Trump defended the QAnon conspiracy theorists at a news conference as “people who love our country.”

President Trump on Wednesday offered encouragement to proponents of QAnon, a viral conspiracy theory that has gained a widespread following among people who believe the president is secretly battling a criminal band of sex traffickers, and suggested that its proponents were patriots upset with unrest in Democratic cities.

“I’ve heard these are people that love our country,” Mr. Trump said during a White House news conference ostensibly about the coronavirus. “So I don’t know really anything about it other than they do supposedly like me.”

When told by a reporter about the central premise of the QAnon theory — a belief that Mr. Trump is saving the world from a satanic cult made up of pedophiles and cannibals connected to Democratic Party figures, so-called deep-state actors and Hollywood celebrities — Mr. Trump did not question the validity of the movement or the truth of those claims.

Instead, he offered his help.

“Is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing?” the president said lightly, responding to a reporter who asked if he could support that theory. “If I can help save the world from problems, I am willing to do it. I’m willing to put myself out there.”

A separate article explains “What Is QAnon??

QAnon is the umbrella term for a sprawling set of internet conspiracy theories that allege, falsely, that the world is run by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who are plotting against Mr. Trump while operating a global child sex-trafficking ring.

QAnon followers believe that this clique includes top Democrats including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and George Soros, as well as a number of entertainers and Hollywood celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, Ellen DeGeneres and religious figures including Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama. Many of them also believe that, in addition to molesting children, members of this group kill and eat their victims in order to extract a life-extending chemical from their blood.

According to QAnon lore, Mr. Trump was recruited by top military generals to run for president in 2016 in order to break up this criminal conspiracy, end its control of politics and the media, and bring its members to justice.

An article in the Los Angeles Magazine explained QAnon:

It’s not behind a paywall.

Here is a portion:

Until recently, few knew much about QAnon. The right-wing conspiracy movement emerged in 2017 as a result of cryptic clues posted on the internet that portray a world in which Donald Trump works secretly to vanquish a coven of global elites, including top Democrats and Hollywood celebrities, who torture children, traffic them for sex, and even eat them. Flagged as a violent threat by the FBI, banned from Twitter and TikTok, and avidly courted by the Trump campaign, QAnon has become the most potent force in American politics that most Americans have never heard of. In a few short years, QAnon-associated accounts have metastasized on Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok at an unprecedented rate. The pandemic has further fueled its growth, uniting anti-vaxxers and COVID deniers with the Sandy Hook skeptics already part of QAnon’s growing coalition. That coalition apparently also includes everyone from Roseanne to porn queen Jenna Jameson to former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn. (The general, a QAnon icon, recently released a video of himself and his family earnestly reciting the QAnon pledge.)

There are thousands of groups and pages devoted to QAnon on Facebook, with millions of members and followers, according to an internal Facebook report leaked to Ari Sen and Brandy Zadrozny of NBC News. A popular Reddit group called the Qult Headquarters now offers support to the estranged families and friends of QAnon converts. The group, dedicated to debunking the conspiracy theory and deprogramming its devotees, has more than 24,000 members. Once a strictly American phenomenon, QAnon has gone global. There is evidence of QAnon presence in 71 countries and on every continent save for Antarctica, says Concordia University researcher Marc-André Argentino.

The group’s followers also include some mentally unbalanced people who have latched onto the QAnon ideology with a fervor that has broken into real life in dangerous ways. Defense lawyers for the man charged in the murder of the underboss of the Gambino crime family in New York City, say their client is obsessed with conspiracy theories and believed the mobster was a member of the “deep state.” (The same man had previously attempted to make citizen’s arrests of Schiff and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.) The landscaper arrested for igniting the 2018 wildfire that burned nearly 20,000 acres of Orange County and destroyed a dozen homes had posted dozens of conspiracy videos on his Facebook page, including some about a satanic cult that ruled the world and a mysterious U.S. intelligence insider who is working with Donald Trump to thwart it. A QAnon believer and self-identified member of the alt-right Proud Boys in Seattle killed his brother in January by stabbing him in the head with a four-foot-long sword, later claiming he thought his brother was a lizard. In June of last year, an armed man inspired by a QAnon post barricaded himself in an armed vehicle and blocked traffic on the Hoover Dam bridge for hours. He was demanding the Justice Department release a (nonexistent) secret report on Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server that a QAnon influencer had claimed was being stashed at the dam.

Despite its outlandish allegations, the group has also become an increasingly influential player in GOP politics. Fourteen QAnon supporters are running for Congress in 2020; two, including Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, a GOP candidate and avid conspiracy theorist with a history of making racist comments, seem poised to win. Despite early objections from a few party members, she has encountered little opposition from party leaders or the president. In fact Trump, who frequently retweets out QAnon conspiracy accounts, warmly congratulated the candidate on her victory. At this stage in its growth, QAnon “is driving conversation on the online right,” says Kevin Roose, the tech columnist for the New York Times. “Many of the stories that end up trending on Twitter or Facebook are there because QAnon found them and pushed them. It is a lot bigger and more influential than people realize.”

The basic premise of QAnon is this: “Q” is a top government insider close to the president who has proof that global elites secretly enslave and torture children and extract from their blood what they believe is a life-extending chemical named Adrenochrome. Q’s targets range from Democratic politicians like the Clintons, Adam Schiff, and the Obamas to globalist moguls like Bill Clinton and George Soros to celebrities like Tom Hanks and Chrissy Teigen. Trump and his military allies are working secretly to unmask all these evildoers and make sure that they are carted off to Guantánamo and hanged for their crimes. The enemies of QAnon are, in nearly every case, enemies of Trump, which experts say is no coincidence. “At the end of the day, this conspiracy theory is targeting the Democratic establishment,” says Cristina López G., who studies QAnon for the liberal research group Media Matters for America. “To believe Q requires rejecting mainstream institutions, ignoring government officials, battling apostates, and despising the press,” wrote journalist Adrienne LaFrance in The Atlantic. “One of Q’s favorite rallying cries is ‘You are the news now.’ Another is ‘Enjoy the show,’ a phrase that his disciples regard as a reference to a coming apocalypse: When the world as we know it comes to an end, everyone’s a spectator.”

The QANon candidate for Congress in Georgia won the primary. She will be elected in November as it is a staunchly a Republican district. Trump congratulated her.