Politics

Trump and the conspiracy theorists: what connects the President and QAnon?

Pizzagate and kid’s blood

The central claim of the QAnon supporters is that there is a conspiracy against US President Donald Trump in the deeper layers of the US government apparatus. They also often claim that prominent Democratic Party politicians in the United States have been treated with hormones made from the blood of children. One strand of this was the “Pizzagate” theory, which led to an armed man rushing into a pizzeria in Washington in late 2016 to rescue allegedly imprisoned children. He was arrested by the police and no one was injured.

Trump the Redeemer

The US President has a special role: In the story of the followers, he is a kind of savior, sent to fight an apparently existing elite consisting of the democratic party, banks, media and celebrities who secretly rule the USA. They include ex-presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, billionaire George Soros and Hollywood stars. It is also claimed that they hold children captive in order to obtain a rejuvenating serum from them.

This story was first distributed in 2017 on the Internet portal 4Chan by a user who called himself “Q Clearance Patriot”, then “Q”. The legend has spun around him that he was an intelligence officer and therefore had all this information.

Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have now removed groups, accounts and ads with connections to QAnon. Only the US President did not distance himself: “As I understand it, you like me very much, which I appreciate,” he said recently at a press conference in the White House. Although he didn’t know much about the movement, he heard that it was growing in popularity.

It increasingly appeared offline at the Corona protests – in the USA and at the demonstrations in Stuttgart and Berlin. Not much can be said about membership numbers as it is a loose association. On YouTube, the German Q followers have a channel with 105,000 subscribers – and prominent distributors like singer Xavier Naidoo.

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