Conspiracy theory that Trump will be reinstated in August has officials worried, report claims

Idea has been spread by supporters of the former president including Sidney Powell and Mike Lindell

Phil Thomas
New York
Saturday 26 June 2021 19:10
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Capitol rioter blames Trump for insurrection
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A bizarre conspiracy theory suggesting that Donald Trump will be “reinstated” as president in August has caused concern at the Department of Homeland Security, according to reports.

The idea has been floated by people close to the former-president including Sidney Powell, an attorney who is being sued over her claims that Mr Trump was cheated out of re-election by a conspiracy involving the operators of voting machines and communist leaders in Venezuela, and Mike Lindell, the MyPillow CEO also facing legal action for a series of far-fetched claims about the 2020 vote.

Mr Trump himself apparently believes he will be reinstated in August, according to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, although it is unclear why.

Mr Lindell reportedly suggested the former president may have settled on the idea because he had heard others – including him – saying it publicly.

While the theory has been largely dismissed as the latest in a series of substance-free predictions of the sort pushed by QAnon, reporting by Politico suggests it is being treated seriously by some within the Department of Homeland Security.

The outlet says John Cohen, a top counter-intelligence official, was asked about the August theory during a private conversation with members of Congress.

He apparently said there was serious concern over the prediction because it feeds into the false narrative that the election was stolen from Mr Trump and therefore raises fears of another violent reaction by his supporters.

However, he was reported as saying he had no intelligence on any specific credible threats of violence linked to the conspiracy theory.

In a statement to The Independent, a DHS spokesperson said: “The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is focused on the nexus between violence and extremist ideologies, as well as hateful and false narratives. DHS is enhancing its ability to prevent acts of violence inspired by disinformation, conspiracy theories, and extremist narratives spread through social media and other online platforms.”

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