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QAnons Think It Was A ‘Trump Body Double’ Who Appeared at Saturday Arizona Rally


Donald Trump traveled to Arizona on Saturday to appear at a rally supporting local MAGA candidates. In the governor’s race, Trump has endorsed Kari Lake, a former news anchor with ties to white supremacists who says she wouldn’t have certified the 2020 election. He has not yet picked a Senate candidate to take on incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly, but the crowd in attendance was less concerned about that and more interested in the decertification of the 2020 Presidential election. They were joined by a “VIP” front-row group of QAnon adherents including Jim Watkins, the owner of the 8kun forum where the QAnon conspiracy theory started, and his son Ron Watkins, who also goes by “CodeMonkeyZ” and is running for Congress in Arizona.

But it was also reported that many of the attendees who follow the QAnon conspiracy now believe it wasn’t Trump himself who appeared because he spoke positively about the COVID19 vaccines and boosters. They also believed that John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Tupac Shakur would appear as well.

While attending Saturday’s Trump rally in ArizonaRolling Stone correspondent Steven Monacelli observed that some of the VIP guests were “too extreme” for the QAnon movement. But Monacelli reported that they were “welcomed warmly” by the Trump crowd in Arizona. One of the “VIP” QAnon extremists in attendance, Michael Protzman, has been condemned by some members of the community after his promises that John F. Kennedy Jr. would emerge in Dallas last year never materialized. Protzman peddles a form of religious numerology known as “gematria,” which he infuses into his interpretations of QAnon theories. Protzman uses gematria to promote the idea that he is in direct contact with both the Kennedy family — which he believes are direct descendants of Jesus Christ — and members of the Trump inner circle as well as other dead celebrities like Michael Jackson.

Monacelli also reported that Ron Watkins, who some believe started the QAnon movement, struggled to convince his followers that the real Donald Trump had appeared at the rally, with some even theorizing the actor Alec Baldwin, who had played a satirical version of Trump on “Saturday Night Live,” had been hired instead.

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QAnons often rely on the “body double” conspiracy as soon as they hear anything that sounds different from their usual messaging, and with Trump endorsing the COVID boosters and vaccines, many of the anti-vax members of the crowd began leaving.


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