Donald Trump has posed for pictures in the White House with a TV commentator turned conspiracy theorist who is a leading light in a movement which suggests high-ranking democrats are part of a global paedophile ring.
The president granted the private Oval Office audience to Michael ‘Lionel’ LeBron, a vocal proponent of the bizarre QAnon cult.
The meeting was revealed after Mr Lebron posted a photo of the pair, along with his wife Lynn Shaw, at Mr Trump’s desk.
“There simply are no words to explicate this profound honour,” he wrote.
The pro-Trump QAnon movement promotes the idea that leading democrats, along with Hollywood stars, media personalities and Washington officials, are secret paedophiles.
It claims there are deep state efforts to undermine or assassinate the president, who, in turn, is working at ways to reveal the existence of the cabal. According to such a world view, the military supports Mr Trump. His enemies will eventually be sent to Guantanamo Bay in a purge known as The Storm.
QAnon T-shirts and signs have become an increasingly common sight at rallies in support of Mr Trump – much to the chagrin of many traditional Republicans.
Following their meeting, Mr LeBron wrote: “Here he is, right now, taking time out speaking to us while the entire deep state, the swamp, Democrats, Republicans, all of them conspiring in the most bloodthirsty cut-throat movement to remove him.”
He added: “By the way never said anything about Q. I would never ever want to be known as somebody who would connect the president for something. I think we all know he knows about. Never said it. Never came up.”
The Daily Beast website – which first reported the pair’s meeting – said it had asked four White House officials about the visit, but none had been aware it was taking place. All expressed surprise, the site says.
“This president is a president for all Americans (including conspiracy theorists),” one inside source is reported to have joked.
Yet some Trump-supporting Republicans have become increasingly concerned at QAnon support, fearing it could isolate moderates.
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