While some Republicans have sought to distance themselves from former President Donald Trump's praise of Vladimir Putin's "genius" invasion of Ukraine, believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory think the president is onto something.
As reported by NBC News' Ben Collins, a new QAnon theory is simmering on the internet that posits Trump and Putin are working together to bomb Ukraine because their actual goal is to destroy a bioweapons lab set up there by Dr. Anthony Fauci.
It is not explained why Fauci would supposedly decide to create a top-secret bioweapons lab in a country that has been under the constant threat of invasion by a larger, nuclear-armed neighboring country for decades.
Collins says that he started hearing about this new conspiracy theory while reporting on the "Freedom Caravan" that's headed toward Washington D.C. to protest against COVID-19 pandemic restrictions that have mostly already been lifted.
"But as its Covid mission has become less clear, the group’s channels have turned to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, where conspiracy-minded thinking has flourished," he writes. "While some group members have admonished Russian President Vladimir Putin for the invasion, QAnon and anti-vaccine contingents within the groups have seized on a false conspiracy theory that the war is a cover for a military operation backed by former President Donald Trump in Ukraine."
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