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Vice President Mike Pence and top officials from President Donald Trump´s campaign are slated to attend a Montana fundraiser next week hosted by a couple who have expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory.

The hosts of the fundraiser, Caryn and Michael Borland, have shared QAnon memes and retweeted posts from QAnon accounts, their social media activity shows.

QAnon is a right-wing conspiracy theory that centers on the baseless belief that an anonymous tipster is revealing how Trump is leading a secret war against a so-called deep state — a collection of political, business and Hollywood elites who, according to the theory, worship Satan and abuse and murder children.

The conspiracy theory’s roots grew from Pizzagate, which claimed that Hillary Clinton ran a pedophilia ring from a Washington, D.C., pizza shop.

The conspiracy theory has been blamed for violent incidents, and social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have taken action in recent weeks to suspend groups and accounts associated with it.

The once-fringe movement has grown dramatically in the last few years, with estimates that put its adherents in the hundreds of thousands.

That expansion has been enough to have the FBI label the loose community of believers as a domestic terror threat last year.



Beyond Pence, the Sept. 14 fundraiser in Bozeman, Montana, is expected to draw influential figures in the president’s orbit including Kimberly Guilfoyle, a top Trump fundraising official who is dating Donald Trump Jr., GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, Republican National Committee finance chairman Todd Ricketts and RNC co-chairman Tommy Hicks Jr., the event invitation shows.

While many Republicans have dismissed QAnon, the fundraiser is another sign of how the conspiracy theory is gaining a foothold in the party.

Trump has hailed Georgia congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene, another QAnon supporter, as a ‘future Republican star.’



Trump has refused to condemn QAnon, recently telling reporters that the conspiracy theory is ‘gaining in popularity’ and that its supporters ‘like me very much.’

Representatives for Pence declined to comment on the fundraiser, though the vice president has previously called QAnon a ‘conspiracy theory.’

‘I don’t know anything about QAnon, and I dismiss it out of hand,’ he told CBS last month.

Representatives for the Trump campaign didn’t immediately comment on the fundraiser.

Caryn and Michael Borland did not return a call seeking comment on the event.

QAnon is a wide-ranging conspiracy fiction spread largely through the internet, centered on the baseless belief that Trump is waging a secret campaign against enemies in the ‘deep state’ and a child sex trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals.

It is based on cryptic postings by the anonymous ‘Q,’ purportedly a government insider.

The story has grown to include other long-standing conspiracy theories, gaining traction among some extreme Trump supporters.

The movement is often likened to a right-wing cult; some followers have run for office, primarily in the Republican Party, though some have been independent or run as third-party candidates. Trump has refused to say QAnon is false.

The Borlands have shared multiple QAnon social media posts, as well as other discredited conspiracies.

Michael Borland prominently features several QAnon ‘Q’ logos on his Facebook page.

One features a flaming ‘Q’ with a Christian cross in the middle.

He has also shared the QAnon oath as well as its slogan, which states: ‘Where We Go One We Go All.’

QAnon followers have also been implicated in armed standoffs, attempted kidnappings, harassment and at least one killing since the conspiracy theory first gained traction on the internet in October 2017.

Last year, the FBI designated QAnon as a potential domestic terrorist threat.


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