On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump traveled to Tampa to hold a campaign rally for Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), the extremely Trumpy Republican gubernatorial candidate that the president has endorsed in the GOP primary. As we’ve come to expect in these rallies, the arena was jam-packed with Trump superfans clad in MAGA caps and American flag shirts while waving Trump signs.
Oh yeah, and folks wearing QAnon shirts while holding up Seth Rich conspiracy signs.
In case you are blissfully unaware, QAnon is an extremely dense and complex conspiracy theory that began in October 2017. Its followers believe that the military convinced Trump to run for president so he could break up the criminal cabals created by all the previous presidents. Essentially, it’s every far-right, insane theory that’s been thrown out in recent years — pedophile sex rings, Hillary Clinton murders, globalist elites, Deep State — wrapped up into a one-size-fits-all storyline.
Meanwhile, the Seth Rich conspiracy kinda fits within QAnon but predates it as its adherents believe that the deceased DNC staffer was the real source of the stolen DNC emails that WikiLeaks and DCLeaks published during the 2016 election. In this theory, Rich was a Bernie Sanders supporter who leaked the materials to expose the corruption of the Democratic Party and was murdered for it. Fox News’ Sean Hannity helped push this conspiracy into the mainstream by devoting tons of coverage to it last year in the wake of a since-retracted Fox News story.
While one would have thought the Seth Rich nonsense would have been stopped in its tracks after Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russians for hacking the networks of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC, it looks like it it still going strong in the fever swamps.
Below are images and clips showing rally-goers with their Seth Rich and Q signs and shirts:
The QAnon headband made it on Fox! pic.twitter.com/tzP245sTGt
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) July 31, 2018
Double conspiracy poster in the Trump crowd: Qanon and Seth Rich pic.twitter.com/AeJx6aeY5l
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) July 31, 2018
— Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) July 31, 2018
A few Q-Anon signs at the Tampa rally. pic.twitter.com/vaeECkjMNW
— Travis View (@travis_view) July 31, 2018
Oh look, QAnon sign at the Trump rally pic.twitter.com/2BwYWMJtWS
— Salvador Hernandez (@SalHernandez) July 31, 2018
Crowd in Tampa ahead of the President’s rally includes one person bearing a Seth Rich conspiracy poster pic.twitter.com/Ax7cln6x8o
— Betsy Klein (@betsy_klein) July 31, 2018
Seth Rich sign featured prominently at the Trump rally pic.twitter.com/8z5xh7i9lN
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) July 31, 2018
A Seth Rich truther is stationed right in front of Trump pic.twitter.com/lzTszLUTRr
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 31, 2018
Another Seth Rich sign spotted at tonight's Trump rally. pic.twitter.com/ro9op2nPqA
— Contemptor (@TheContemptor) August 1, 2018
Seth Rich conspiracy sign being held up at Trump rally. pic.twitter.com/GZ9IEL2A0a
— Contemptor (@TheContemptor) July 31, 2018
Tampa Bay Times political editor Adam Smith tweeted out that it “is stunning to me how many ppl in this #TRUMPTAMPA crowd have QAnon signs or t-shirts.”
It is stunning to me how many ppl in this #TRUMPTAMPA crowd have QAnon signs or t-shirts. That is not a healthy sign for GOP or for America.
— Adam Smith (@adamsmithtimes) July 31, 2018
“That is not a healthy sign for GOP or for America,” he added.
Meanwhile, NBC News’ Ben Collins made the following observation about QAnon:
People like to call Qanon "Pizzagate on steroids," but it's really both emotionally and socioeconomically Pizzagate on bath salts.
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) July 31, 2018
“Pizzagate on bath salts” is as perfect a description as one could make.