Video appears to show Donald Trump supporters being told to stop making one-finger QAnon salute at rally
- Attendees of a Trump rally last week appeared to do a QAnon finger salute, generating controversy.
- On Friday, supporters at a North Carolina rally appeared to repeat the salute before security stopped them.
MAGA supporters at a Donald Trump rally appeared to be asked to stop doing a one-finger QAnon salute in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Friday.
In a video posted on Twitter, rally-goers could be seen raising their arms and pointing a finger in the sky as Trump speaks, before a staff member approaches them and appears to ask them to stop.
—Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) September 24, 2022
PBS Newshour journalist Lisa Desjardins, who attended the rally, tweeted that security staff fanned out and told people to take down their fingers.
She also said she spoke to rally-goers who confirmed they meant the salute as a QAnon reference, symbolizing its "Where We Go One We Go All" slogan. One man told her he was infuriated by being told to stop, saying it was his "Constitutional right."
—Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDNews) September 24, 2022
The incident generated controversy, and coupled with Trump amplifying QAnon references on social media, led to speculation about why the former president was now openly embracing the cultish conspiracy theory movement.
Alex Kaplan, a senior researcher for US-based media watchdog Media Matters, told Grid News that the QAnon signaling could provide insight into Trump's state of mind.
"So, from my experience doing this over time since 2018, I have generally gotten the sense that there's a correlation between Trump amplifying more QAnon-promoting accounts in times where he's under stress or when he's angry," Kaplan told the outlet.
The former president is currently facing mounting legal pressure as he faces multiple investigations and lawsuits, including a Department of Justice investigation into his handling of federal records and a fraud lawsuit against Trump and his business from the New York Attorney General.
Kaplan told Grid News it was "obviously concerning" to see the former president appearing to embrace the conspiracy theory, especially in light of it being linked to multiple acts of violence, including a murder in Michigan last week.
The recent critical coverage of Trump's QAnon links might have influenced security at the North Carolina rally to prevent members of the crowd from saluting.
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