On Tuesday, President Trump made a statement clarifying the remarks he gave in Helsinki, which, par for the course, only made the situation murkier and worse.
During a key moment in the remarks, something happened that, depending on your belief system, was either a sign that Trump is in total control of the situation, or just a random thing that happened.
At the moment Trump claimed (without evidence) that he has “full faith” in US intelligence agencies, the lights in the White House flickered and went out for about two seconds.
Trump seemed to take the moment in stride, called it “strange” and joked that it must be the intelligence community.
The moment passed quickly, and the media focused entirely on what was appropriate to focus on: Trump’s bizarre changing story that he meant to say he saw no reason why Russia WOULD NOT interfere in the 2016 election, rather than seeing any reason why they WOULD interfere.
Of course, that’s not the moment Trump’s biggest fans in the right wing conspiracy theory movement are focusing on.
The conspiracy theory avatar #QAnon has posted over 1,600 cryptic messages positing secret information about the Trump administration, and Trump’s role in a theorized upcoming “great awakening” that will “reveal the truth” about the pedophiles and traitors infesting business and government.
But the #QAnon persona hasn’t posted in nearly two weeks, with the last message dating July 4th.
Since then, the devoted #QAnon “bakers” who dissect every message for hidden clues and meanings haven’t had a lot to talk about. Because of that, Q-centric places like Twitter and r/greatawakening have veered away from Q analysis and more toward general conspiracy crankery.
But that seemed to change the moment the lights went down on the White House.
Q believers immediately seized on a particular phrase used in a number of Q drops – “dark to light.” One was even used in a cryptic post put up after another long Q absence, that believers thought was shaped like a gun.
After all, what is a momentary blackout but dark turning to light?
With an hour, half a dozen threads appeared on r/greatawakening, noting that the lights went down and up, and trying to find what it “really” meant.
And what did it “really” mean?
One thread declared it was “a signal – a rather blatant signal – that he didn’t mean what he was saying” and that “its a signal that the light (honor) has been dimmed…all the way to dark (deep state)…but then the light came back on (honor has been restored.)”
Some believers thought it had to be a sign of…something. They didn’t know what. But it was certainly a sign.
At least one person thought the “blackout” was related to several other websites going down (including conservative news source the Drudge Report) and Apple pulling a Q app from its store a few days earlier.
Others simply pointed out that it happened, and that it dovetailed with Q’s phrase.
But what if it wasn’t Q proving that dark will become light? What if it was the deep state retaking control of the situation, and letting Trump know who’s really in charge?
Here’s a redditor speculating that the deep state dimmed the lights on Trump specifically when he referred to the intelligence agencies of the United States as “my”, which of course, they are not.
And here’s someone speculating that the lights were dimmed the moment Trump went off script, which he did with his bizarre assertion that he believes both the intelligence assessment that Russia hacked the election, and that “someone else” could have done it.
So what really happened? Was the deep state sending a message? Was Q shooting back? Or did the lights just go off because sometimes lights flicker?
The assertion by QAnon-ers that it must mean SOMETHING but nobody knows what is a sure sign of people ensnared by a conspiracy theory. These movements often revolve around mysterious happenings that could mean any number of things, and nobody can agree on what they are, other than mysterious.
It’s also raining pretty hard in Washington D.C. right now, and the White House is an old building that uses a lot of electricity.
Could it simply be that there was a momentary power surge due to due lightning or rain? Sure. Could someone have leaned on a wall and dimmed a switch for a moment? Sure.
Could QAnon be sending a message that 40,000 indictments are about to be unsealed?
Sure. But it’s not likely.
7/17 late edit – according to a Washington Post staffer, it was none other than White House Chief of Staff John Kelly who “accidentally” turned off the lights on President Trump.
Maybe John Kelly is actually #QAnon? Or maybe he just leaned against the wrong wall.