Former president Donald Trump delivered a speech at a rally for JD Vance, an Ohio Senate candidate, as a dramatic QAnon song played in the background and his fans lifted their fingers in an odd gesture.
Trump has been promoting QAnon talking points on his social media in recent weeks, but Saturday night’s event in Youngstown, Ohio, may have been the most obvious indication yet that he is now openly endorsing the unfounded notion.
A dramatic score played throughout while Trump lamented about the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, “Fake News,” and Hunter Biden’s laptop at the Ohio event.
The soundtrack looks to be a song that was previously posted online with the title “Wwg1wga,” which is the QAnon catchphrase, claims Media Matters, a US-based media watchdog.
The song selection was observed by QAnon members, who saw it as a wink by the former president to the movement. According to Alex Kaplan, a senior researcher for Media Matters, “QAnon figures are claiming the use of the music brings some kind of legitimacy for them” in a tweet on Saturday.
According to Media Matters, Trump used the same audio in a video he published on his social media channel Truth Social last month. At the time, the former president’s spokeswoman told Vice that the song was actually composed by Will Van de Crommert and not by QAnon.
However, a Media Matters investigation using the Shazam app for the iPhone and Google’s voice assistant identified it as “Wwg1wga,” an album by Richard Feelgood that stands for “where we go one, we go all.” According to Media Matters, QAnon members applauded the use of the audio at the time, with one calling it “THE mother of all Q proofs” and “the biggest nod they’ve ever given us.”
The Youngstown rally’s peculiar finger salute, in which participants raised their fingers to the heavens, is also being interpreted by specialists in the conspiracy theory as possibly a reference to QAnon.
“Some on Twitter are calling it a QAnon salute, with 1 finger for ‘Where we go 1,’ and Trump is playing a pro-Q song as he talks,” said Will Sommer, author of an upcoming book on QAnon wrote on Twitter.
According to Ben Collins, a senior writer for NBC News who specializes in covering extremism, there is a misunderstanding in Trump forums about why his supporters raised their fingers at the event and whether it was a sign of support for the QAnon group.
“Some people think it’s for Where We Go 1 We Go All — the QAnon catchphrase,” he wrote. “Others think it’s to symbolize America First. Whatever it is, it’s deeply weird and I haven’t seen it before.”
Clearly, Trump has moved from “winking” at QAnon to openly and fully embracing it.
He shared an image of himself wearing a Q pin on his blazer with the words “The Storm is Coming” overlaid on Truth Social on Tuesday. The “storm” in QAnon mythology alludes to a day of bloody vengeance when Trump’s foes would undergo televised mass murders.
Late in August, Trump re-posted (and then removed) a “Q drop”—a mysterious message allegedly made by the fictitious Q.
And according to AP, QAnon was promoted by about a third of the 75 accounts that Trump published on his Truth Social profile in the previous month.