Fox & Friends hosted a conspiracy theorist who regularly posts messages on a bigoted pro-Trump message board without noting his online activity. The guest, Blake Marnell, had been brought onto the stage by President Donald Trump at his May 20 Pennsylvania rally. Marnell has been a regular poster on “r/The_Donald,” a far-right message board on Reddit known for its anti-Muslim and bigoted content that Trump’s social media director follows and seems to take content from.
Marnell -- who posted a photo of himself at the rally on the subreddit -- has used the site to push the Seth Rich conspiracy theory, the “Clinton body count” conspiracy theory, and the QAnon conspiracy theory, along with 4chan’s “it’s OK to be white” campaign. It is at least the second time Fox & Friends has hosted a QAnon follower; in August, the show hosted a QAnon believer who had posted on Facebook a “Q” post claiming that the Parkland, FL, mass shooting was fake.
From the May 22 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Did you catch this from President Trump's Pennsylvania rally? One man taking his support for the border wall to a whole new level, wearing a wall suit complete with a “build me” sign.
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): And you better believe the president noticed him, inviting him up on stage.
DOOCY: From what I understand you have been to -- that was your third rally. It's the first time you wore the suit. Why -- first of all, where’d you get the suit and why’d you want to wear it?
BLAKE MARNELL: Well, I got suit online. I just searched for “brick wall suit” and it appeared. And the reason that I you wanted to do it is because for a long time now I’ve been doing this thing I call “Saturday haturday,” where I wear my “make America great again” hat out in public in San Diego just to be visible and be present. Because I think that's important. And when I knew -- this is a trip I had planned a long time ago. And I knew I was going to be flying into Dulles and I wanted to up my game a little bit and how could I make it a little bit even more oomph to it. And so I went with the brick wall suit.
EARHARDT: So what was the reaction of people on the plane because I understood you wore it to Dulles and you wore it on the way home after the president called you on stage. What did people say to you?
MARNELL: I’ll tell you, on the way out, from San Diego to Dulles, I got no real reactions aside from people sneaking sideways pictures with their cameras at me. You know like, “I'm going to burn this guy on Twitter,” or something like that. Coming back, I pull into the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, I get out, instant -- three photos with the attendants there. Guys behind me had seen me on TV in the next car. I couldn't buy my own beer in the restaurants.
MARNELL: I mean, it was fantastic. Such a positive reception. Even the TSA actually asked me to put my hat back on so they could take pictures of me with the hat.
DOOCY: That never happens. So, and you -- obviously you’re like a walking meme. You wanted to get the conversation started.
MARNELL: That's absolutely correct.
DOOCY: But you also were noticed by the president out there in Montoursville in Pennsylvania. You didn't have any inkling that he might actually point to you and pull you up. What was that interaction like? We couldn't really hear what was being said right there.
MARNELL: Well, I can tell you I was hoping that he would see me and point to me and that was about it. Maybe give me a thumbs up or something like that. Being actually called up there, no way. No way I thought that was going to happen. So, when he first said it, you know, I'm like, did that really just happen? Did he say that? And then I remember the next thing I'm trying to climb over the fence and there’s an American flag on the fence and I got to put my foot somewhere so I'm not stepping on the flag. And then from there it's like out of body experience. I don't remember much until I came off the stairs, which is great because, you know, I'm not like Hillary [Clinton], I don't have to think consciously about climbing stairs. I got up there, I said, “I'm from San Diego, we really need the wall.” And that's about it. It was really out of body. That's all I can say about that.
EARHARDT: What was he like to meet him face to face?
MARNELL: That's part that I really can't remember too well. And when I saw the video later, I was surprised at just the way that I greeted him and how it was just like you would greet an old friend that you’ve known for such a long time. It was -- you know, I couldn't see that happening in any other country in the world. [President Emmanuel] Macron in France doesn't do that, [Chancellor Angela] Merkel in Germany doesn't do that. Forget it. There’s nothing like that.
EARHARDT: Was it emotional for you? I mean you were face to face with the president of the United States, the most powerful man in our country.
DOOCY: He was hugging a brick wall.
MARNELL: He was, he was. Absolutely. It didn't really get emotional about it until afterwards, and you know it's really powerful because I think that segment shows a lot about why people in America really support President Trump and support the policies he is doing for America first. Because, he really connects with people on -- he’s so genuine. He is not like any other politician. And that's exactly why, you know, a huge part of why he is in office.
DOOCY: Well you just Googled “brick wall suit.” I've got a feeling a lot of people are going to started wearing those to those rallies.
EARHARDT: Great personality.