Jim Watkins, the owner of online forum 8chan.org said lawmakers asked him about the QAnon conspiracy theory, popular with a certain set of Trump fans, during a closed-door hearing on online extremism last week in the House Homeland Security Committee. 8chan was the home of the posts that made up the Qanon conspiracy theory before it was shut down last month after being cited as an inspiration for multiple murders. One America News Network's Jack Posobiec spoke with Watkins from Washington.
"There's a guy going around making a documentary about 8chan, and he's the one who introduced me to QAnon. I didn't know we had it because it is an unlisted board," Watkins said. Now that he knows about it, he thinks "it is protected political speech in America."
He added: "I don't think it is the reason that Congress sent me here. I think they legitimately thought I was working with the Iranians or the Russians or something."
"There are people who believe that Q-Anon is a U.S. intelligence operation," OANN's Jack Posobiec asked.
"They didn't ask me that," Watkins said. "I didn't bring it up, they didn't ask me. I was prepared for them to ask me about it, but I don't know who Q-Anon is. Really, we run an anonymous website... Even if it was, how would you know if it is a U.S. intelligence operation? You would never know."