- In recent weeks Donald Trump has appeared to embrace QAnon more than ever.
- There’s a correlation between Trump’s stress and anger level and his engagement with QAnon, a researcher said.
- While Trump faces mounting legal troubles, the QAnon faithful continue to cast him as a hero.
Former President Donald Trump has recently been seen embracing the QAnon conspiracy movement more openly than ever before.
In recent weeks, he has frequently posted messages with QAnon references on his social media platform Truth Social. At a Trump rally in Ohio last week, a song affiliated with QAnon was played while members of the crowd raised their fingers in a QAnon salute.
Alex Kaplan, a senior researcher for US-based media watchdog Media Matters, told Grid News that Trump’s recent QAnon signaling could provide insight into his state of mind.
“So, from my experience doing this over time since 2018, I have generally gotten the sense that there’s a correlation between Trump amplifying more QAnon-promoting accounts in times where he’s under stress or when he’s angry,” Kaplan told the outlet.
“I can’t say this for sure because I can’t read his mind. But it just seems like a correlation between certain things being reported about him in the news and him doing stuff like this.”
The former president is currently facing mounting legal pressure as he faces multiple investigations and lawsuits, including a Department of Justice investigation into his handling of federal records and a fraud lawsuit against Trump and his business from the New York Attorney General.
Kaplan said that these ongoing legal issues might make QAnon more appealing to Trump, as he is the “hero of the story of the QAnon conspiracy theory.”
“I think what the QAnon accounts do, at least on the Truth Social amplification part of it, is that they provide him validation, reassurance, good feelings. They’re giving him praise. I think he’s looking for that,” Kaplan said.
Trump’s purported need for constant acclaim was highlighted this week when it was reported that his aides follow him around and recite praise he receives on social media, according to The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman.
“As Trump has been out of office over the last 20 mos [months], a rotating cast of aides has been tasked with following him around the golf course at the club he’s at and giving him positive reinforcement from Twitter and wherever else they find it on the web, per ppl told of the practice,” tweeted Haberman, who is renown for her extensive contacts in Trump’s circle.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Trump shared a post on his Truth Social account that compared him to Jesus Christ. Truth Social user @austinnegrete said: “Jesus is the Greatest. President @realDonaldTrump is the second greatest.”
QAnon is a far-right conspiracy movement whose adherents baselessly believe that Trump is planning to bring down a cabal of elites and Democrats that make up the so-called Deep State, who are involved in various nefarious activities, including mass child abuse.
Kaplan told Grid News it was “obviously concerning” to see the former president appearing to embrace the conspiracy theory.
Belief in QAnon has been linked to several acts of violence, including Matthew Taylor Coleman, who was accused of killing his two young children, Troy Burke, who killed his wife, and Igor Lanis, who also killed his wife in Michigan just last week.