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A supporter of Trump's policies and the purported Qanon
As a mob of President Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building Wednesday, one face stood out from the crowd in photographs: A tattooed, shirtless man donning horns and red, white and blue face paint inside the chambers.
The horned man in question is none other than 32-year-old Jake Angeli, a familiar face at pro-Trump rallies and a purported QAnon conspiracy theorist sometimes referred to as the "QAnon Shaman," according to the Arizona Republic's website.
|A man wearing a fur hat and horns appeared in a riot at the Capitol on January 6. Photo: Getty.
In the past year, Angeli has been spotted - often in costume - at various demonstrations across the country, including a Washington D.C. protest after Joe Biden's presidential win in November.
The Arizona native has also been photographed multiple times at the Arizona State Capitol - and in one instance, during a pro-Trump rally in February, held a sign that read, "Q Sent Me," according to the paper.
According to Arizona Central, Angeli was shouting, "You all know who Q is?" and explained to passersby that Q "was a government agent who wanted to 'take the country back' from pedophiles and globalists."
Prior to allegedly joining the QAnon movement, Angeli was "a small-time actor, voice-over artist, and singer," according to Nick Martin, an editor at the Informant.
That observation appears to be confirmed by a profile for Angeli on Backstage.com, a job-hunting site for those in the entertainment industry.
The website page claims Angeli is skilled in singing, screenwriting, public speaking and accents, among other attributes.
Arizona Central reporter BrieAnna J. Frank said on Twitter that Angeli "is very much" a Trump and QAnon supporter. Frank cited an interview she conducted with Angeli in May, in which he applauded President Trump and criticized the media.
Angeli was captured by a Reuters photograph visible here in Phoenix, Arizona, on Nov. 7, 2020 during a "Stop the Steal" protest after the U.S. presidential election was called for Democratic candidate Joe Biden (here).
Images from a November 6 article posted by local media outlet Cronkite News here show Angeli demonstrating among Trump-supporters with a sign that read "Hold the Line Patriots God Wins" and "Q Sent Me".
Upon inspection by Reuters, Angeli's private Facebook page included various posts and photographs he had shared showing his support for QAnon and Donald Trump. His own posts reported that he attended the "MAGA Million March" in December 2020 and "Q Con" in October 2020 (described on its website qcon.live/ as a series of events for "followers and influencers" of the QAnon movement).
Larger photo shows Angeli holding QAnon sign
Brett Lewis, a Twitter user who claims to have taken the original photo of Angeli in June, posted a larger version of the same image on Twitter early Jan. 7 and said the image had been cropped to blame BLM and antifa for the Capitol Building breach.
"The right wing hysteria machine decided to crop it and distribute it to try to blame BLM and Anti Fascists for today's events," read the tweet.
The larger photo shows Angeli is holding a QAnon-related sign and does not appear to be engaged in anti-racism protests. A crowd holding anti-police signs stood several yards behind him.
|Photo of the horn man from a Twitter account.
Lewis told USA TODAY that Angeli had not been part of the June, 11 anti-racism protest at Tempe Beach Park in Tempe, AZ but "came to disrupt the march and promote q anon".
BrieAnna J. Frank, a reporter for The Arizona Republic who has interviewed Angeli in the past, took to Twitter to rebuke false claims about his ties to antifa on Jan. 6.
"Here's part of my interview with Jake Angeli, the 32-year old man I previously posted about, who thanked the president @realDonaldTrump and Q," she wrote in a May 5 tweet in which she attached a video of Angeli's interview.
Elijah Schaffer, a reporter for conservative news outlet The Blaze, rejected Kelemen's accusation on Twitter in the early hours of Jan. 7, saying he also recognized the man as Angeli.
"People keep saying this guy is Antifa or BLM, he is not … Please stop spreading disinfo… I've spoken to him in depth on camera in Arizona … He's a huge supporter of Qanon & regularly walks around w/ a sign saying 'Q sent me'," tweeted Schaffer.
Angeli denied The Arizona Republic's request for an interview on Jan. 6, but the Globe and Mail of Toronto reported via Twitter that they spoke with Angeli that evening.
"He said police eventually gave up trying to stop him and other Trump supporters, and let them in. After a while, he said police politely asked him to leave and let him go without arrest," tweeted reporter Adrian Morrow.
USA Today rates the claim that the shirtless, face-painted man who was pictured in social media images of the Jan. 6 Capitol Building breach was affiliated with anti-facist or anti-racism movements FALSE because it is not supported by our research. The man, identified as Jake Angeli, has a long, public affiliation with far-right, pro-Trump and QAnon movements.
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