Photo: @LionelMedia/Twitter

On Thursday, a bespectacled gentleman who goes by the name "Lionel Media" on Twitter, met President Trump in the Oval Office.

The big picture: Lionel Media, whose real name is Michael William Lebron, is an enthusiastic proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which posits that Trump and Robert Mueller have secretly teamed up to take on a global cabal of pedophiles (Hillary is on the same side as the pedophiles). He's also a 9/11 truther.

  • “There are simply no words to explicate the profound and ineffable honor of meeting @realDonaldTrump in the tabernacle of liberty, the Oval Office,” he tweeted.

Shortly after this gentleman posed behind the Resolute desk for a photo with Trump, he tweeted about people having chips implanted in their skin as part of government mind control.

  • So, how, you might be wondering, did this person get into the Oval Office with the President of the United States? I asked the White House press office for an explanation on Friday afternoon. On Sunday, press secretary Sarah Sanders said: "A large group came through the White House for a brief tour and a photo."

Go deeper: For more on this saga, I commend this piece by The Daily Beast's resident weirdo-chroniclers, Asawin Suebsaeng and Will Sommer.

Go deeper

Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.