While most of Donald Trump’s allies braced for the release on Thursday of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, believers in the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory approached the long-awaited publication with a sense of thrill.
For years, QAnon fans have been mocked for believing that Mueller was secretly in league with the president, working hand-in-hand to uncover Satanic rituals committed by top Democrats before shipping them off to Guantanamo Bay. They had been told it was ridiculous to base their entire political worldview on a series of anonymous clues posted on internet message boards—including one that claimed Hillary Clinton was secretly arrested in October 2017.
Now, after all the chanting and waving of “Q” signs at Trump rallies, their hour of vindication was at hand.
Liz Crokin, a leading QAnon promoter, predicted on Wednesday that Mueller’s report would uncover leading Democrats committing crimes that are “punishable by death.”
“I think the Mueller Report will reveal some indicators that the real crimes that took places were committed by Hillary Clinton, Obama, and some of their associates,” Crokin told The Daily Beast.
Crokin wasn’t alone. “Patriots’ Soapbox,” a 24-hour YouTube livestream devoted to decoding QAnon clues, urged viewers to check back Thursday for a “BIG day.” Joe Masepoes, a QAnon promoter whose pro-QAnon videos have been shared by celebrities like former baseball star Curt Schilling, urged his followers to “be here tomorrow.”
But when the Mueller report arrived on Thursday morning, it contained none of the bombshell, global pedophile cabal-destroying revelations QAnon fans had predicted. Instead, it detailed a Russian campaign of electoral subterfuge that benefited Trump’s election efforts, along with repeated attempts by the president to impede investigations into his conduct.
Unhappy QAnon believers were left to grapple with the letdown. As the report’s lack of QAnon proofs became clear, the Patriots’ Soapbox livestream quickly moved onto other topics like human trafficking. The channel’s viewers weren’t fooled, though. The comment section quickly filled up with disappointed QAnon fans.
On Voat, a Reddit-style forum alternative popular with QAnon fans, believers lamented the fact that they had been duped again.
“Trump is toast,” said one poster who said he wouldn’t vote in 2020 after the disappointment. “Lied to us to extend his re-election. Good luck Q peeps. I’m done here.”
This isn’t the first time QAnon loyalists have been promised confirmation of their bizarre ideas, only to be disappointed. In June 2018, “Q”—the anonymous person or group of people behind the vague clues that have been strung into QAnon—had promised that a Department of Justice inspector general report would bring down Clinton.
That report didn’t include the revelations QAnon believers were promised either. One angry, armed QAnon believer responded to that let-down by shutting down a bridge near the Hoover Dam with an improvised armored truck.
While QAnon believers grappled with what the Mueller report actually meant, the movement’s foes—including those in Trumpworld—took the opportunity to gloat. Former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka, whose frequent attacks on QAnon have made him a top enemy of Q-heads, took to Twitter on Thursday to urge QAnon believers to “#LeaveTheCult.”
“As of this morning: Q and QAnon are dead,” Gorka tweeted.