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Last night, riding on the back of an endorsement from President Donald Trump, Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis won his party’s primary for governor.
And while the #MAGA crowd was enthused their president could put someone over the top like that, another online collective was just as excited.
In the run-up to the election, DeSantis saw support on the Reddit forum for the Q conspiracy, the Great Awakening.
And it was at a rally in Florida early this month for DeSantis, attended by Trump, where the QAnon movement went mainstream, with online supporters showing up in public for the first time.
People lining up for the Trump rally in Tampa today. A lot of the chan anons might treat Q-Anon like a LARP, but by all appearances there are plenty of people who take it seriously irl. pic.twitter.com/uys7kmnAs1— Travis View (@travis_view) July 31, 2018
However, despite Q supporters’ presence at his events, DeSantis claimed yesterday that he has no knowledge of the conspiracy.
QAnon keep showing up at campaign events for Ron DeSantis.— DJ Hug-A-Thug: Crisis Actor, LLC (@BlogWood) August 28, 2018
The GOP candidate for Florida governor pleaded ignorance when asked about them on Monday. They sat front row of his campaign stop at a Palm Harbor restaurant and sold T-shirts outside.
“I’m not sure what that is,” DeSantis said when asked about QAnon.
But DeSantis makes a good bedfellow for fans of Q, as he has been part of the raucous House caucus that has been attempting to take down the Deep State—along with members like Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fl.)—a goal that somewhat aligns with the QAnon movement.
Yesterday, I viewed a deeply troubling report compiled by House Intelligence that raises questions about Obama DOJ & the so-called collusion investigation. Joining @foxandfriends in a few minutes to discuss why this report needs to be released to the American people ASAP.— Ron DeSantis (@RepDeSantis) January 19, 2018
DeSantis will go up against Democrat Andrew Gillum in the general election. Gillum is already being painted as a puppet of George Soros, one of the long-time boogeymen of QAnon.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]