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White House says Trump doesn’t know of QAnon, despite his tacit endorsement

Conspiracy theory holds that Trump is fighting a group of ‘global elites’ engaged in ‘satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals’

Donald Trump does not know what QAnon is, chief of staff Mark Meadows told Fox News Sunday – despite the president having tacitly endorsed it in the White House briefing room this week.

The conspiracy theory – which holds that Trump is fighting a group of “global elites” engaged in human trafficking, pedophilia and the harvesting of a supposedly life-extending chemical from the blood of children – has been identified by the FBI as a potential domestic terrorist threat.

Nonetheless, Republican candidates for US Senate and the House have expressed sympathy with and support for QAnon and on Wednesday, during a press conference at the White House, Trump praised its followers.

“I don’t know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” he said.

It was the president’s first public comment about QAnon, though he has retweeted accounts which promote it.

A reporter pointed out that QAnon followers believe Trump is “secretly saving the world from this satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals”.

The president replied: “I haven’t heard that but is that supposed to be a good thing or a bad thing?”

“If I can help save the world from problems, I’m willing to do it,” he said.

Trump’s comments inspired celebrations among QAnon followers.

Hours before, Facebook announced it had taken down or restricted more than 10,000 groups, pages and Instagram accounts associated with the rightwing conspiracy theory.

Asked on Fox News Sunday if the president condemned the group, Meadows said: “We don’t even know what it is.”

Meadows told ABC’s This Week, meanwhile, that he had to “Google” QAnon to…

Amanda Holpuch

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