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Trump says he appreciates support from QAnon conspiracists

Trump says he appreciates support from QAnon conspiracists
Posted at 4:53 PM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 19:19:55-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is praising the supporters of QAnon, a convoluted, pro-Trump conspiracy theory, and suggesting he appreciates their support of his candidacy.

Speaking during a press conference Wednesday at the White House, Trump courted the support of those who put stock in the conspiracy theory, saying, “I heard that these are people that love our country.” It was his first public comment on the subject. The baseless QAnon theory centers on an alleged anonymous, high-ranking government official known as “Q” who shares information about an anti-Trump “deep state” often tied to satanism and child sex trafficking.

Last month, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point's United States Military Academy issued a study that determined that QAnon is a potential domestic terror threat to the US.

"At first glance, QAnon, the bizarre assemblage of far-right conspiracy theories that holds that U.S. President Donald Trump is waging a secret war against an international cabal of satanic pedophiles seems to present a far lesser threat to public security," the Combating Terrorism Center wrote. "However, QAnon has contributed to the radicalization of several people to notable criminal acts or acts of violence. In light of these events, this article attempts to take stock of the violence this bizarre set of conspiracy theories has engendered thus far and asks whether it should be seen as a security threat in the making.