Trump says QAnon’s conspiracy theorists are people who ‘love our country’ – National


US President Donald Trump fanned the flames of a far-reaching, fantastical and baseless conspiracy theory on Wednesday, acknowledging the QAnon movement, which imagines him as a warrior for God against a global network of Satan-worshiping pedophile elites.The FBI has described QAnon as a domestic terrorist threat, and the Southern Poverty Law Center has also warned that the group is becoming increasingly popular with anti-government extremists. His supporters are also extremely loyal to Trump, whom they see as the mastermind of a secret war on child sex traffickers.

Trump claimed to ignore the group and its beliefs on Wednesday, but he also said he was happy to have seen it in a positive light.

“I’ve heard that these are people who love our country,” Trump said in his opening remarks on the move. “I really don’t know anything about it, other than that they don’t like me.”

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A reporter pressed him on the matter by quickly explaining the extravagant basis of the conspiracy theory.

“It is this belief that you are secretly saving the world from this satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals,” she said. “Does that sound like something you’re behind?”

“Well, I didn’t hear that, but is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing?” Trump said.

“If I can help save the world from trouble, I’m ready to do it – I’m ready to go,” the president continued. “And we are in fact, we are saving the world from a radical leftist philosophy that will destroy this country. And when that country was gone, the rest of the world would follow. ”

Trump was asked about the move after tweeting his congratulations to Marjorie Taylor Greene, a QAnon believer who won the Republican primary for a congressional seat in Georgia last week. Greene, who has a history of racist and homophobic comments, will become QAnon’s number one supporter in Congress if she can win the heavily Republican district.

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QAnon’s conspiracy theory remixes some of the beliefs of ‘Pizzagate,’ a 2016 hoax that suggested that Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Hungarian billionaire George Soros and many other left-wing politicians and celebrities were grooming children for a sex ring out of the basement. of a pizzeria in Washington.

A Pizzagate believer actually attempted to save these fictional children by entering the restaurant with a gun in 2016, only to find that the restaurant had no basement at all.

A year later, an anonymous user claiming to be a senior government official posted to 4chan, an online forum filled with trolls, that Clinton and a shadowy government cabal known as the “Deep State” were about to break. ” be arrested for pedophilia.

The user’s prophecy never came true, but people nonetheless pounced on his cryptic follow-up messages, turning them into a vast pro-Trump narrative that incorporates evangelical Christian beliefs and many more conspiracy theories. small. The anonymous user has never been identified, but supporters call him “Q” – short for a security clearance code in the US government.

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“What is at the heart of the QAnon community is the belief that the entire political system is corrupt,” Travis View, conspiracy theory researcher and co-host of a QAnon podcast, told the LA Times on last week.

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The QAnon movement has been slowly growing online since 2017, but researchers say it has exploded on social media this year amid the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. QAnon quickly grew to absorb many other false conspiracy theories, including COVID-19 skepticism and anti-vaxxer beliefs.

Many of the group’s ideas come from people trying to interpret Q’s vague messages, according to Marc-André Argentino, a conspiracy theory researcher at Concordia University.

“A central element of QAnon is story crowdsourcing,” Argentino wrote in the conversation earlier this year. “This bottom-up approach provides a fluid and ever-changing ideology.”

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Facebook deleted a few massive QAnon groups on its platform on Wednesday, but the company shut down before banning the move altogether. TikTok has banned conspiracy theory altogether, while Twitter has attempted to crack down on popular QAnon accounts and hashtags. Google has also removed tens of thousands of QAnon videos from YouTube.

QAnon reportedly hijacked the #SaveTheChildren hashtag on Twitter last week to promote the group’s bogus child sex trafficking claims.

Trump himself has retweeted QAnon accounts on several occasions, and believers often show up at his rallies with “Q” written on their shirts and signs.

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David Reinert holding a Q sign waits in line with others to participate in a campaign rally with President Donald Trump and U.S. Senate candidate, Republican Lou Barletta, R-Pa., Thursday, August 2, 2018, in Wilkes- Barre, Pennsylvania.

David Reinert holding a Q sign waits in line with others to participate in a campaign rally with President Donald Trump and U.S. Senate candidate, Republican Lou Barletta, R-Pa., Thursday, August 2, 2018, in Wilkes- Barre, Pennsylvania.


Jonathan Greenblatt, head of the Anti-Defamation League, said it shouldn’t be difficult for Trump to condemn QAnon.

“QAnon’s conspiracy theorists spread disinformation and foster a climate of extremism and paranoia, which in some cases has led to violence,” he told The New York Times. “It’s downright dangerous when a leader not only refuses to do it, but also wonders if what they’re doing is ‘a good thing.’

The President has a long history of flirting or outright promoting conspiracy theories. He launched his political career by pushing the racist and unfounded theory that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. He also promoted unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud in the 2016 and 2020 elections, and amplified false theories and his own ideas about the coronavirus, without sufficient evidence to back them up.

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Trump’s remarks about QAnon sent believers in the group into a celebratory social media frenzy.

“Well we’ve been waiting for this for a while, to say kindly thank you @realDonaldTrump,” one Instagram user wrote to his 19,000 followers, in an Associated Press review.

“Holy Smokin Q,” another tweeted. “We asked our president 2 questions about the Qanon movement TODAY !! We love you President Trump. ”

Another Twitter account linked to Q has racked up more than 47,000 views on a clip of Trump’s exchange on the move.

“Save the world,” the group wrote, before using the acronym of QAnon for its slogan: “Where we go one, we all go”.

Trump also waved a new unsubstantiated version of Birther’s conspiracy theory on Wednesday. He claimed to have heard a “very serious” rumor that Kamala Harris, the Democrats’ candidate for vice-presidency, was not eligible for the post. There is no evidence to support this claim.

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Staff members of Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for the next presidential election, accused Trump of embracing an extremist group, simply because they liked him.

“After calling the neo-Nazis and white supremacists of Charlottesville ‘good people’ and gassing peaceful protesters after the murder of George Floyd, Donald Trump simply sought to legitimize a conspiracy theory that the FBI identified as a domestic terrorist threat, ”Biden’s spokesperson said. Andrew Bates. “Our country needs leadership that will bring us together more than ever to form a more perfect union. We must win this battle for the soul of our nation. “

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Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida and who ran against Trump for the Republican nomination in 2016, also spoke out against President QAnon’s comments.

“Why on earth wouldn’t the president kick Q’anon supporters in the butt?” Bush tweeted. “Nut jobs, racists and haters have no place in either party.”

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With files from The Associated Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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