The QAnon conspiracy theory has little to show for any of its grand predictions or narratives. But one thing that continues to give its true believers fuel, according to The Daily Beast, is that President Donald Trump keeps retweeting accounts that promote it — thus leading them to believe Trump is trying to send them a secret message that they are right.
None of this is new — Trump has been retweeting QAnon accounts all year. But on the run-up to New Years, as Trump frantically promoted all the content he could find supporting him and denouncing impeachment, several of his retweets came from pro-QAnon Twitter, sparking a fresh wave of excitement from activists:
On New Year's Eve, Trump retweets multiple times an account that has pushed the QAnon and Seth Rich conspiracy theo… https://t.co/yFtQdGObNb— Alex Kaplan (@Alex Kaplan)1577841467.0
"It draws more eyes," said Roy Davis, a.k.a. "Captain Roy," a QAnon promoter and author. He added, "Best case is we're up getting a medal at the White House." Travis View, who tracks the conspiracy theory, said, "They claim that Trump would never retweet pro-Q accounts if there was nothing to Q."
While there are several different variations of the conspiracy theory, in broad strokes, QAnon posits that Trump is only pretending to be oafish and incompetent as a cover so he can unsuspectingly organize mass arrests of Democratic leaders for their supposed role in a world-spanning sex trafficking ring. Variations of the theory have argued that former special counsel Robert Mueller was in on it too. The name comes from an anonymous poster on 4chan calling himself "Q" after a form of top-secret government clearance, whose cryptic posts spawned the theory. Some QAnon believers think that "Q" is in fact John F. Kennedy Jr., who supposedly faked his death and is also helping Trump with the operation.
Not everyone in Trump's orbit is happy about this, according to The Daily Beast. Jane Duff, a Trump 2020 campaign official, tweeted "I know we on the campaign don’t support Q and its all bizarre nonsense for ppl who need to believe something ... Q is so absurd, why should the President acknowledge it when NO ONE cares?" She swiftly deleted her tweets after a wave of furious Q supporters pounced.
QAnon support is not simply an entertaining diversion. Some of its believers have been implicated in vandalism, one shut down a bridge with an armored truck, and two have been implicated in murder, including of a Mafia boss — all apparently in service to their bizarre conspiracy theory. The FBI is treating QAnon as a potential source of domestic terrorism.