Update (6/1/23): Between April 29 and May 31, 2023, Trump amplified QAnon-promoting accounts more than 50 additional times on Truth Social, bringing his total amplifications since he began actively posting on the platform to more than 500. It took Trump just over 13 months to reach that milestone.
Former President Donald Trump amplified QAnon-promoting accounts nearly 500 times during his first year of actively posting on his social media platform Truth Social, according to a Media Matters review.
During his presidency from 2017 to 2021, Trump repeatedly amplified Twitter accounts promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory — a movement which began in October 2017. By the time Trump’s Twitter account was suspended in the final days of his presidency, he had amplified QAnon-promoting accounts on the platform more than 300 times. During that time, Trump also praised the QAnon community multiple times. Months after Trump left office, and after QAnon show co-hosts known online as “intheMatrixxx” and “ShadyGrooove” received press credentials for a Trump rally, Politico reported that associates of Trump would try to “weed out any QAnon influences — both adherents and postings — getting close to him” and would work to distance the MAGA movement more broadly from the conspiracy theory movement.
But Trump’s first year of actively posting on Truth Social — which began in late April 2022 — suggests that the attempt to distance Trump from QAnon, if it actually happened, was not successful. Media Matters has tracked Trump’s amplifications of QAnon-promoting accounts — which have explicitly promoted the conspiracy theory including its slogan, “Q” posts, or related imagery — on his social media platform in almost real time. Between April 28, 2022, and the same day in 2023, Trump amplified QAnon-promoting accounts on Truth Social at least 471 times, including explicit QAnon content.
Specifically, among those 471 amplifications, Trump:
- Amplified at least two posts featuring content from QAnon’s central figure, “Q.”
- Amplified at least 20 posts featuring a Q; the QAnon slogan, “where we go one, we go all,” or “WWG1WGA”; or “Q+,” a term some QAnon supporters use to refer to Trump himself.
- Amplified at least 100 individual QAnon-promoting accounts.
- Tagged a QAnon account, without any other text in his post.
- Amplified a post from a QAnon account that appeared to suggest that a video from Trump was related to QAnon because they said it was 17 seconds long, a reference to “Q” being the 17th letter of the alphabet.
This activity comes as the former president has associated with and appealed to the QAnon community in other ways, being photographed with multiple QAnon figures — including intheMatrixxx — and using a song associated with QAnon on his social media and at multiple rallies. Kash Patel, a former Trump administration official and Truth Social board member, also claimed that Trump has been “blown away” by the “acumen” of some QAnon supporters. Others in Trump’s orbit have also associated with the QAnon community, including Truth Social’s leadership, who have actively courted QAnon supporters to the platform, with Patel openly saying that “we try to incorporate” QAnon “into our overall messaging scheme to capture audiences.”