Saturday, January 9, 2021
He went, he said, to protest governments that have shuttered businesses during the pandemic, told citizens to avoid their own family members, and mandated that people wear masks.
He went to oppose the recent coronavirus stimulus package and omnibus spending bill that sent billions of dollars to foreign nations, but only $600 to American citizens.
And most importantly, he went because, “Donald Trump asked everybody to go to D.C., didn’t he?” said Chansley, who views himself as a truth-teller and an activist willing to stand up to the most powerful figures in government.
“I am a true patriot that believes in the founding documents, that believes in our founding principles,” Chansley said Friday in an interview with National Review. “I have no concern, whatsoever, what happens to me, because I will not live on my knees, and I will not allow my country to be ruled by lesser men.”
Chansley, 33, is well versed in the language of the populist right. Many of the concerns he raises wouldn’t be out of place at an anywhere-America Republican club meeting. But Chansley also is a leading peddler of the wide-ranging QAnon conspiracy theory. He’s appeared regularly at right-wing rallies — in his home state of Arizona, and across the country — bare-chested and tattooed, wearing fur and a horned helmet, like some kind of eighth-century Viking. He’s gained internet fame as the “QAnon Shaman.”
He was among the QAnon conspiracists, militants, and other right-wing rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, spurred on by Trump. Chansley made it all the way to the Senate dais, where he posed for photos, flexed his muscles, and held a spear with an American flag, shouting, “Where’s Pence? Show yourself!”