‘Reinstatement Day’ Comes & Goes Without Trump Returning To White House, Disappointing Many QAnon Followers
QAnon conspiracy theorists believed that former President Donald Trump would be reinstated on Friday, August 13. Many QAnon followers in their online forums expressed disappointment when the “reinstatement” didn’t come to pass on Friday.
Despite predictions, no violent attacks from Trump followers were reported on Friday.
August 13 became a fixed date as Trump’s “reinstatement day” in online forums, though it remains unclear why this date was chosen.
Earlier this year, Trump reportedly told advisers that he would be returned to the Oval Office by August.
Right-wing conspiracy theorists like MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell claimed that August 13 would be the day that Trump was returned to the White House. Former Trump’s top attorney Sidney Powell also argued that Trump could be reinstated, despite the lack of evidence of any voter fraud in the 2020 election.
On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security sent a bulletin to state and local partners to warn about possible violent outbreaks due to conspiracy theories online about election fraud.
“Some conspiracy theories associated with reinstating former President Trump have included calls for violence if desired outcomes are not realized,” the bulletin reads. “Over the last few days what has occurred is there’s been much more public visibility, meaning the discussions and these theories have migrated away from being contained within the conspiracy and extremist online communities, to where they’re being the topic of discussion on web forums, or more public web forums, and even within the sort of media ecosystem.”
The department had predicted that the violent attacks from these conspiracy theorists are unlikely to happen as “specific plots or planned actions” were not observed from their online forums. However, the bulletin also emphasized how “violence could expand rapidly” online.
“Past circumstances have illustrated that calls for violence could expand rapidly in the public domain and may be occurring outside of publicly available channels. As such, lone offenders and small groups of individuals could mobilize to violence with little-to-no warning,” the bulletin says. “We don’t want to overreact, but we want to make sure that we are at the earliest stage possible providing awareness to law enforcement and other personnel who are responsible for security and are critical to mitigating risk.”