Looks Like a Full-Blown Conspiracy Theorist Is Challenging Ilhan Omar

Photo: Susan Walsh / Danielle Stella (AP / Twitter)

On Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump set his sights on Minnesota and it’s Fifth District Congresswoman, Rep. Ilhan Omar, declaring her an “America hating anti-Semite” and vowing to “win the state” in the 2020 election. But if Republicans really want to unseat Omar—who was elected by near-historic margins in 2018—they should probably find a better candidate than one who believes in ludicrous conspiracy theories, as GOP challenger Danielle Stella seems to.

According to Right Wing Watch’s Jared Holt, Stella—a self described “special education needs professional” who “did not hold prior aspirations to run for political office”—is a firm believer in the pernicious QAnon movement, which holds that Trump is locked in a far-reaching battle with an elite cadre of child molesters and murderers. The loose movement takes its cues from everything from innocuous tweets to Adam Sandler movies.

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After podcast host Travis View noticed Stella appears to frequently engage with QAnon’s various online shibboleths on Twitter, including its popular “WWG1WGA” (“where we go one, we go all”) hashtag, Holt reached out to the campaign, and a member of her team said Stella “stands 100% behind the principles of patriotism, unity/inclusiveness (WWG1WGA!) and love for country that Qanon promotes.” Holt noted the campaign representative he spoke with was an “unpaid communications volunteer.”

A former campaign staffer pushed back on the association to the Daily Beast, saying Stella is courting QAnon voters but “she doesn’t even understand it.”

I have reached out to Stella’s campaign for clarification about her views on QAnon and whether she plans to use her candidacy to push the conspiracy theory. I will update this post if she or anyone from her campaign responds.

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This is not Stella’s only brush with the world of right-wing conspiracy theorists. On her website, Stella is shown embracing notorious Islamophobic troll and conspiracy monger Laura Loomer, and in a recent interview with Fox News’ Todd Starnes—himself a dedicated conspiracy theorist—she agreed that Omar was “discouraging or dampening public displays of patriotism” in her district.

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About the author

Rafi Schwartz

Senior writer. When in doubt he'll have the soup.