“Not a good situation!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday just before midnight about the clip of a young man subjected to a very thorough pat-down by a TSA agent.
The video was reshared on Monday by a Twitter account called Deep State Exposed, which is operated by Jeremy Stone, a follower of the QAnon conspiracy theory. Stone’s twitter bio includes the phrase “WWG1WGA,” shorthand for “Where We Go One We Go All,” a rallying cry for the bizarre theory that ties together the Pizzagate conspiracy and a supposed “deep state” plot to control American politics. Stone soon added a follow-up tweet to the viral video claiming that “TSA goes out of their way to hire high school dropouts with an inclination for sexual perversion. It’s mind control!!!”
On his Twitter feed, Stone regularly mixes fake Hillary Clinton quotes with truly odd conspiracies. The next clip posted after the video retweeted by the president was a piece of shaky cellphone footage suggesting that empty Walmarts are being used as “CONCENTRATION CAMPS SET TO HOUSE AMERICAN CITIZENS!!”
Tuesday night was not Trump’s first brush with that account’s particular brand of paranoia. The Twitter bio for Deep State Exposed boasts of nine retweets from the president. The feed made headlines in September 2017 when Trump reshared a meme from the account about Hillary Clinton’s book “What Happened.”
Larry the Cable Guy, a stand-up comedian famed for his “Git-R-Done” catchphrase, then weighed in, calling the video “Absolutely ridiculous!”
“How many times do you have to feel a kid up to figure out he’s not a threat? This is infuriating and hard to watch,” the comedian tweeted, which caught the president’s eye hours later. Donald Trump Jr. also joined in the outrage, calling the video “sickening.” (Deep State Exposed quickly thanked the president’s son for the retweet, adding in a fake Hillary Clinton quote for good measure.)
“TSA allows for a pat-down of a teenage passenger, and in this case, all approved procedures were followed to resolve an alarm of the passenger’s laptop,” spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein told The Post at the time. “The passengers were at the checkpoint for approximately 45 minutes, which included the time it took to discuss screening procedures with the mother and to screen three carry-on items that required further inspection.”