For most of his misbegotten tenure in the Oval Office, Donald Trump danced a three-step tango with right-wing extremists: Apparently embracing them, then stepping back with official (and unconvincing) disavowal, then swinging them back into his arms. He had perfected this tango in the case of the QAnon movement, pretending at first to know nothing about them—despite having winked and nudged in their direction for years—but telling reporters: “I heard that these are people that love our country.”
Now Trump has simply dropped the façade of plausible deniability altogether. On his Truth Social chat platform—an unwieldy and pale imitation of Twitter—Trump has, over the last two months, amplified QAnon accounts over 70 times. He went completely over the cliff on Tuesday morning, pouring out a stream of over 60 QAnon memes, reposts from QAnon accounts, and tangentially amplifying an original “Q drop” (a 4chan post written by the still-anonymous “Q” who originated the conspiracist cult).