Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Thomas O'Neill/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Among the rally-goers at President Trump's Make America Great Again event in Florida on Tuesday were followers of a growing right-wing conspiracy theory — the QAnon crowd.

The big picture: A conspiracy theory that started in fringe online chatrooms has leaped to major political events. Whether President Trump does or does not know about the movement isn't of concern to "the anons," as they call themselves, since they often find signs of his support in almost anything.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
What is QAnon?

To understand the movement, it's important to understand its language.

  • "Q" is an anonymous internet user who claims to be a top government official. Per The Washington Post, Q is "waging war against the so-called deep state in service" to Trump.
  • "Anons" are supporters of Q, The Daily Beast's Will Sommer reports.
  • Q drops "bread crumbs," deeply vague hints, for "bakers," the users who then rush to decipher them.
  • All of this is leading up to "the storm," which is when the QAnon community believes Trump will purge the government of criminals and deep state operatives.

According to Sommer, the main idea behind the movement is that every other president before Trump was corrupt and involved in serious criminal activity. The military then recruited Trump to run for president in order to stop it.

What they're saying

On fringe chatrooms like 8chan — an even more niche version of 4chan, the nefarious online message board — the QAnon believers are viewing real-time events through a different lens. Per The Post:

  • Special counsel Robert Mueller is a "white hat," or hero of the movement, who was hired by Trump to expose Democrats.
  • People from Tom Hanks to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are running a child trafficking ring. (This particular theory, commonly known as Pizzagate, had real-life consequences when a gunman entered a pizzeria in D.C. back in 2016 under the impression it was being used to hide trafficked children.)
  • Those that don't support Trump, including Sen. John McCain and Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, "wear ankle monitors that track their whereabouts."

Believers in the theory say that Trump has signaled to them, encouraging the movement, per Sommer:

  • "Trump uses his hands to make a 'Q' sign as a signal to them."
  • A QAnon supporter requested that Trump use the phrase "tip top" during his State of the Union. He didn't, but he did say it during a speech at the White House Easter Egg Roll, which was good enough for the anons.
  • Trump's cryptic comment last year at a dinner with military leaders — "Maybe it's the calm before the storm" — was grabbed onto by the movement (hence, "the storm" mentioned above).
The bottom line

While QAnon supporters are certainly just a small minority of Trump supporters, their presence at a relatively mainstream presidential event is indicative of an ongoing erosion of norms at Trump rallies.

Go deeper

Momentum builds to ban lawmakers from trading stocks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Some progressive Democrats and MAGA Republicans are uniting on a proposal to ban sitting lawmakers from trading individual stocks, although it's unlikely that leadership will bring the bill up for a vote.

Why it matters: Members of Congress have great power to move stock prices, and great financial incentives to do so.

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: The Weather Prediction Center said in a storm summary Monday that winter storm warnings are still in effect for portions of the Central Appalachians, Ohio Valley, interior Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, while portions of the Central Appalachians and coastal New England are under high wind warnings.

Colleyville Rabbi credits survival to active-shooter training

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, one of the people taken hostage in a synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, said in an interview with CBS Monday that he initially took in the man because he thought he needed shelter.

The big picture: Cytron-Walker said he spoke to the hostage taker, identified by the FBI as 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram, for several minutes and made him tea before Akram took the rabbi and three other people hostage during Shabbat services for around 11 hours in Colleyville, Texas.