Trump praises baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, says he appreciates support of its followers

August 19, 2020

The Washington Post

President Trump gave a major boost to the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, saying Wednesday that he appreciated the support of its followers, calling them “people that love our country.”

Pressed at a White House briefing about the online movement, which the FBI has identified as a potential domestic terrorist threat, he claimed not to know anything about it other than the affection its adherents have for him. But when a reporter outlined the erroneous claims underlying the theory — “that you are secretly saving the world from this Satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals” — Trump seemed to embrace that role for himself...

“Incredibly dangerous, but sadly not surprising,” said Ethan Porter, a George Washington University professor and the author of “False Alarm: The Truth About Political Mistruths in the Trump Era.” “In one fell swoop, the president conflated the hallucinated enemies of QAnon with his very real domestic political opposition. Most Americans don’t believe in QAnon — they’re wise enough to separate facts from obvious fictions. Either the president is not as wise, or he is willing to cast a blood libel on his political opponents, regardless of consequences.”

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