December 6, 2021

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QAnon Supporters Sharing Fake News That Barack Obama Was ‘Arrested for Espionage’

Holding on to their longstanding belief that a mass arrest of leading Democrats is just around the corner, supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory are spreading fake news about Barack Obama being detained for espionage.

The false claims have been reported on the Canadian website Conservative Beaver, which adds that a judge has imposed a “media blackout” in the U.S. on reporting of Obama’s arrest.

The report says Obama conspired with a former CIA officer to communicate classified information up to the Top Secret level to intelligence officials of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Not only is the copy almost identical to a Justice Department press release from August detailing former CIA officer Alexander Yuk Ching Ma’s espionage charge, the website lifts entire quotes from several officials such as Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers and Attorney for the District of Hawaii Kenji Price that have nothing to do with Obama.

Conservative Beaver also includes a tweet from stand-up comedian Pete Dominick starting how he “took a trip to crazy town on Twitter” to see Obama has been arrested but is now “back to reality” as proof of celebrities and influencers spreading the reports.

For several days, a number of QAnon accounts have gleefully shared the article and other tweets detailing Obama’s non-existent arrest.

One of the more high-profile names to discuss the false report is Angela Stanton King, a vocal QAnon supporter who ran for the congressional seat of late civil rights icon John Lewis in Georgia.

King, the goddaughter of Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr, lost in a landslide to the Democratic candidate Nikema Williams.

“Why are reports coming from Canada that Barack Obama was arrested for espionage? Is the U.S. having a media block out?,” King tweeted to her 220,000 followers.

“US Navy SEAL Michael Jaco’s information was confirmed that Obama has been arrested for espionage with China last Sat. 28 Nov,” tweeted Joyce Ramgatie, along with the hashtags #QANON and #WWG1WGA—an abbreviation of the QAnon slogan “where we go one we go all.”

One Twitter user pointed out to Ramgatie that Obama “was literally just on the late night show with Stephen Colbert.”

The claim of Obama’s arrest was also spread by Shane Smedly, whose November 30 tweet stating “BREAKING: Obama has been arrested. More to come,” being shared more than 3,000 times.

Smedly later admitted that the Conservative Beaver is not a legitimate source and the information and quotes were old and irrelevant. However, rather than delete the tweet containing misinformation, Smedly doubled down and claimed he is still receiving information that will prove him right.

“The arrest in question may have taken place ‘some time’ ago. Waiting for more. I do not wish to mislead anyone,” he wrote. “This is just another layer of secrecy being lifted. I believe we should be skeptical. That is healthy. But things are happening. We all should stay vigilant.”

The fake reports about Obama arrived after QAnon supporters suggested that President-elect Joe Biden was also recently arrested and the medical boot he is wearing after fracturing his foot is in fact covering up an ankle monitor.

obama
Former President Barack Obama speaks during a drive-in campaign rally with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at Belle Isle on October 31, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. Supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory are spreading fake news about Obama being arrested for espionage.
Drew Angerer/Getty

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