President Donald Trump has attracted a number of conspiracy theorists and people dedicated to the belief that an operative known only as "Q" was delivering messages from inside his administration. Over the past several months, however, those Q followers have turned against several Trump allies. Now his former chief of staff is coming out against the QAnon group.
In his new book, Meadows implies that the supporters are essentially nothing more than kooks
“Even major newspapers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal devoted thousands of column inches to fringe conspiracy movements like QAnon, attempting to impute the bizarre ideas of that movement onto the average men and women all over the country who simply wanted President Trump back in the White House," the book says, calling QAnon a "fringe conspiracy movement."
In another section, Meadows noted that he assumed that "most liberals pictured" assumed that the average Trump supporter was a "middle-aged white man with a big Pepe the Frog tattoo on his chest, probably shouting racist epithets and telling anyone who would listen that the aliens were coming back to get him at any moment."
No one believes "all" Trump supporters are caricatures. But, Meadows has an odd characterization, in large part because those stereotypes actually exist. A Sept. 2020 Trump rally had supporters chanting "white power" and "f*ck Black lives." A tattoo artist revealed an increase in those asking for meme tattoos in 2018, including Pepe the Frog. It was inked on the man's wrist saying, "Feels good. Man," two years after the symbol was adopted by "keyboard Nazis known collectively as the alt-right," VICE News reported.
While there aren't a lot of alien abductees willing to come forward, Trump promoted a doctor named Stella Immanuel, who "alleges alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious," the Daily Beast reported in July 2020. "She has said that the government is run in part not by humans but by “reptilians” and other aliens."
Trump fan Lou Dobbs also pressed Trump on the UFO issue.
“Actually a lot of my friends are very concerned about what the federal government is doing when it comes to UFOs,” Dobbs said in an Aug. 2020 interview with Trump. “So if I could just ask you are we going to commit, are you going to commit more resources to exploring UFOs and open the documents to the public.”
One conspiracy theory talked about in the Q-movement includes claims of interstellar lizard people, which began before Trump's campaign. There's even a film that talks about the conspiracy theorists that believe in the alien lizards, linking it to the false QAnon theory about a pizza parlor in Washington, D.C.
Meadows's opposition to QAnon may mean he turns into another target of the group that is fiercely protective of the former president and what they believe are his ongoing efforts to stop Satan-worshiping child abusers.
One of Trump's inner circle has become a target among QAnon followers who think he's gone to the "dark side." Michael Flynn, the former general who has long pushed Trump's 2020 "big lie" election conspiracy is on the outs with the Q fans. Flynn took the QAnon oath, he signed books with a frequently used QAnon slogan and even cultivated followers who thought he was the "Q" informant. Then Lin Wood revealed that Flynn called the QAnon "total nonsense."
"And I think it’s a disinformation campaign created by the left," said Flynn.
The moment came after QAnon followers believed that Flynn was secretly a Satanist and even prayed to Satan in a prayer that included invocations to "sevenfold rays" and "legions." Q followers, always keen to keep an eye on possible Devil-worship, concluded at the time that Flynn has gone to the dark side.
Mark Meadows book is on sale now.