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At President Donald Trump’s recent Florida rally, "Q" stood out.
Among Trump supporters wearing signature red MAGA hats were others donning white t-shirts with a large printed "Q" and raising signs that said: "We are Q."
Who, or what, is Q?
It traces back to an anonymous online persona claiming to be a government insider on a mission to expose the "deep state" allegedly working against Trump.
Q’s vague and cryptic "breadcrumbs" posted on fringe online forums have become fodder for a wide-ranging conspiracy theory embraced by Trump’s supporters that casts him as victorious over evil forces.
It’s not entirely unusual for followers of conspiracy theories to attend Trump’s rallies — Trump himself is known for promoting such theories. But it was jarring to see a physical representation at an event for a U.S. president.
Here’s a closer look at the QAnon phenomenon making its way from online forums to Trump rallies.
Huffington Post, What Is QAnon? The Donald Trump-Centric Conspiracy Theory Isn’t Going Away, Aug. 2, 2018
The Daily Beast, What Is QAnon? The Craziest Theory of the Trump Era, Explained, July 6, 2018
The New York Times, What Did President Trump Mean by ‘Calm Before the Storm’?, Oct. 6, 2017
Email interview, Kathryn Olmsted, history professor at the University of California, Davis, Aug. 2, 2018
Phone interview, Mark Fenster, law professor at the University of Florida, Aug. 2, 2018
Phone interview, Joseph Uscinski, political science associate professor at the University of Miami, Agu. 2, 2018
Twitter, @ABC tweet, July 17, 2018
Mike Rothschild website, The Day the Lights Went Out on Donald, July 17, 2018
PolitiFact, Did Vladimir Putin know Donald Trump was in Moscow in 2013?, July 16, 2018
PolitiFact, What you need to know about Manafort indictment, Papadopoulos guilty plea, Oct. 30, 2017
PolitiFact, Sean Spicer’s False claim that Paul Manafort played a minor role in the Trump campaign, March 22, 2018
PolitiFact, Trump wrongly says Manafort crimes came years before he joined the campaign, Oct. 30, 2017
Buzzfeed News, An Armed Man Spouting A Bizarre Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory Was Arrested After A Standoff At The Hoover Dam, June 17, 2018
The New York Times, What Is QAnon: Explaining the Internet Conspiracy Theory That Showed Up at a Trump Rally, Aug. 1, 2018
Las Vegas Review-Journal, Henderson man who parked armored vehicle near Hoover Dam indicted, June 22, 2018, Suspect in Hoover Dam standoff writes Trump, cites conspiracy in letters, July 13, 2018
PolitiFact, How Pizzagate went from fake news to a real problem for a D.C. business, Dec. 5, 2016
The New York Times, Roseanne Barr’s Tweets Didn’t Come Out of Nowhere, May 29, 2018
PolitiFact, No proof of Trump's conspiracy theory that millions voted many times, April 6, 2018
PolitiFact, Fact-check: Did 3 million undocumented immigrants vote in this year's election?, Nov. 18, 2016
RealClearPolitics.com, Trump to Alex Jones: Clinton's Greatest Legacy Will Be "Getting Out Of The Email Scandal", Dec. 2, 2015
PolitiFact, Donald Trump's Pants on Fire claim that he 'finished' the Obama birther talk, Sept. 16, 2016
PolitiFact, Fact-checking Donald Trump's claim Hillary Clinton started Obama birther movement, Sept. 16, 2016
PolitiFact, Full Flop: Donald Trump abandons Barack Obama birther conspiracy, Sept. 16, 2016
PolitiFact, Donald Trump cites dubious legend about Gen. Pershing, pig's blood and Muslims, Feb. 23, 2016
PolitiFact, Donald Trump's Pants on Fire claim linking Ted Cruz's father and JFK assassination, May 3, 2016
PolitiFact, Fact-checking Trump's claim that thousands in New Jersey cheered when World Trade Center tumbled, Nov. 22, 2015