Summoned by an NBC News reporter to condemn this far-right conspiracy theory, the US president explained that he was unaware that it existed.
He … not “do not know” who they are, but he approves (in part) of what they do. In a curious remote televised duel with Joe Biden on two different TV channels Due to the Covid epidemic, Donald Trump once again refused to condemn the far-right conspiratorial movement QAnon (pronounce Q-Anon) Thursday night on NBC. Sum “once for all” by reporter Savannah Guthrie to disavow “Entirely” the followers of this conspiracy belief, Donald Trump has repeatedly hammered: “I don’t know anything about QAnon”. Before specifying anyway: “All I’ve heard about them is that they fight pedophilia very hard and they fight it very hard and I agree with that. ” “Either the President of the United States is very badly informed, which is very worrying, or he is lying”, observed the Washington Post in the process.
Donald Trump interviewed on NBC, Friday. Photo Evan Vucci. AP
For Anne-Emmanuelle Deysine, university professor and author of a book on American political practices, Donald Trump “Knows exactly what QAnon is. He’s a man who is so insecure and needs to be worshiped, to have this crowd of worshipers. I wouldn’t go as far as the Christ metaphor, but once you love him, he cannot criticize because he is by definition a good person. “
Elite described as satanist and pedophile
According to the followers of this movement with totally delusional accents, Donald Trump is currently carrying out a large-scale purge operation against the existence of a so-called “deep state” («deep state»), namely an elite described as satanist or even pedophile, composed in particular of Hollywood celebrities and members of the Democratic Party. Spread on social networks and forums like 4chan, 8chan and 8kun, this theory is gaining more and more supporters around the world. Before Thursday night’s interview, Donald Trump had already been interviewed on this phenomenon on August 19 during a press conference at the White House. “I heard that these people love their country”, he then explained before continuing: “I don’t really know any more except that they say they love me.” To a reporter who asked him if he supported their theories, the American president replied: “If I can help save the world, I’m ready to do it.”
When Donald Trump said he was not familiar with this movement, Savannah Guthrie pointed out to him that he had shared false information last week precisely from QAnon. A conspiracy theory that Joe Biden had members of the Navy’s special forces killed to hide the fact that Bin Laden was not actually dead. The presidential defense does not vary, bravache: “It was a retweet, someone else’s opinion.”
“It feeds on conspiracy theories”
The NBC interviewer also asked Donald Trump to speak out against white supremacists. “I condemn white supremacy for years but you always start with this question, you didn’t ask Joe Biden whether or not he denounced the ‘antifa'”, he defended himself. The New York Times recalled that during the first debate between the two opponents for the White House, the President had replied “be inclined” to denounce white supremacists but did not express it clearly.
These two sequences are part of Donald Trump’s strategy not to condemn these conspiratorial and racist movements whose members are numerous to support him, analyzes researcher Anne-Emmanuelle Deysine: «He feeds on conspiracy theories and goes looking for what is worst in the human soul.»