President says followers of movement, which claims Trump is fighting ‘deep state’ paedophiles, ‘love our country’Donald Trump has tacitly endorsed QAnon, a baseless rightwing conspiracy theory identified as a potential domestic terrorism threat by the FBI, claiming its followers “love our country” and “like me very much”.Followers of the QAnon movement believe without evidence that Trump is fighting a Satanic “deep state” of global elites involved in paedophilia, human trafficking and the harvesting of a supposedly life-extending chemical from the blood of abused children.Yet asked about the theory at Wednesday’s White House press briefing, the US president failed to condemn it. “I don’t know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” he said. “I have heard that it is gaining in popularity.” Continue reading...
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Trump repeatedly refused to condemn QAnon and said he agreed with part of the far-right conspiracy movement during his NBC town hall
Summary List Placement President Donald Trump once again refused to condemn the far-right conspiracy movement QAnon...Summary List Placement President Donald Trump once again refused to condemn the far-right conspiracy movement QAnon on Thursday and praised the group multiple times during an NBC News town hall Thursday. The president has repeatedly shared tweets and posts promoting the theory, which claims that the world is run by a satanic cult of pedophiles and powerful Democrats, and that Trump is the only person who can save the world from them. "Can you just, once and for all, state that that is completely not true and just disavow QAnon in its entirety?" the moderator, Savannah Guthrie, asked Trump at the town hall. "So, I know nothing about QAnon," the president began, before Guthrie reminded him that she had just told him what the conspiracy was about. "I know you told me, but what you tell me doesn't necessarily make it fact, I hate to say that," Trump said. "I know nothing about it. I do know they are very much against pedophilia. They fight it very hard. But I know nothing about it." QAnon has been linked to multiple online hoaxes suggesting that there's a worldwide child trafficking ring being run by elites and powerful Democrats. The movement to end child trafficking, called "Save The Children," began as a legitimate charity cause, The New York Times reported, but it has since been widely adopted by QAnon to recruit more supporters to its conspiracy movement, organize rallies, and spread disinformation online. When Guthrie reminded Trump on Thursday that QAnon claims that there is a "satanic cult run by the deep state," Trump replied, "I'll tell you what I do know about. I know about antifa. I know about the radical left. I know how violent they are, how vicious they are, and I know how they are burning down cities run by Democrats, not by Republicans." Guthrie interjected and quoted Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, who said, "QAnon is nuts and real leaders call conspiracy theories conspiracy theories." "He may be right," Trump said. "Can I be honest, he might be right —" "Why not just say it's crazy and not true?" Guthrie pressed. "I just don't know about QAnon," Trump said. "You do know," Guthrie shot back. "I don't know. No, I don't know," Trump insisted. "You told me all about it. Let's waste a whole show. Let me just tell you, what I do hear about it is that they are very strongly against pedophilia, and I agree with that. I mean, I do agree with that." "Okay," Guthrie said, "but there's not a satanic pedophile cult being run by —" "I have no idea," the president said. "I know nothing about that." "You don't know that?" Guthrie said. "No, I don't know that, and neither do you know that," Trump replied.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A cleaning expert reveals her 3-step method for cleaning your entire home quickly
Misinformation on the president's health once again shows America is fighting an 'infodemic' during the coronavirus pandemic
Summary List Placement In the hours following President Donald Trump's announcement that he and the first...Summary List Placement In the hours following President Donald Trump's announcement that he and the first lady had tested positive for coronavirus, confusion and misinformation emerged as the nation tuned in to updates on the president's condition. A history of inconsistencies and lack of transparency in the Trump administration's approach to the pandemic have heightened distrust in updates on the president's health which have been inconsistent and sewn confusion. In September, Trump's head Department of Health Human Services spokesperson Micahel Caputo, who took medical leave shortly after he spread conspiracy theories on Facebook — including one that claimed the coronavirus pandemic was exaggerated by the "fake news" media — was reported to delay CDC reports that was not in line with Trump's political stance. Also, last month, journalist Bob Woodward's interviews with the president indicated that Trump knew about the deadly consequences coronavirus could have as early as February as he downplayed the pandemic to the American public. Over two-thirds of Americans recently said they "do not trust what Trump says about the coronavirus pandemic," according to an ABC News/Ipsos poll published last month. In addition, 62% of American adults fear that political pressure from the Trump administration would "lead the FDA to rush to approve a coronavirus vaccine without making sure that it is safe and effective." Misinformation is rampant in the 'infodemic' The World Health Organization said in August that the world is not only battling the coronavirus pandemic but also an "infodemic," where an abundance of misinformation proliferates rapidly online. The infodemic has already manifested into a number of deadly consequences: For example, an American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene study found that at least 800 people around the world died after acting on disinformation on a false coronavirus cure. Cornell University researchers recently found "that Donald Trump was likely the largest driver of the COVID-19 misinformation 'infodemic.'" Early in the pandemic, Trump suggested scientists look into whether there was a way to inject disinfectant into human bodies to kill the coronavirus. Although the president brushed off the next day that he was being sarcastic, the misinformation presented at an official White House coronavirus press briefing put Americans in danger – a Kansas man consumed cleaning products days after Trump's statement. In July, Trump shared a video containing false information about cures for coronavirus. The video was removed by Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter – but not before it had already accumulated over 14 million views on Facebook. Trump has also amplified QAnon. QAnon is a far-right conspiracy movement that was identified as a domestic-terrorist threat by the FBI, on a number of occasions. In an August White House press briefing, Trump responded to questions on the QAnon movement and said although he didn't "know much about the movement," but added that "they like me very much, which I appreciate." The president did not denounce the movement but embraced them as "people who love our country." Most recently, far-right QAnon supporters, along with some progressives, were among those on social media circulating conspiracy theories about the president's health after he announced his COVID-19 diagnosis. In addition, concerns on Russian actors proliferating disinformation in the wake of Trump's health status is rampant. Since Trump announced he tested positive, a Russian state-backed television channel tweeted a misleading story that Biden — who tested negative for coronavirus Friday — coughing in the debate was concerning, according to the AP. Read more: 5 ways to determine if you've received accurate coronavirus information, according to an epidemiologist QAnon, the far-right, and some left-wingers are all spreading conspiracies about Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis A Kansas man consumed cleaning products last weekend after Trump mused that injecting disinfectants might help fight the coronavirus Russia has been publishing English-language articles to spread COVID-19 disinformation to Americans, US officials said. It could skew the 2020 elections as it did in 2016. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why NASA won't send humans to Venus
Summary List Placement Vice President Mike Pence canceled his plans to attend a fundraiser for the...Summary List Placement Vice President Mike Pence canceled his plans to attend a fundraiser for the Trump reelection campaign days after it was reported that the event's hosts had publicly expressed support for the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory. The Associated Press on Saturday reported that the Trump re-election campaign said the vice president's schedule had been changed, although it did not provide a reason for why it had been altered, according to the report. Three other Republicans in Montana running for election were also slated to attend the fundraiser, according to the AP. The vice president on Monday is still slated to host an event in nearby Belgrade, Montana, according to the AP report. Earlier this week, the outlet reported that Caryn and Michael Borland, who were hosting the September 14 Bozeman, Montana, fundraiser, had shared social media posts and memes expressing support for the QAnon conspiracy theory. As Business Insider's Ben Gilbert previously reported, the unsubstantiated QAnon theory stems from the idea that leaders from the Democratic Party and members of the so-called "deep state" are conspiring to commit a variety of criminal acts, including pedophilia. At its core, QAnon believers think that deep-state actors are attempting to undermine President Donald Trump. Its followers also believe in a so-called "Great Awakening" — an idea that stemmed from the president's 2017 reference to a "calm before the storm." QAnon believers think the president is working to take down elites, globalists, and the supposed deep state, Business Insider's Eliza Relman and Grace Panetta previously reported. As the Associated Press reported, Michael Borland featured several QAnon "Q" logos on his Facebook page, while Caryn Borland had retweeted and engaged with QAnon accounts on Twitter. In total, the couple has donated some $220,000 to the president's bid for another four years in the White House, according to the report. Despite a lack of footing in reality, the QAnon conspiracy has permeated the mainstream While QAnon has been a fringe far-right theory and movement, it is permeated the mainstream in 2020. Marjorie Thomas Greene, a Georgia candidate for US House who is expected to win her race, has publicly expressed her support for the baseless theory. In July, online furniture company Wayfair faced unsubstantiated accusations from QAnon's conspiracy theorist followers, who claimed that the retailer was selling human children through pricey listings for cabinets and pillows. The company later explained that the cabinets were expensive because they were industrial-grade items, and the pillows had been priced in error. Last month, the mayor of a small town in Washington state also lent support to the theory during a radio appearance, calling it a "truth movement that encourages you to think for yourself," Insider's Rachel Greenspan reported. Pence meanwhile, has publicly dismissed the movement. "I don't know anything about QAnon, and I dismiss it out of hand," the vice president said during an August appearance on CBS News. At the end of August, however, President Donald Trump seemed to offer praise for the movement despite similarly claiming he didn't know much about it. "I don't know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate," Trump said on August 20. "But I don't know much about the movement. I have heard that it is gaining in popularity." Expanded Coverage Module: insider-voter-guideJoin the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Here's what you're actually seeing when you spot a meteor shower