President Trump, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Congress discussed on All Things Considered
Yesterday, a group of several 100 people espousing those views marched down Hollywood Boulevard, chanting and carrying signs now in the past the group of seen as a fringe group of online obsessives, But more recently, followers have been charged with crimes, including murder, domestic terrorism and planned kidnapping. Still, the group seems to be gaining ground, even gaining a viable candidate for Congress and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who won the Republican primary for George's 14th district, she's heavily favored to win in November. We wanted to find out what is driving this and with the presence of a follower in Congress could mean so we called Travis View. Once again. He is the co host of the Q and a on anonymous podcast, and he's been reporting on this group Travis View. Thank you so much for joining us once again, Michelle. Thank you so much for inviting me. So could we start with Marjorie Taylor Greene, who won the Congressional primary in Georgia? How is she connected to cue Anna? What kinds of statements has she made? That indicates the connection. Does she acknowledge it? So Marjorie Taylor Greene throughout 2017 and 2018. She was an open and proud Cubano follower, and she even promoted some of most arrange conspiracy theories from that group. For example, she claimed that the plane crash that killed JFK Jr in 1999 was the responsibility ofthe Hillary Clinton when the National Transportation Safety Board actually ruled that was the result of a pilot there. She had also claim That the criminal gang M s. 13 was responsible for the murder of the DNC staffer, Seth Rich on Now. All these beliefs are deranged, and she got them directly from Q. And like you said she is favored Tio enter Congress starting next year. Does she still acknowledge the connection now that she's become more visible? Well, she offered some statements on the Fox nation trying to distance herself from Q and on, but I wouldn't say that she is fully denounced it. What she said was that after following to a non, she chose a different path. By running for Congress. So this week, a reporter asked President Trump about the group. And he said, I don't know much about the movement. Other than I understand They like me very much, and he added that they are people that love our country. So I have a couple questions here, Which is what will this President trump play in the queue and on narrative and how big of a deal is it for the president, to say those words? In the cute on narrative. President Trump is Theseus aviator off humanity. Literally. They believe if Donald Trump didn't come riding along and was elected president, then it would essentially means the end of the United States and the end of the world. They worship him essentially now, the fact that Trump acknowledged the Cuban community is hugely consequential Tio community because they have been waiting this for years. They've been going reporters to what they say. Ask the Q because in their imagination, they believe That if Trump was asked about Q along that he would say it was really and then it would say the storm is upon us, and this would lead to the huge mass arrest event that they imagine it's going to happen now. It didn't play out like that. But nonetheless, the fact that he praised them, and he said that he would be willing to help and that he did nothing to announce the theory or denounce the followers. Hugely energized. Um I mean, they are. They are on Cloud nine as a consequence of Trump's statements. And how does this contrast to how they're viewed by law enforcement? You know, particularly the FBI. Yes, there was a non intelligence Bolton from the Phoenix Field office of the FBI that warned about the threat of conspiracy theory driven extremism in the name Q. And all. Specifically as a possible source of this extremism mean this has been realised. In a few ways. There's one case of Ah cumin follower named Matthew Wright, who pled guilty to a terrorism charge. For holding a armed standoff on the Hoover Dam. There's another case of cold, rather woman named Cynthia Abzug, who with charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping after a planning an armed raid with fellow Cuban on followers. There's actually recent reporting from the daily Beast that shows that her case is actually the part of a network ofthe cumulus followers who encouraged members too. Commit kidnappings and even harbor fugitives from the law. It does seem curious that you know, authorities in some jurisdictions have taken a very aggressive stance towards, say black lives matters. Protesters in some cases like jurisdictions are moving to tryto. Penalize or criminalize certain tactics like sit ins, for example, or sitting in our occupying public spaces, but they don't seem to have taken such an aggressive stance towards people. Falsely accusing people of very scurrilous acts and Is it because it's so invisible because so much of the activity is online and isn't visible sort of publicly that perhaps they just didn't see it coming. Yeah, This is the issue. I mean, only seemed invisible because these people they're organizing and they're getting radicalized online. I mean, the total size of the Cuban on community isn't known. But there was a recent analysis by the Guardian that showed that there were three million accounts that followed various Cuban on Facebook groups and pages so is quite substantial, and we're only now start seeing the consequence of this year's long radicalization process. Is there something that social media companies should be thinking about? And is there any evidence that they are thinking about their role and allowing this to flourish? I mean the number one thing. I think that these companies could do with the stop recommending Cuban on pages or groups or accounts in their in their algorithms, because even the broadest definition of free speech doesn't include sort of free advertising a free marketing for your speech. Another thing that Facebook could do was like no longer allow, you know, paid advertising for Kiwa groups, which Last I checked is something that's still permitted. So I think that social media companies could do a lot more because they have been instrumental allowing this community to grow to the point that it has. That was Travis View, Co host of the Q Anon Anonymous podcast Travis View. Thanks so much for joining us once again, my pleasure. You're listening to NPR news..