The bizarre pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory has burst from fringe websites into the real world this week, as dozens of attendees at two recent Trump rallies in Florida and Pennsylvania promoted it.
“It’s a movement, man. It’s the shift. I can feel it coming,” one Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania rally-goer told CNN on Thursday. “Some call it the great awakening,” he added.
The theory, which originated from anonymous messages posted online, purports to explain everything from the sinking of the Titanic to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, weaving them into a grand narrative where President Donald Trump is a secret mastermind – and hero.
QAnon’s online clues — called “breadcrumbs” — are so vague, they can be hard to follow. But there has been no evidence to prove them.
At a press conference on Wednesday White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders denied that Trump supports the group, “The President condemns and denounces any group that would incite violence against another individual, and certainly doesn’t support groups that would promote that type of behavior,” she said.
Footage from Trump’s rally in Tampa on Tuesday and a rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday shows attendees wearing T-shirts and carrying posters with the letter “Q” — a shorthand to identify followers of the conspiracy theory.Here’s what experts say you need to know about QAnon and why the conspiracy theory has spread.