Donald Trump, the former president, shared a post on Truth Social this week that seemed to be an explicit endorsement by the QAnon organization.
Trump has mentioned QAnon before, but has always feigned ignorance of the dangerous conspiracy theories being spread by the far right. At a town hall meeting in October 2020, Trump referenced QAnon. he claimed he knew “nothing about” the extremist movementWhile also appearing to endorse it.
“What I do hear about it is they are very much against pedophilia, and I agree with that,” Trump stated.
QAnon followers believeMany national governments around the world are being run by a cabal made up of Satan-worshiping pedophiles. They believe that Trump is waging a secret, underground war against this cabal — which is made up of Democrats or anti-Trump Republicans, according to the conspiracies — and that he will be restored to the presidency in due time.
Monday evening Trump shared a picture of himself (posted by another account on Truth Social) wearing two lapel pins on his jacket — one with the U.S. flag, the other bearing the letter “Q.”
Included in the image were the words “The Storm is Coming,” a common saying among QAnon followers that reminds them to have faith that Trump will reveal members of the so-called “Satanic ring” and return to the presidency.
Trump goes full QAnon over at TruthSocial—sporting a Q lapel pin and blasting two QAnon slogans. pic.twitter.com/sI0t7FPbBM
— Eric Columbus (@EricColumbus) September 13, 2022
QAnon followers on Truth Social were quick to theorize about the meaning of Trump’s post, and some claimed that the image was somehow confirmation that the movement’s falsehoods and reality-distorting conspiracies are true.
According to Vice News’s David Gilbert who reported on the post being “retruthed” (Truth Social’s version of a retweet) by Trump, the post was the former president’s “most explicit endorsement of the QAnon conspiracy movement to date.”
Gilbert then shared a tweet about a Michigan QAnon member who had killed his wife.
“Trump’s latest embrace of QAnon comes hours after a Michigan man shot and killed his wife and critically injured his daughter after he fell down the QAnon rabbit hole in the wake of Trump’s 2020 election loss,” Gilbert wrote.
Many people follow the QAnon movement. have acted out in violent waysThey also attack people they believe are part in the conspiracy, regardless of whether they are loved ones or political figures. Many of Trump’s loyalists who stormed the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021, cited QAnon conspiracies to explain why they took partIn the attack, for instance.
The FBI warned last year about the possibility that QAnon followers might engage in further violence in future years. According to the agency, QAnon adherents could shift “towards engaging in real-world violence — including harming perceived members of the ‘cabal’ such as Democrats and other political opposition — instead of continuing to await Q’s promised actions which have not occurred.”
While the movement has been rejected by most Americans, it is becoming more mainstream in Republican politics, as Trump’s hold on the party remains strong. Many GOP candidates are running for Congress. These views can be traced back the QAnon movement.
“While Democrats argue over whether they want to nominate another Manchin clone” in certain midterm races, Truthout’s Senior editor and lead columnist William Rivers Pitt wrote earlier in the year, “Republicans wonder which candidate will bring Hillary Clinton to justice for peddling children out the back of pizza places in Benghazi and Hollywood.”