This GOP Challenger to Ilhan Omar ‘100%’ Stands with QAnon

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Danielle Stella, a Republican candidate seeking to unseat Rep. Ilhan Omar from the U.S. House of Representatives in 2020, firmly supports the QAnon conspiracy theory, according to someone identifying themselves as communications volunteer who responded to Right Wing Watch’s inquiry.

QAnon is a Trump-era phenomena centered on a conspiracy theory that alleges that Trump administration insiders have been dropping clues, in the form of cryptic riddles posted on anonymous imageboards, about a supposed secret plan to take down the “deep state” and a worldwide network of satanic pedophiles said to include A-list Hollywood figures and top-level Democrats. Believers, who call themselves “anons,” dedicate themselves to decoding the posts. Early on, QAnon adherents claimed that Trump was secretly working with then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller to expose the Satanists.

People who believe in QAnon are increasingly frequent fixtures at Trump rallies. At a campaign rally in North Carolina last week, President Donald Trump praised a baby wearing a onesie emblazoned on the back with the “Q” emblem sometimes worn by adherents to the theory.

Travis View, co-host of the “QAnon Anonymous” podcast (which takes a critical look at the Q phenomenon), noticed today that Stella had responded to pro-QAnon Twitter users on her account and had used the hashtag “#WWG1WGA” popularized by QAnon believers online. A closer review of her Twitter account reveals that Stella has not been shy engaging with QAnon content.

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Right Wing Watch inquired further using the contact submission form on Stella’s campaign website, and we were answered by someone calling themselves Heather, who said they were an unpaid communications volunteer on Stella’s campaign who was forwarded our inquiry. Heather told us via email that she wanted to make clear that Stella “stands 100% behind the principles of patriotism, unity/inclusiveness (WWG1WGA!) and love for country that Qanon promotes.”

Stella is the second congressional candidate to endorse QAnon, joining Matthew Lusk of Florida.

Stella filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission last month and promoted her candidacy at the “Defend Free Speech” rally in Washington, D.C., on July 6, which featured such far-right figures as Laura Loomer and Milo Yiannopoulos. The Republican primary in Minnesota will take place on August 11, 2020.

Stella was interviewed by Fox Nation radio host Todd Starnes earlier this month, and profiled by a handful of pro-Trump bloggers. In a June 26 Twitter post, Stella said that she attended a House candidate meeting in her district with Republican leadership present.

(Update 4:30 p.m.): This story was updated to clarify details about the person who responded to our inquiry to the campaign.

(Update 5:19 p.m.): The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer reached a former Stella campaign staffer, who said Stella’s support for QAnon is feigned. The Daily Beast reported:

While someone who appeared to work for the campaign told Right Wing Watch that Stella stood “100 percent” behind Q, former aides told The Daily Beast it was actually a ruse. Jodi Larson, a former Stella campaign staffer who has since backed another candidate, said Stella is just posing as a QAnon believer to gain campaign support.

“She tries to portray herself as she supports it, but she doesn’t even understand it,” Larson said.

Larson accompanied Stella on a trip to Washington, D.C. early this month, where she claims Stella wore the QAnon necklace.

“She just wears it to get attention,” Larson said.