[COMMENTARY] Trump Re-Tweets Boost QAnon Candidates
Despite Twitter’s promise to crack down on accounts promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory, which has now been designated as a domestic terrorist threat, some high-profile GOP candidates who openly promote QAnon are getting a boost on Twitter from Donald Trump. One retweet from Trump’s personal account can yield new followers by the hundreds to the thousands, but the open promotion of a fringe group as a valid political faction is even more dangerous when coming from him. Aside from retweeting QAnon candidates, Trump has retweeted hundreds of posts from other pro-QAnon accounts and last week refused to disavow the conspiracy during a press conference.
Marjorie Taylor Greene is one such QAnon candidate who recently won her race by a disturbingly large margin in her overwhelmingly red district in Georgia. It’s possible Greene downplays her more outlandish beliefs during her public appearances, but her Twitter account is full of false accusations (she claims the QAnon conspiracy theory was “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out.”). Greene once appeared in a video in which she called “Q” (an anonymous poster on 4chan claiming to be a high-level government official who started the craze) a “patriot” who is “worth listening to.”
Followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which originated on 4chan in 2017, believe that President Trump is working to take down a “deep state” network of liberal politicians, government officials, and Hollywood celebrities that are running an international sex-trafficking ring. No evidence has ever been provided; any challenge is met with a cryptic “You have no idea what’s coming” or similar warnings.
Greene also called for the reinstatement of fellow QAnon member Laura Loomer, who won her race in Florida. Loomer was banned from Twitter for sharing the same kind of content as Greene and other QAnons, but specifically for violating the platform’s Terms of Service when she personally threatened Ilhan Omar. Trump retweeted that demand from Greene as well.
Trump has also retweeted other QAnon members such as DeAnna Lorraine (who lost her race) and Angela Stanton-King. After Trump retweeted two of her messages on August 6, Stanton-King tweeted in all caps: “THE STORM IS HERE,” a popular QAnon rallying cry, in an apparent indication she felt Trump had validated the theory by sharing one of her messages.