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Andrea Austria / Media Matters

Congressional witness on human trafficking has used QAnon programs to amplify her claims

Tara Lee Rodas, a supposed whistleblower, has gone on a series of QAnon-affiliated shows leading up to and since her congressional testimony before a Republican-controlled House subcommittee

A supposed government whistleblower who testified before Congress in April and alleged that President Joe Biden’s administration was allowing human trafficking has gone on multiple programs associated with the dangerous QAnon conspiracy theory to promote her claims.

Tara Lee Rodas, a federal employee at the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, was featured in a November 2022 video put out by Project Veritas — the beleaguered far-right political organization known for its deceptively edited videos and questionable undercover sting operations — claiming that the Department of Health and Human Services was allowing migrant children to be sponsored by people involved with human trafficking and that her internal concerns about it were dismissed. Rodas repeated these claims during testimony before a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee in April.

Since the November Project Veritas video came out, Rodas has appeared at least 8 times on programs affiliated with QAnon or with QAnon-supporting hosts to discuss her allegations — twice leading up to her congressional testimony and six after it. In these interviews, she has lauded the QAnon-supporting hosts and suggested she has been following them in some capacity.

  • Rodas appeared on QAnon supporter Zak Paine's show RedPill78.

    Rodas appeared on RedPill78, a show hosted by QAnon supporter and January 6 insurrection participant Zak Paine. During the appearance, Paine noted that it was one of her first interviews, and she in turn thanked him for having her on and “shining a light on government-sponsored, taxpayer-funded child trafficking.”

  • Rodas went on The AlphaWarrior Show, which is named after its QAnon-supporting host's online name.

    During Rodas’ March appearance on The AlphaWarrior Show, Rodas gushed to the QAnon-supporting host that it was “a real honor” to be on the show and said that “based on our conversation, your audience really cares about these issues and they’re really active in doing things” about child trafficking. She also asked “Alpha Warrior” to give her advice, and the host promised that his “army” of followers would help her efforts.

    Video file

    Citation From the March 9, 2023, edition of The AlphaWarrior Show, streamed on Rumble

  • Rodas testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement.

  • Just days after she gave her congressional testimony, Rodas appeared on a program hosted by QAnon influencer “Melissa Redpill The World.”

    “Melissa Redpill The World” is a QAnon influencer who wrote a book that reportedly claims that “Q,” QAnon’s central figure, was fighting “political corruption and global organized crime networks that include political elites, the Illuminati, the Rothschild family, major corporations and banks, celebrities, and those whom she calls ‘fake Jews.’”

    During the interview, Rodas suggested she was familiar with Melissa, saying to her, “Thank you so much again for all the groundwork that you and your followers have laid, you know, to get us to this point,” and for “shining a light, you know, on what sadly, but truly, [is] government-sponsored, taxpayer-funded child trafficking.” 

    Melissa in turn called for a “great awakening,” which is a phrase commonly used within the QAnon community.

    Video file

    Citation From a video uploaded to Rumble on May 1, 2023

  • A few days later, Rodas appeared on QAnon supporter Mel K’s The Mel K Show.

    During her appearance, Rodas praised the QAnon supporter for “being in this fight for so long,” adding, “I look forward to following in your footsteps.”

  • Rodas appeared on the QAnon-supporting MatrixxxGrooove Show (or MG Show).

    On the June 1 edition of the QAnon-supporting MatrixxxGrooove Show (or MG Show), co-host Jeffrey Pedersen claimed that the “mainstream news” was “protecting this operation” of child trafficking that Rodas was alleging, and Rodas thanked him for “getting the truth out there.”

  • A few days later, Rodas went on the podcast Not On My Watch, hosted by QAnon and Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Liz Crokin.

    Rodas praised the conspiracy theorist for “everything that you’ve done in this fight for all these years” and said that she was “following in the footsteps of great people like you.” Rodas also urged viewers to contact her or the House Judiciary Committee about any information they might have.

    Video file

    Citation From the June 9, 2023, edition of America's Future's Not On My Watch, streamed on Rumble

  • Rodas appeared on Infowars with QAnon-supporting co-guest host Ann Vandersteel.

    In August, Rodas appeared on conspiracy theory network Infowars with QAnon-supporting co-guest host Vandersteel, thanking her in part for “everything that you're doing to make people aware of this crisis.”

  • Rodas participated in an X Space hosted by a QAnon supporter.

    In addition to appearing with QAnon show hosts, Rodas participated in an X Space (on the platform formerly known as Twitter) hosted by a QAnon supporter. Participants said that “in here, it’s all about God and Trump and Q” and that “like Donald Trump says, we have the smartest people. That’s who he’s talking about, Anons, the people ... smart enough and focused enough to go find it.” 

    In turn, Rodas said that she saw “a lot of great people in this Space,” gave a shoutout to QAnon influencer Ben Moore (known online as “Sun Tzu”), and said that attending the Space was “more important than speaking before Congress because doing this Space lets more people know the truth of what’s happening.” Rodas also seemingly agreed with someone saying that “a lot of Anons are extremely passionate about children.”

    Participant in X Space with Rodas: "A lot of Anons are extremely passionate about children"

    Audio file

    Citation From a September 19, 2023, X Space

    Rodas’ QAnon tour also comes as she has become part of America’s Future, a group run by former national security advisor Michael Flynn and his family that has become increasingly tied to QAnon (Crokin and Moore are part of the organization, among others connected to the conspiracy theory). And Rodas is one of multiple Project Veritas “whistleblowers” who also have connections to QAnon.