texas were designed to begin martial law so that I could usurp the Constitution and stay in power longer,” he responded. “Anybody who thinks I could get away with telling Michelle I’m going to be president any longer than eight years does not know my wife.”

Obama didn’t mentioned the Jade Helm exercise by name. But there is only one operation that fits that description.

Jade Helm first created buzz on the Internet in March, as conspiracy theories mounted online. It garnered wider attention in April, after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, called for the Texas State Guard to monitor the operation, citing concerns about in his state.

By May, it had generated enough attention that Jon Stewart lambasted the hysteria in a piece on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” The attention fizzled out after the exercise ended in September.

Related on Checkpoint:
Texas State Guard ordered to monitor military’s Jade Helm 15

It isn’t just Jade Helm 15: The varying and misunderstood roles of state-sponsored militias

Jade Helm 15, controversial military exercise, to open without media access

Jade Helm 15 explored on TV: Watch Checkpoint challenge the conspiracy theories