Trump’s embracing QAnon? He kept the movement at arm’s length during presidency

A supporter of former U.S. President Donald Trump wears a QAnon shirt while holding a sign stating he won the 2020 election, outside the North Carolina GOP convention in Greenville, North Carolina, June 5, 2021. Photo by REUTERS/Jonathan Drake.

As former President Donald Trump recently stumped for Ohio U.S Senate candidate J.D. Vance, his usual shouty, rambling speech shifted to a sermon-like tone. He described the “incredible journey” he and his followers were traveling together as “one movement, one people, one family, and one glorious nation.” As he spoke, many of the onlookers held their index finger in the air: a sign associated with QAnon, a fringe movement that combines conspiracy theories, with Trump at the center as an almost Messiah-like figure. QAnon is tied to the Capitol insurrection and other violent extremism, and the FBI considers it a threat. To what extent has Trump fully embraced this movement?