CNN asks Trump supporters outside rally to explain ‘QAnon’ theory
CNN asked supporters of President Trump to explain “QAnon,” a right-wing conspiracy theory, in tense interviews outside of his Pennsylvania rally on Thursday night.
CNN’s Gary Tuchman asked Trump supporters, some of whom were wearing or displaying “Q” gear at the rally, about the wide-ranging and vague conspiracy theories spread under the name “QAnon.”
Trump supporter Timothy Rasmussen told CNN that said “Q” represents a “movement.”
“It’s a shift. I can feel it coming, some call it the great awakening,” Rasmussen said.
Many Trump supporters were wearing the letter “Q” and carrying signs.
“‘QAnon’ is the people that believe in what Trump’s trying to do to change our country,” one supporter, wearing a red “Q” shirt, told CNN.
Tuchman said that the supporter’s claim is a “generalization.”
“More specifically, what ‘QAnon’ is, is a fringe movement in which many baseless conspiracy theories are discussed on the internet, organized around the idea of an anonymous and well-connected person or persons nicknamed ‘Q,’” Tuchman said.
Trump supporters said that “QAnon” is an entity of several people high-up in the federal government with security clearance.
“How do you know that?” Tuchman asked.
“Well, I’m just telling you that’s what it appears to be,” one Trump supporter responded.
“So you don’t have any proof of that — you’re just guessing,” Tuchman said.
“And you don’t have any proof there isn’t,” the Trump supporter responded.
Tuchman pointed out that the press is a major target of the “QAnon” following. Trump has a contentious relationship with the press and calls the “fake news” the “enemy of the people.”
“You guys are our enemy,” one Trump supporter said, pointing a finger at Tuchman during the interview.
“So you don’t believe in the First Amendment?” the CNN reporter asked.
“I totally believe in the First Amendment,” the man, wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, responded.
“Well, you don’t. You just said the press is the enemy,” Tuchman argued.
“You guys are weaponized, you are totally weaponized by the CIA,” the Trump supporter claimed.
Tuchman said he doesn’t know anyone in the CIA, except for some experts he has interviewed over the years.
“What does that even mean?” Tuchman asked the Trump supporter. “You say stuff that doesn’t even mean anything.”
“Q” has been been slowly gaining popularity under Trump’s presidency, and in recent weeks proponents of the conspiracy theory have appeared at Trump rallies wearing promotional gear.
“QAnon” touches on a variety of popular conspiracy theories: Democrats and prominent Hollywood figures are orchestrating underground pedophile rings; special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe is a front for investigating Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for their ties to said rings; and hundreds of sealed indictments may have already been handed down in the Clinton case.
The conspiracy theories have been shared by some figures on the right, including Roseanne Barr and Alex Jones.
One “QAnon” theory that has been popularized by the president is the claim that the “criminal deep state” is operating behind the scenes of the government.
“Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State. They go after Phony Collusion with Russia, a made up Scam, and end up getting caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before!” Trump tweeted in May.
One Trump supporter at the Pennsylvania rally on Thursday accused the Clintons, Bushes and Obamas of all being apart of the deep state.
“So you think the Clintons, the Bushes and the Obamas are running the country as we stand here in the rain?” Tuchman asked.
“No, they’re trying,” she responded.
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