Trump selects QAnon-linked supporter as his "special guest speaker" for new rally

Trump is featuring a major QAnon supporter at an Arizona MAGA rally scheduled for this Saturday

Published January 11, 2022 5:19PM (EST)

Donald Trump (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Donald Trump (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Whenever Donald Trump was asked about QAnon during the 2020 presidential race, he avoided either promoting or criticizing their far-right conspiracy theorists. Trump would typically say that he didn't know much about QAnon but heard that they "love America" and oppose pedophilia. Now, Trump is featuring a major QAnon supporter at a Florence, Arizona MAGA rally scheduled for this Saturday, January 15: Arizona State Sen. Mark Finchem, billed as the event's "special guest speaker."

Finchem is running for Arizona secretary of state — a position presently held by Democrat Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor. Republicans who have been competing with Finchem for the GOP nomination in that secretary of state race include Shawnna Bolick, Michelle Ugenti-Rita and Beau Lane; Trump has endorsed Finchem, who hasn't been shy about promoting QAnon's ludicrous conspiracy theories.

QAnon believes, among many other things, that the United States' federal government has been taken over by an international cabal of pedophiles, child sex traffickers, Satanists and cannibals and that Trump was elected in 2016 to fight the cabal — which they think is being funded in part by billionaire Democrat George Soros. QAnon adherents mostly blame Democrats for the cabal, but they blame some Never Trump Republicans as well.

Three months ago, GOP Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem was a featured speaker at a QAnon conference. This Saturday he will be a "special" guest speaker at Donald Trump's rally in Arizona. Read all about it:\u00a0\u2026

— David Corn (@David Corn) 1641926764

In a 2020 interview with Victory Media, Finchem said, "We've got a serious problem in this nation. There's a lot of people involved in a pedophile network in the distribution of children…. And, unfortunately, there's a whole lot of elected officials that are involved in that.'"

Finchem, however, isn't the only QAnon supporter Trump has allied himself with. Others include Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado.

Mother Jones' David Corn reports, "Finchem has repeatedly declined to comment to reporters about his QAnon-ish beliefs, but his QAnon connection has become something of an issue in his race for secretary of state, with media reports referring to his past statements and posts. In October, he was a 'special guest' at a QAnon conference in Las Vegas. The speakers for this event were a veritable parade of QAnon promoters and other fringe theorists."

In addition to supporting QAnon, Finchem has aggressively promoted the Big Lie — Trump's false and debunked claim that he really won the 2020 election but was robbed of his victory because of widespread voter fraud. One recount after another has made it abundantly clear that now-President Joe Biden legitimately won that election; in fact, he defeated Trump by more than 7 million votes. Regardless, Finchem continues to promote Trump's bogus election fraud claims.

The January 15 MAGA rally will feature an extremist who's-who of far-right Big Lie promoters, including MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell; Kelli Ward, who chairs the Arizona GOP; Rep. Paul Gosar (who was censured by House Democrats for posting an animated video that depicted him murdering Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), Rep. Andy Biggs and Kari Lake, a former Fox anchor who is running for governor.

By Alex Henderson

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Arizona Donald Trump Qanon Sen. Mark Finchem