Trump supporters displaying QAnon posters appeared at President Donald J. Trumps Make America Great Again rally (Thomas O'Neill/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Trump campaign is now openly courting QAnon conspiracy theorists

A Trump campaign spokesperson went on a QAnon program to recruit volunteers



Alex Henderson
July 16, 2020 8:53AM (UTC)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Although President Donald Trump and members of his reelection campaign have avoided mentioning the far-right QAnon cult by name, that doesn't mean they don't welcome the support of QAnon devotees — and Trump campaign spokesperson Erin Perrine, according to Media Matters' Eric Hananoki, was clearly trolling for QAnon votes when she appeared on the QAnon program "The Common Sense Show." That appearance, Hananoki notes, was "previously unreported."

Followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory are extreme even by Trumpian standards and believe that Trump was sent to the White House to combat an international child sex ring — and that a mysterious figure named "Q" is giving them periodic updates about their battle.

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Media Matters, Hananoki reports, has learned that Perrine went on "The Common Sense Show" — which is part of QAnon's Patriot Soapbox network — on October 24, 2019, and encouraged the audience to "sign up and attend a Trump Victory Leadership Initiative training" and "talk to their local GOP party, their state party." Hananoki notes that Perrine was the Trump campaign's deputy communications director at the time but has since been promoted to director of press communications for the campaign.

"Patriots' Soapbox is a QAnon network that appears online and on streaming platforms like Roku," Hananoki notes. "NBC News wrote, in August 2018, that it is 'a round-the-clock livestreamed YouTube channel for QAnon study and discussion. The channel is, in effect, a broadcast of a Discord chatroom with constant audio commentary from a rotating cast of volunteers and moderators."

Perrine didn't specifically discuss the QAnon conspiracy theory during that broadcast. Instead, she stuck to promoting Trump's campaign and told co-host Conscience Abe: "The best thing everybody can do is sign up and attend a Trump Victory Leadership Initiative training. Honestly, that is where not only do you get the best information about what the campaign is doing, but you get actively involved in being part of the 2 million volunteers that this campaign is aiming to train, to knock doors, to engage voters, to be there in the grassroots, on the ground every day up to November 3, 2020, to win a second term."

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"QAnon is a violence-linked conspiracy theory based on cryptic posts to online message boards from an anonymous user known as 'Q' that have spread rampantly on social media and among fringe right-wing media," Hananoki explains. "QAnon conspiracy theorists essentially believe that Trump is secretly working to take down the purported 'Deep State,' a supposed cabal of high-ranking officials who they claim are operating pedophile rings."


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