Former U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday said his successor, Donald Trump, is a 'symptom' and an 'accelerant' of misinformation to American society.
Obama, who was speaking during a podcast interview with two of his former aides, Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor, said that although the 'conservative media infrastructure' existed before Trump took office, he has allowed conspiracy theorists, like the QAnon movement, to infiltrate the mainstream Republican Party.
Classed as a potential source of domestic terrorism by the FBI, QAnon is driven by an anonymous internet poster nicknamed Q who claims to be a Trump administration insider. The core, nonsensical claim is that Trump is secretly leading a crackdown against an enormous paedophile ring that includes prominent Democrats and the Hollywood elite.
There has been no surge in arrests and the fictitious Satanic rituals that the group cites echo long-standing legends used to anger people for political reasons, often against minorities.
Trump has praised the group as patriotic, and more than a dozen Republican congressional candidates have promoted it.
Obama said if fellow Democrat Joe Biden was elected in the Presidential election next month he would have an understanding of what the world expected from American leadership.