QAnon influencers were given official press credentials to former President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE's rally in Florida this past weekend, suggesting a continued acceptance by the ex-president's organization toward the conspiracy theory.
Vice reports that two of the most influential QAnon figures — Jeffrey Pedersen and his podcast co-host Shady Grooove — were approved for media credentials.
“We are the news now,” Pedersen wrote on his Telegram channel, according to Vice.
Over the weekend, Pedersen shared several photos and videos of himself at the Trump rally in Sarasota, Fla. One video reportedly shows him in the press pen calling reporters "fake news media" while showing off his QAnon wristband.
Alex Kaplan, researcher for the left-leaning Media Matters for America think tank, tweeted that this was not the first time a QAnon figure has been granted press credentials for a Trump rally.
As Kaplan pointed out, Derek Vance, the host of a popular QAnon show on YouTube, was granted press credentials in 2019 to a Trump rally where he was photographed with Trump campaign manager Brad ParscaleBrad ParscaleAides tried to get Trump to stop attacking McCain in hopes of clinching Arizona: report MORE.
This isn't the first time a QAnon influencer got media credentials for a Trump rally. A QAnon show host for the major QAnon channel Patriots' Soapbox got credentials for a Trump rally in 2019, where he was pictured with Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale https://t.co/AItOII5Cft pic.twitter.com/pJdr8ybWyM— Alex Kaplan (@AlKapDC) July 2, 2021
QAnon supporters push a wide range of bizarre conspiracy theories, famously believing that Trump was fighting against an organization of pedophiles running a sex-trafficking ring.
The latest conspiracy theory to become popular among this group is that Trump will be reinstated as president in August, though there is no mechanism or procedure through which this could happen.
The Department of Homeland Security has reportedly told members of Congress behind closed doors that there is concern in the department surrounding this conspiracy theory. Trump has reportedly told acquaintances that he believes he will be reinstated soon.
Though the department does not believe there is a link to violence and this conspiracy theory, there is concern that this will fuel the narrative that the election was fraudulent, which could incite violence.