Two signs promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory are visible in a video from Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, marking the latest link between the president and followers of the fringe movement that the FBI recently described as a potential source of domestic terror.
The signs, which were first noticed by Vox reporter Aaron Rupar, appear in a close-up shot in a “Women for Trump” video posted by Trump’s campaign late in July. Around halfway into the video, the first sign appears, with Trump’s “Keep America Great” slogan and a “Q” taped onto it. Another shows “Q”’s replacing the O’s on a “Women for Trump” sign.
The inclusion of the signs in the campaign video could be entirely accidental, as Trump rallies have become prominent gathering spots for believers in the QAnon conspiracy, making it harder to grab footage from the rallies that do not include such images. At a Trump rally last week, for example, a warm-up speaker recited a QAnon slogan during his speech. But the campaign video will, nevertheless, be likely interpreted by the Q community as a cryptic acknowledgement by Trump that their beliefs are real.
The Trump campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment. It’s unclear if the ad is being broadcast on TV or is merely an online spot. Total viewership for it on YouTube was just above 7,000 at the time of publication, suggesting it has not been widely seen.
QAnon believers follow ludicrous clues posted online by an anonymous figure named “Q,” who they claim offers proof that Trump is engaged in a secret war against an evil cabal of high-ranking pedophiles and cannibals. QAnon supporters claim to be nonviolent, even though a core part of the conspiracy theory is based around the idea of Trump sending top Democrats to face military tribunals and executions in Guantanamo Bay. QAnon believers have been charged in two murders, and an FBI document published last week described QAnon and other conspiracy theories as a possible source of domestic terrorism.
QAnon believers have been eager in the past to jump on anything they perceive as a potential nod of support from Trump’s campaign. In July, Trump praised a baby wearing an improvised QAnon onesie during a speech. Conspiracy theorists soon identified the baby, dubbed “QBaby,” as QAnon’s new mascot, and saw Trump mentioning the baby as proof that their conspiracy theory is real.