Former President Donald Trump spent Tuesday morning posting inflammatory messages on social media, including many explicitly promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory.
While Trump has in the past promoted QAnon-inspired accounts and theories, the posts on his Truth Social account were his most explicit, unobscured, QAnon-promoting and QAnon-baiting posts to date.
In one, he reposted the QAnon slogan — “Where We Go One We Go All.” In another, he re-posted a 2017 message from “Q” that is critical of the intelligence community. The QAnon conspiracy theory was built around Q, an anonymous account that posts periodically on 8kun, often with vague or symbolic language that is then interpreted by followers. The account claims to document a secret battle being waged by Trump against the Democratic Party, which followers of the theory contend is run by satanic, child-eating cannibals who run a pedophile ring filled with celebrities and political elites who have been covertly running the United States government for decades. None of the posts’ concrete predictions have come to fruition.
Users of QAnon forums rejoiced at Trump’s apparent endorsement of the conspiracy theory and its mythology. The top response on the most visited QAnon forum to one of Trump’s posts about the conspiracy theory read simply, “Wipe them out sir.” Others pleaded with Trump to “nuke them from orbit” and to “sir, please finish them off,” referring to QAnon enemies such as Hillary Clinton and President Joe Biden.
In addition to the QAnon-adjacent posts, Trump shared several conspiracy theories Tuesday on his Truth Social site and he re-posted a picture of Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with the words “Your enemy is not in Russia ” written in black bars over their eyes.
The posting spree comes one day after Trump posted a message that he should be reinstated as president — “Declare the rightful winner, or hold a new Election, NOW!” — and as he’s come under increased scrutiny from federal investigators who executed a search warrant at his Florida resort earlier this month and recovered troves of classified documents.
In the weeks since, Trump has made a number of incendiary comments bashing the FBI, baselessly suggesting the agency planted evidence and claiming the search was politically motivated.
On Tuesday, he re-posted items about the Jan. 6 riot being orchestrated by the FBI and antifa, and made a false claim about the wife of a man named Ray Epps, who has been accused in right-wing conspiracy theories of being a federal agent who egged on Capitol rioters. The House committee investigating the riot has disputed those claims.
Trump also re-posted a message from a user falsely claiming to be his daughter Ivanka who was complaining about “the useless vaccines.” (Ivanka Trump has been a strong supporter of the Covid-19 vaccine).
Trump, for years, has done little to distance himself from QAnon and its supporters. Asked his opinion of QAnon followers in August 2020, the then-president said, “I’ve heard these are people who love our country.”
More recently, adherents have pushed a large number of conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was stolen — some of which were later adopted by Trump and his lawyers. They’ve also called for a civil war to restore Trump to power — although some followers believe he’s still in charge of the country.
The group’s followers have been linked to several violent incidents, including a train hijacking, kidnappings, a police chase and a slaying.
In his remarks on the group in 2020, Trump said he didn’t know much about QAnon and its followers, “other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate.”