President Trump praised believers of the far-out Qanon conspiracy theory, who think Trump is fighting a Satanic cult of pedophiles, and said he really appreciates how much they like him.
Never mind that the FBI recently warned in an internal memo that the movement looks like a burgeoning domestic terrorist threat, and that it’s strange ideas could spur its members “to carry out criminal or violent acts.” To Trump, they’re just a bunch of groovy Trump fans.
“I’ve heard these are people who love our country,” Trump told the White House press room on Wednesday. “I don’t know much about the movement, other than that I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate.”
Trump hailed Qanon believers for supposedly sharing his view that cities run by Democrats have let violent crime fester and spread — even though the movement’s central tenets are actually much weirder than that.
“These are people that don’t like seeing what’s going on in places like Portland, and places like Chicago and New York, and other cities and states.”
“These are people that don’t like seeing what’s going on in places like Portland, and places like Chicago and New York, and other cities and states,” Trump said. “I’ve heard these are people that love our country, and they just don’t like seeing it.”
That’s hardly what the Qanon movement is all about. The patchwork theory encompasses a bizarre universe of outlandish beliefs. But generally speaking, they believe Trump is battling a shadowy cabal of entrenched politicians who traffic children for occult and sexual purposes.
Trump was pressed for his view of that idea on Wednesday by a reporter who asked him about the notion that he might be “secretly saving the world from this satanic cult of pedofiles and cannibals.”
Trump was noncommittal. In fact, he used words that could easily be interpreted by Qanon believers as a sign of support for their cause.
“Well, I haven’t heard that,” Trump said. “But is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing? If I can help save the world from problems, I’m willing to do it. I’m willing to put myself out there. 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.”
Cover: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House August 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)