A bizarre QAnon conspiracy theory that claims Donald Trump will be reinstated as the U.S. President on March 4 led officials to beef up security at the Capitol, according to reports. Nearly 5,000 National Guard troops have been deployed at the government building, where they will remain till March 12, a Pentagon official said.
"We work very closely with the FBI, Secret Service, and others and the Capitol Police to try to determine what they believe that threat is, and then looking at what they believe is the need for the National Guard, or the types of mission sets that they need support from, we work very closely with them to try to determine what that is," Robert Salesses, who is performing the duties of an assistant secretary of defense, said, according to the Sun. "Obviously, 4,900 is a very large number here on the Capitol."
The QAnon theory began gaining traction among the far-right activists in mid-January on Telegram and other social media channels. The propagators of the theory believe that Trump will assume the office as the U.S. President on March 4 — the inauguration date for American presidents until 1933.
"Some of these people have figured out that apparently 75 years ago, the President used to be inaugurated on March 4. Okay, now why that's relevant, God knows, at any rate, now they are thinking maybe we should gather again and storm the Capitol on March 4 ... that is circulating online," Rep. Adam Smith, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said last month during a hearing with defense officials.
The QAnon conspiracy theorists believe that the American government became a corporate in 1871 after passing of a law. While the U.S. government did not turn into a business from republic, the QAnon community believes that any president elected after 1871 are illegitimate and any passed after that year is invalid.
According to reports, the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. increased its room rates for March 3 and 4 from over $500 per night to more than $1,300. This further fuelled speculation among the QAnon believers that Trump would regain the presidency on March. Fact-checking website Snopes debunked the claim that Trump will be reinstated as the president on March 4.