“I don’t know much about the movement, other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” he told a reporter when asked about QAnon at a White House press briefing. “I have heard that it is gaining in popularity.”
“I’ve heard these are people that love our country,” he added.
When the reporter pointed out that followers of the convoluted theory believe that Trump is secretly saving the world from a satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals, Trump said, “I haven’t heard that. But is that supposed to be a bad thing? ... If I can help save the world from problems, I’m willing to do it.”
QAnon has fostered an online extremist movement that has been identified by the FBI as a potential domestic terrorism threat. Among other baseless conspiracy theories peddled by its followers, some claim that Trump is taking down a secret global band of “deep state” Hollywood elites and politicians who worship Satan and traffic children for sex. The group has been linked to kidnappings, murder and other violent crimes.
Earlier Wednesday, Facebook announced it had removed and restricted thousands of pages, groups, accounts and ads linked to QAnon and offline anarchist and militia groups in an effort to stifle their spread.
The president’s blasé praise for the conspiracy’s supporters and failure to condemn them stunned journalists and commentators online, many of whom shared resources about the group’s dangerous actions and beliefs.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place