Followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory cheered President Donald Trump's remarks at a press conference on Wednesday as an affirmation of their beliefs.
According to QAnon adherents, Trump was recruited by top military generals to put an end to a criminal plot involving satanic elites who rule the world and engage in child sex-trafficking and cannibalism.
The moment: In response to a White House reporter's question, Trump declined to disavow the viral conspiracy movement, saying he "doesn't know much about" it.
Donald Trump essentially gives his blessing to qanon pic.twitter.com/1DnkJJ13UE— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) August 19, 2020
The president did say, however, that his understanding is that QAnon followers "like me very much, which I appreciate."
- What else Trump knows about QAnon: "I heard these are people that love our country," the president said, adding that they are upset by the recent unrest in cities like Portland, Oregon.
- On whether he's really saving the world from satanic pedophiles and cannibals?: "Is that supposed to be a bad thing or good thing?" Trump said.
- "And we are, actually. We’re saving the world from a radical-left philosophy that will destroy this country, and when this country is gone, the rest of the world would follow. The rest of the world would follow. That’s the importance of this country."
The reaction: For many QAnon followers, the president's words were an all-but-definitive validation of their unfounded beliefs.
"Wow. Trump basically just confirmed Qanon!!!!" said one Twitter user.
Wow. Trump basically just confirmed Qanon!!!!— Fallout 🇺🇸 (@cryptofallout) August 19, 2020
"Q is real, the NEWS is fake," said another.
"Where this country has gone (where we go one), the rest of the world will follow (we go all)." 5:5#Qproof confirmed. #Qanon confirmed. Trolls writhing in agony that President Trump what we always said he would do. Q is real, the NEWS is fake. https://t.co/ICmfGBqpss— Unspeakable Dregs (@GitmoAwaits) August 19, 2020
Meanwhile, mainstream political figures on both the left and right criticized Trump for not denouncing QAnon, which the FBI last year was designated as a "domestic terror threat."
Trump refuses to denounce one of the most toxic and dangerous conspiracies in America. He embraces QAnon's support for him. He was told part of their belief system and he didn't reject it. This is the leader of the Republican Party.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 19, 2020
Trump’s QAnon comments hit a nerve with conservatives pic.twitter.com/UA1hvrAOeF— Bill Grueskin (@BGrueskin) August 20, 2020
Trump last week tweeted congratulations to QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylore Greene after she won a Republican congressional primary in Georgia that virtually guarantees she will be elected in November.