- Some people close to Trump are confused as to why he is suddenly leaning hard towards QAnon.
- Some sources suggested to Rolling Stone that Trump was trolling for likes among his supporters.
- Other sources told the outlet that Trump was amused by the QAnon memes and images he reposted.
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Allies of former President Donald Trump are baffled as to why he is leaning harder than ever into his support of QAnon — a conspiracy-theory-led movement that baselessly claims Trump is fighting a deep-state cabal of pedophiles.
Rolling Stone spoke to several people close to Trump, some of whom expressed confusion as to why the former president was suddenly so vocal with promoting QAnon-related messages.
The New York Times reported over the weekend that music sounding like a QAnon song had been played at a Trump rally in Youngstown, Ohio. During the rally, the former president's supporters were also seen pointing their fingers to the sky in a one-finger salute, which experts said might have been a nod to the movement's slogan, "Where we go one, we go all."
"Fuck if I know," an unnamed Trump ally told Rolling Stone when asked about the former president's apparent support for the fringe group.
The outlet also spoke to other people close to the former president, some of whom theorized that Trump was trolling for likes from his supporters.
"He's said that he thinks some of their memes and images are 'funny,'" a source close to Trump said, per Rolling Stone. The same source said Trump also thought it was "hilarious" that the media would get "so mad" whenever the former president would "touch the Q shit."
Another Rolling Stone source, described as a former White House official, said that Trump sometimes thought his QAnon-linked followers had "the right idea" regarding their hatred for the "deep state," a term used in the movement to refer to shady, secret networks and alliances influencing power at the highest echelons of government.
"I do not remember his exact words, but [Trump's response] was along the lines of: There are plenty of bad and sick people in Hollywood" and among the "liberal elite," the source told Rolling Stone.
A representative at Trump's post-presidential press office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Following the FBI's raid on the former president's Mar-a-Lago residence on August 8, Trump — who previously flirted with the idea of QAnon — has started referencing the movement far more intensely than before.
In August, Trump shared over a dozen messages on his Truth Social account, some of which referenced QAnon and contained baseless conspiracy theories about the FBI. Other posts by the former president on Truth Social this month have included a reposted image of himself sporting a "Q" lapel pin, along with the movement's slogan.
Former FBI official Frank Figliuzzi said this week that Trump's embracing of QAnon could be "the last act of a desperate man." Speaking to Insider on Monday, Figliuzzi said Trump's support of QAnon was indicative of "increasing desperation," which could lead to violence within the movement.