President Donald Trump delivered his most extensive remarks on the QAnon conspiracy theory Wednesday, defending followers as ‘people that love our country’ and going out of his way not to condemn some of the most bizarre claims associated with the movement.
‘I’ve heard these are people that love our country,’ Trump said at the White House.
He was asked about the group hours after issuing a tweet backing Florida Republican primary winner Laura Loomer, who has pushed conspiracy theories that deny the school shootings in Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in 2012.
‘I don’t know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much,’ President Donald Trump said Wednesday when asked about the QAnon movement
Trump has also congratulated Marjorie Taylor Greene, who won a Republican primary in Georgia, calling her a ‘future Republican star,’ even as retiring and centrist Republicans issue warnings about the rise of the movement gaining a foothold in the party.
Trump, who has backed other QAnon supporters and retweeted its followers in the past, gave the impression he had only a general understanding of the movement.
‘I don’t know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much,’ Trump said.
He connected the movement, which like Trump raises alarms about a ‘Deep State,’ to his own concerns about violence in Democratic-run cities.
‘These are people that don’t like seeing what’s going on in place like Portland and places like Chicago,’ Trump said.
He didn’t flinch when asked about the most far-fetched views of some QAnon followers, that he is saving the world from a satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals.
In this Aug. 2, 2018, file photo, a protesters holds a Q sign waits in line with others to enter a campaign rally with President Donald Trump in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Facebook says on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, it will restrict QAnon and stop recommending that users join groups supporting it, but the company is stopping short of banning the right-wing conspiracy movement outright
Save The Children hold a demonstration in Tucson against child trafficking and peodophilia. #Save Our Children is a national advocacy group that believes child trafficking has reached pandemic proportions and that politicians, establishment elites, and Hollywood celebrities are part of an organized conspiracy to aid, protect and participate in peodophilia and child trafficking
Conspiracy theorist QAnon demonstrators protest during a rally to re-open California and against Stay-At-Home directives on May 1, 2020 in San Diego, California
Marjorie Taylor Greene with Laura Loomer – two GOP primary winners who earned online plaudits from President Trump
Attendees gather before the start of a rally with U.S. President Donald Trump in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018
‘Well I haven’t heard that. But is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing?’ he asked. ‘If I can help save the world from problems I’m willing to do it,’ he continued. ‘I’m willing to put myself out there. And we are actually. We are saving the world from a radical-left philosophy that will destroy this country.’
Trump then during his response attacked calls to defund the police, ‘open borders,’ touted his border wall, and said poll numbers are ‘extraordinary’ on the border issue.
‘But I will say this. We need strength in our country, not weakness.’
Some QAnon followers also believe a ‘Deep State’ is behind an underground child sex trafficking ring.
Among the group’s claims are that there is a Satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals led by some of the world’s most famous names and covered up by the media and ‘deep state,’ with Trump claimed to be secretly dismantling it.
Among its wilder claims are that children are being kept in tunnels under major cities, that they are being trafficked on popular consumer websites such as Wayfair, and that JFK Jr. is alive and has been spotted on Marine One.
The central figure in the conspiracy is Q, supposedly a high-level government official who leaves clues – or ‘drops’ – on message boards about the imminent ‘great awakening,’ when the pedophile cabal will be ended. Followers have speculated that Trump is Q and are only likely to be encouraged by his answers at the White House.
Another key figure is Mike Flynn, Trump’s first national security advisor, who is said to both be the victim of the deep state and central to the cabal’s imminent downfall.
Followers often put three gold stars on their social media profiles and Flynn himself took part in the ‘pledge’ in which QAnon believers recite the Pledge of Allegiance then add at the end ‘where we go one, we go all.’ Followers wrongly believe the slogan was on the bell of the ship John F. Kennedy served on in the Navy, and abbreviate it to WWG1WGA on social media profiles and in hashtags.
Q’s success is at best mixed: he predicted that JFK Jr. would be Trump’s 2020 running mate after emerging from hiding on July 4 2020, a moment known as ‘the storm’; that there was going to be an unsealing of 25,000 indictments in November 2017 followed by a period of military control, while Hillary Clinton was going to make for the border as a result, but would be extradited; and that members of the cabal were arrested at National Cathedral in Washington D.C. during George H.W. Bush’s funeral in January 2019.
QAnon followers have held up their signs at Trump rallies, and former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn last month posted a video where where said the QAnon slogan: ‘Where we go one, we go all’ at the end of an oath.
NBC has reported that Facebook groups connected to QAnon have millions of followers.
Illinois GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger released a YouTube video last week calling on party leaders to ‘denounce’ the conspiracy theory now that it has gained a hold in the party.
‘The president hasn’t fully denounced it or denounced it at all. Now, it’s time for leaders to come out and denounce it,’ he said, while calling on people to try to persuade followers.
House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California has said he will seat Greene despite past racist statements, and declined to wade into her primary.
According to Travis View, who has researched the group, its followers believe that a ‘worldwide cabal of satanic pedophiles” run “all the major levers of power,’ USA Today reported.
The FBI warned in May 2019 lays out the threat of ‘conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists.’
“The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modern information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts,’ according to the memo, reported by Yahoo News. It mentioned QAnon as well as the Pizzagate, a debunked conspiracy theory that Clinton associates were running a child sex ring out of the basement of a popular Washington, D.C. pizza restaurant. The restaurant does not have a basement.
Earlier Wednesday White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany backed up Trump’s tweet about Loomer while providing some distance, saying the president hadn’t done a ‘deep dive’ into the Florida GOP primary winner.
The 27-year-old right-wing activist is known for pushing conspiracy theories about school shootings and making anti-Muslim statements – and won the GOP primary Tuesday for the Florida Congressional district that includes Trump’s Mar-a-Lago.
Loomer celebrated Wednesday by talking to fellow right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, calling the hoaxes she’s pushed ‘factual stories that we have been ahead of the curve on for years,’ as J.T. Lewis, a gun rights activist who supports Trump and whose brother died in the Sandy Hook shooting, called for Loomer to be pushed from the party.
Donald Trump congratulated Laura Loomer (pictured) on winning the GOP primary for the district that covers his Mar-a-Lago estate. The White House said Wednesday the president hasn’t done a ‘deep dive’ on Loomer’s statements
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday that the president ‘routinely congratulates people who … get the Republican nomination for Congress’
Loomer called into Alex Jones’ Infowars show and said that the conspiracy theories and hoaxes they’ve been pushing are ‘factual stories that we have been ahead of the curve on for years’
‘Laura Loomer is a Parkland and Sandy Hook hoaxer. She has no place in the Republican Party!’ Lewis tweeted.
Despite Loomer’s controversial views, Trump tweeted congratulations to her late Tuesday.
‘Great going Laura. You have a great chance against a Pelosi puppet!’ Trump wrote.
She also has the backing of Jones, Donald Trump Jr., Trump’s former political adviser Roger Stone and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, a diehard Trump supporter.
Speaking to Jones on his InfoWars show, she complained, ‘I was told that if I wanted to win my race … that I could never do InfoWars again and that I could not speak to you because they say that you are toxic, just like they say about me, and I said screw you, Alex Jones is a freedom fighter, he’s a patriot, he’s fighting for the First Amendment and I am never going to sideline any of my friends.’
‘We were the people who led the culture revolution in 2016 when President Trump was nominated and elected,’ Loomer told Jones Wednesday. ‘That is what the Republican Party is missing now.’
Loomer will face Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel in the fall. The four-time congresswoman is expected to win easily in the deep blue district. She ran unopposed in 2018 and beat her Republican rival in 2016 by 27.6 points.
McEnany said Trump’s support for Loomer was standard protocol.
‘Well, the president routinely congratulates people who have officially – get the Republican nomination for Congress, so he does that as a matter of course,’ she said at the White House briefing Wednesday.
McEnany was asked about Loomer and about Marjorie Taylor Greene, a GOP candidate from George for the House of Representatives who prescribes to the QAnon conspiracy theory and has also made anti-Muslim statements.
‘He hasn’t done a deep dive into the statements by these two particular women, I don’t know if he’s even seen that,’ McEnany said. ‘But he supports the Muslim community, he supports the community of faith more broadly in this country.’
The president tweeted in a show of support for Loomer late Tuesday after she defeated five candidates to win the Republican primary for the US House of Representatives seat that includes Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach
WHO’S BANNED LAURA LOOMER
XFinity / Comcast processing of her campaign mass texts
CPAC – Conservative Political Action Conference in 2019
Courtesy of Ali Alexander
Loomer took the lead in the Republican primary with 42.7 percent of the vote, with nuclear engineer turned professor Christian Acosta coming in second with 25.5 percent.
Other candidates in the race included a former burlesque dancer who now runs an exotic animal business and a former IRS investigator.
Trump cast his vote by mail in Florida’s 21st District primary election, after changing his official residence from New York to Palm Beach back in October 2019.
He and Melania’s ballots were returned to Palm Beach officials Monday in time for their votes to be counted, reported the Washington Post.
The president’s decision to cast his own vote by mail comes after he has repeatedly claimed mail-in ballots lead to widespread fraud and even threatened to redo the election if he loses through what he has blasted a ‘rigged’ system.
It is not clear if the president voted for Loomer but his social media post confirmed he approved of her victory.
He’ll be able to vote for her in the November election, which he plans to do absentee.
Loomer has been a high-profile figure on the fringes of the alt-right since working for Project Veritas when she was a college student.
While working with Jones of InfoWars she went to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and accused students there of ‘reading a screen or notes.’
‘It’s obvious these kids are reading a screen or notes someone else wrote for them. Notice how media is only talking to the same group of students. They aren’t talking to the pro gun ROTC students who actually saved lives, unlike these students,’ she tweeted.
She also pushed a theory that there was a second gunman in the Las Vegas massacre in September 2017 and went to a press conference a month later to harry the Las Vegas county sheriff with her claims.
‘All of the evidence that is being leaked is further showing how the Deep State is covering it up,’ she said.
The controversial 27-year-old has been slammed for making anti-Muslim comments on several occasions in recent years.
She called the FBI the ‘Federal Bureau of Islam’ as she pushed deep-state conspiracy claims.
In November 2018 she was accused of hate speech when she called Representative Ilhan Omar ‘anti-Jewish’ – which led to her being removed from Twitter.
‘Isn’t it ironic how the twitter moment used to celebrate ‘women, LGBTQ, and minorities’ is a picture of Ilhan Omar?’ Loomer tweeted about the Democratic Minnesota congresswoman.
‘Ilhan is pro Sharia Ilhan is pro-FGM Under Sharia, homosexuals are oppressed & killed. Women are abused & forced to wear the hijab. Ilhan is anti Jewish.’
Trump cast his vote by mail in Florida’s 21st District primary election, where Loomer (pictured) took the victory
The controversial conspiracy theorist has been accused of hate speech on more than one occasion. In November 2018 she was accused of hate speech when she called Representative Ilhan Omar (left) ‘anti-Jewish’. She slammed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (right) for suspending her account over the incident
Far-right activist Loomer, who has the backing of Trump’s friend and former adviser Roger Stone, Representative Matt Gaetz and right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, will now take on Democratic Representative Lois Frankel (pictured) in the November general election
When she was banned from Twitter over the incident, Loomer handcuffed herself to Twitter’s New York offices.
That same month, she was removed from a congressional hearing on social media when she hit out at CEO Jack Dorsey for ‘shadowbanning’ conservatives and accused him of trying to sway the midterm elections toward the Democrats.
This came after she was banned from using Uber and Lyft in November 2017 for tweeting that ‘someone needs to create a non Islamic form of @uber or @lyft’ and complaining that she was late to a meeting because she could not find a ‘non-Muslim’ driver.
In June 2017, Loomer rushed the stage during a Shakespeare In The Park production of ‘Julius Caesar’ in New York to accuse the cast of normalizing ‘political violence against the right’ and calling them ‘Isis’.
‘Stop the normalization of political violence against the right!’ she shouted.
‘Shame on the New York Public Theatre for doing this! You guys are ISIS! CNN is ISIS!’
She also ambushed actress Alyssa Milano at the 2018 Politicon conference in Los Angeles, suggesting she was in cahoots with Linda Sarsour, a Muslim co-founder of the Women’s March.
‘I want to ask you right now to disavow Linda Sarsour because she is a supporter of Sharia law. And under Sharia law, women are oppressed, women are forced to wear a hijab,’ Loomer said, identifying herself as a ‘conservative investigative journalist.’
‘My question is, will you please disavow her because she is advocating for Shariah law,’ Loomer yelled at Milano, who was seated onstage.
As Loomer was ushered out of the room, she yelled that #MeToo was a ‘sham movement.’
THE VIRAL STAR BANNED FROM SOCIAL MEDIA WHO IS GETTING A SHOT AT CONGRESS
Laura Loomer burst onto the conservative stage in 2015 when she, a Jew, was a student at Barry University, a Catholic University run by nuns near Miami.
Loomer, one of a few Republican students in an overwhelmingly liberal school, participated in a ‘gotcha’ video at the urging of Project Veritas, a right-wing group that uses hidden cameras to expose what it sees as Liberal bias in colleges, non-profits and government.
Loomer surreptitiously taped her encounter with school officials during a meeting where she asked permission to set up a new club called Sympathetic Students In Support Of The Islamic State.
The footage seemed to indicate school officials were in favor of starting such a club on campus but appeared to suggest she drop the ‘Islamic State’ from the name.
The footage went viral, and school officials suspended Loomer for what they saw as her attempt to embarrass the school.
The story made Loomer an instant celebrity in the Alt-Right’s cyber-world, but it also launched her anti-Muslim reputation.
Loomer is a polarizing personality and took this photo with self-proclaimed ‘dirty trickster’ and one of the most notorious Republican insiders Roger Stone
Loomer has been banned from several social media platforms for promoting speech labeled as hate speech targeting Muslims and posted for this photo with Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle
‘I’m not anti-Muslim,’ she said, ‘I study Islamic terrorism.’
With video cameras in tow and a huge distribution network online, Loomer continued with higher-profile gimmicks to expose what she saw as the Left’s corruption. In the summer 2017, she and other conservative activists stopped the Shakespeare play in Central Park.
In January 2019, she was back in the news when she got three alleged illegal immigrants from Mexico and Guatemala to set up their tents on the lawn of Speaker of the House Pelosi’s Napa Valley home in her home state of California.
In time, Loomer and her crew were kicked off Pelosi’s lawn by police, and Loomer was handed a warning for trespassing.
Loomer has also been at war with mainstream social media platforms.
One November morning in 2018 in Manhattan, she chained herself to the door of the local Twitter headquarters to protest her banishment from social media for hate speech.
At first, Loomer worried the moves by Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others would make it impossible for her to make a living and raise campaign contributions.
Now, Loomer proudly describes herself as The World’s Most Censored woman, and she has managed to find other ways to conduct her political agenda and fundraising away from PayPal.
She is, for example, active on Parler, where she has 89,000 followers, and Gab, where she has 27,000. Both are conservative platforms that allow a looser definition of free speech and, at times, have been accused of providing a haven for white supremacists and neo-Nazis.