Trump campaign ad featured QAnon signs despite FBI warning that conspiracy could 'motivate' extremists

Trump campaign ad featured QAnon signs despite FBI warning that conspiracy could 'motivate' extremists

An official Trump campaign video featured supporters at his rallies holding QAnon signs, referencing a bizarre “deep state” conspiracy theory which the FBI warned could pose a real domestic terror threat.


The video, titled “Women for Trump,” was posted on the campaign’s YouTube page. First flagged by Vox’s Aaron Rupar, it showed a woman holding a “Women for Trump” sign in which the O’s were replaced with Q’s. Another supporter could be seen holding a “Keep America Great” sign that has a large “Q” taped to the top-left corner.

The spot has been taken down since it was initially called out on Twitter. While it is unclear if the video was published anywhere else or aired on TV, The Daily Beast reported that it had racked up more than 7,000 views before it was removed.

QAnon is a conspiracy theory that alleges a bizarre “deep state” conspiracy against Trump and posits that he is fighting back by sending top Democrats to face secret military tribunals and executions at Guantanamo Bay. 

QAnon believers have been prominently featured at the president’s rallies. In July, Trump praised a baby wearing a QAnon onesie during a speech in North Carolina. And last week, during a rally in Cincinnati, a speaker recited a QAnon slogan minutes before the president took the stage. Trump has amplified QAnon supporters on Twitter more than 20 times, according to Media Matters.

Trump’s campaign video was released after Yahoo News published an intelligence bulletin issued by the FBI Phoenix field office in May, warning that conspiracy theories like QAnon were likely to “motivate some domestic extremists, wholly or in part, to commit criminal and sometimes violent activity."

The memo described the QAnon movement as a conspiracy theory in which an alleged government official who goes by “Q” posts “classified information online to reveal a covert effort, led by President Trump, to dismantle a conspiracy involving ‘deep state’ actors and global elites allegedly engaged in an international child sex trafficking ring.”

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