Followers of the insane QAnon conspiracy theory have been tied to numerous disturbing acts of violence, including murders, kidnappings and other crimes. They were also a notable presence during the deadly Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol. But, to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, they’re just gentle, flag-waving patriots. “Do you ever notice how all the scary internet conspiracy theorists—the radical QAnon people—when you actually see them on camera or in jail cells, as a lot of them now are, are maybe kind of confused with the wrong ideas, but they’re all kind of gentle people now waving American flags?” Carlson said during his Friday night broadcast “They like this country.”
The FBI has labeled QAnon a potential domestic terror threat. But Carlson said followers were “not torching Wendy’s. They’re not looting retail stores. They’re not shooting cops. No, that’s not them, it’s the other people doing that.” Separately, Carlson insisted that the Jan. 6 riot was a “political protest,” not an insurrection, and has said there’s “no evidence” white supremacists were behind the attack. More than 300 people, including some self-described white supremacists, are facing federal charges over the riot, which left five people dead.