The out-on-bail former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, teased the coming “storm” gathering around Hunter Biden to viewers of his YouTube show Tuesday night.
“It’s going to be… It’s going to be a storm,” Bannon said. “The storm clouds are around the Biden camp. The storm clouds are around the Biden camp. A gathering storm, and they are doing a disastrous job.”
The comment appeared to be a criminally sloppy reference to the QAnon conspiracy theory, which is based on the belief that a supposed government insider has for years anonymously spilled secrets online for his followers to decode. His message? There is a ring of satanic, pedophilic elites — mostly Democrats, Hollywood stars, and Deep State operatives — that secretly control the world. But Trump is going to stop them.
“The storm” is a reference to the storied culmination of Trump’s battle against these political evildoers: mass arrests and, depending on who you ask, executions. “Q” has been predicting that the storm is nigh since 2017, only to push the predictions back again, and again, and again.
Nonetheless, the promise of “the storm” is apparently so enticing that “Q’”s followers don’t hold his lengthy track record of bunk predictions against him.
Bannon is hardly alone in hat-tipping the blood-thirsty fever dream that’s sucked up thousands of Americans into internet delusion. With Rudy Giuliani and other right-wing internet denizens making wild claims about what might lie on a laptop, that, these same ratfuckers suggest, used to belong to Hunter Biden, many on the right are using the story to spin up their own fantasy of unmasking a pedophilic cabal. (Former intelligence officials, meanwhile, have described the whole thing as a likely Russian disinformation effort.)
The new set of conspiracy theorists includes Giuliani himself, who, as it became clear that mainstream outlets were passing on the dubious goods he was hawking, has punched up the volume. The former New York City mayor claimed Tuesday night that he had uncovered “numerous pictures of underage girls” on the laptop.
“That’s dynamite stuff!” Newsmax interviewer Greg Kelly responded before trying to steer Giuliani back to the former vice president’s purported financial conflicts.
Elsewhere on the fringe web, Caleb Hull, the political strategist who’s recovering from the discovery this July of his shockingly racist old Twitter account, joined in on the fun.
I’m no QAnon conspiracy theorist, but the media refusing to cover a story of the Dem nominee’s family allegedly being involved in pedophilia and using government power to funnel in millions certainly isn’t helping dismiss the argument for Q
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) October 21, 2020
So did Wayne Allen Root, the bonkers writer and radio host. On Sunday, he claimed (citing “high up” unnamed sources) that files on the laptop showed Hunter Biden “raping & torturing little Chinese children.” The claim has been retweeted more than forty thousand times.
BREAKING NEWS. My sources- as high up as it gets- watched videos on Hunter's laptops TODAY. Just told me point blank…no rumor…they saw Hunter raping & torturing little Chinese children…Chinese govt has the same videos…Biden is compromised. Blackmailed. Can NEVER be Prez.
— Wayne Allyn Root (@RealWayneRoot) October 19, 2020
Years ago, as NBC News’ Ben Collins noted, a similar assertion circulated about Hillary Clinton and her top aide Huma Abedin as part of the so-called “Pizzagate” theory. A nonexistent videotape dubbed “Frazzledrip” was said to show Clinton and Abedin torturing a child.
Alas, the Deep State liberals at the FBI apparently prevented justice from ever being served on the Pizzagate perpetrators. But upright citizens took things into their own hands, including when a man went to the purported center of the child abuse ring, a Washington, D.C. pizzeria called Comet Ping Pong, and fired three shots before surrendering to police. (“The intel on this,” he now-famously conceded, “wasn’t 100 percent.”) Pizzagate nonetheless birthed QAnon, and believers in the meta-conspiracy theory have engaged in a crime spree of their own for years.
The anonymous “Q,” whose posts fuel hallucinations around the county, has gobbled up the Hunter Biden news, posting about behind-the-scenes machinations at the FBI and in political back rooms across the globe.
On Sunday, Q posted about the migraine-inducing bread crumbs that form the foundation for much of the latest hysteria: A signature on a subpoena for Hunter Biden’s purported old laptop purportedly matches that of an FBI agent who, at least at one point, focused on child pornography cases.
The clip traveled from the online, anonymous conspiracy theorist straight to cable TV: Maria Bartiromo, host of Fox News’ Sunday Morning Features, brought up the detail during an interview with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), the chamber’s top purveyor of (often baseless) Joe Biden dirt.
Ron Johnson is on Fox News suggesting there's child pornography on the computer that purportedly belongs to Hunter Biden pic.twitter.com/rwvyL1UH4i
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 18, 2020
“Connect the dots,” Bartiromo ordered the senator during an interview Sunday. “If an FBI agent is working on child pornography issues for five years, why is he subpoenaing the laptop of Hunter Biden? Is there a connection here? Should this suggest that there’s a child pornography issue here on that laptop?”
“Well, I think you just made the connection,” Johnson replied. “Again, I think this is what the FBI has to come clean about. This isn’t a standard investigation, where if the FBI doesn’t indict somebody, everything remains confidential. This is something that, as we were talking about, relates to national security.”
He tried to pivot, returning to talking points about the Biden family’s alleged financial entanglements, but Bartiromo was insistent: “Was the FBI agent who served the subpoena investigating child pornography, senator?” she asked.
“You just read the news report, I can’t comment any further,” Johnson said, adding that “I’ve heard all kinds of things that I think will probably be revealed over the next few days.”