How QAnon infiltrated the GOP - Business Insider

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The far-right QAnon conspiracy theory — which holds that a cabal of Satan-worshiping, child-trafficking Democrats is plotting to oust President Donald Trump — has grown increasingly mainstream in the GOP base.
At an NBC News town hall last night, Trump repeatedly refused to denounce QAnon, questioned whether it is a conspiracy theory, and claimed its adherents are fighting pedophilia.

GOP political operatives told Insider that Republicans view QAnon believers and the movement not as a liability or scourge but as a useful band of fired-up supporters.

In the months leading up to the election, QAnon has mobilized a new breed of conservative activists, infiltrated the party's base, and brought independents and political outsiders into the fold.

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MIDDLETOWN, Pennsylvania — At first glance, John Sabal doesn't fit the profile of a typical Republican foot soldier. He's not a fan of Big Business, and before 2016 he'd never voted for a Republican president.

The 30-year-old salesman and Navy veteran — who was in grade school in Philadelphia when the 9/11 terror attacks happened — believes that President George W. Bush secretly collaborated with foreign powers to take down the Twin Towers and murder 3,000 Americans as a pretext to start a war "for profit" and impose mass domestic surveillance.

But on an overcast Saturday in late September, Sabal and his girlfriend posted up under a white tent in the parking lot outside a Donald Trump campaign rally near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to show their undying support for the current Republican president.

Sabal's willingness to indulge dark conspiracies drove him away from Bush, but the same tendency has delivered him into Trump's arms.

For the past two years Sabal has been a devoted follower of the far-right movement known as QAnon. A "Q" banner adorned his tent, and he sported a T-shirt featuring ex-national security advisor Michael Flynn's face and the words "Great Awakening."

Sabal spends his free time on Twitter, Facebook, and Parler, a social media platform popular on the right, spreading the outlandishly false conspiracy theory that the president of the United States is…
Eliza Relman, Dave Levinthal, Tom LoBianco, Kayla Epstein, Elvina Nawaguna, Angela Wang
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