Hours after Facebook announced a crackdown on QAnon, President Trump used his evening press conference to fan the right-wing conspiracy theory’s flames.
“I don’t know much about the movement—other than I understand that they like me very much,” Trump said at his daily press conference. He added that he’s “heard these are people who love our country.”
Watch the whole clip. This is like Christmas for QAnon. Unreal. https://t.co/xTkQ6Z4V4u
— David French (@DavidAFrench) August 19, 2020
As we’ve written before, QAnon is an ever-twisting, crowdsourced conspiracy theory about an alleged hidden agent in the Trump administration going after secretive, global pedophilia rings. The theory has mutated from 4chan shitposting to a full-blown right-wing craze that paints Trump as a crusader against all the world’s evils.
When the reporter clarified just what Trump was endorsing—asking whether he was “secretly saving the world from this satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals”—the president didn’t do the responsible thing and strike the suggestion down as nonsense. Instead, he replied, “Is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing?”
The room full of reporters let out an uncomfortable laugh, and he continued, “If I can help save the world from problems, I’m willing to do it. I’m willing to put myself out there. And we are, actually. We’re saving the world from the radical left philosophy that will destroy this country, and when this country is gone, the rest of the world would follow.”
Trump’s flippancy stands in stark contrast to how Facebook, far from the beacon of responsibility on conspiracy theories, has treated QAnon recently.
As my colleague Ali Breland reported this afternoon:
Facebook said on Wednesday that it will be taking enforcement action targeting communities related to the QAnon conspiracy theory amid a larger crackdown against what it said were “anarchist groups that support violent acts amidst protests” including elements of Antifa and “US-based militia organizations”…
QAnon, the sprawling right-wing conspiracy theory about a cabal of elite liberal pedophiles has already likely been responsible for at least one murder in its three short years of existence. The FBI has also deemed it to be a pressing threat. One of the creators of a dataset at the Center for Strategic and International Studies tracking terrorism incidents explained to the Guardian that the data shows that “the most significant domestic terrorism threat comes from white supremacists” as well as “anti-government militias.” He noted that the data found that “left-wing terrorism” was not a “major terrorism threat.”