Florida has always been a stomping ground for whackjobs, but the state’s political climate seems to be attracting a particularly diseased group of people as of late. Roger Stone already lives here. The disgraced alt-right personality Milo Yiannopoulos briefly moved to Miami a few years ago. The InfoWars-appearing conspiracy theorist Laura Loomer is apparently now running for Congress in Palm Beach County.
And now South Florida has attracted yet another far-right online nutjob: Bill Mitchell, a square-headed pundit with sterling silver hair who has a half-million Twitter followers, adores President Donald Trump, and, most troubling, has repeatedly said nice things about the absolutely insane QAnon conspiracy theory. Mitchell hosts YourVoice America, an online commentary program extremely popular with the pro-Trump right and, more recently, with QAnon fans. A 2016 BuzzFeed News profile described him as an “exceedingly average middle-aged man” who rocketed to fame simply by rampantly defending Trump on Twitter at all times.
Mitchell’s move is apparently generating outrage in certain corners of the fringe-right ‘net. In April, he began raising money for his move on GoFundMe — except he initially tweeted that the donations would fund a move to Washington, D.C. As of yesterday, Mitchell had raised $14,280 of his stated $15,000 goal.
Even some of Mitchell’s fans and donors said online this week they think Mitchell misled them by repeatedly tweeting that the money would go toward a move to D.C. to be in the “thick of things” for the 2020 campaign.
He raised over 14K by telling people for 90 DAYS STRAIGHT that he was moving YourVoice “operations” to DC in order to be in the ‘thick of things’ for the 2020 run up.
90 days later, almost to the day, he announces he’s moving to Miami. pic.twitter.com/vtJWJ6Mhwz
— Amy???? (@RightHookUSA) August 12, 2019
But now that it’s apparent he’s moving to Miami instead, Mitchell hopped on Twitter yesterday to defend himself against accusations he misled fans by repeatedly tweeting the donations would fund a move to the nation’s capital. (He did not respond to an email yesterday from New Times.) He claimed that, while he was in the middle of planning his move to D.C., someone approached him with an “offer which will position me to literally change the social media experience for everyone in the Trump family.” He said he cannot reveal any further details right now.
During my work to relocate to DC (several trips), I was made an offer which will position me to literally change the social media experience for everyone in the Trump family. As I said, I cannot yet divulge details. That opportunity is in Miami and thrilled to be there.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) August 12, 2019
As you have no idea the remarkable things I will be doing for #Trump2020 in Miami, claiming I am “wasting my money on Miami,” was extremely premature on your part. Once you learn, I’ll expect a public apology since you felt comfortable making an ill-informed public accusation.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) August 12, 2019
Regardless, Mitchell’s move to Miami is problematic for a host of other reasons. He has never quite explicitly endorsed QAnon — an internet conspiracy theory that posits a world in which Donald Trump is secretly working to arrest a cabal of global pedophiles in the Democratic Party and Hollywood — but Mitchell has also repeatedly said some quite nice things about the whole online QAnon community.
In April, he said on his program that, no matter whether QAnon is true, the theory creates “confidence in Trump” and that the entire cultlike following QAnon has developed online is good for the president and, therefore, good for America.
If the #Media feels terrified by something, it’s hard for me not to like it.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) August 6, 2019
This past August 5, Right Wing Watch reported that Mitchell took some time on his live-streaming program to shout out QAnon. As he often does, he stopped short of endorsing the theory outright but instead said he sees “no downside” to it because, in his mind, it’s either true (it’s not) or at least something that gets everyone jazzed to talk about Trump.
“If [QAnon] just is something that is interesting to talk about, if it’s just patriots getting together and postulating about what the deep state might be doing and what Donald Trump might be doing about it and it just ends up being a fun thing that keeps everybody motivated and encouraged, that’s fine,” he said. “[But] there is a possibility that it could all be true and it could all be foretelling the destruction of the deep state and what the Trump plan is for the deep state. Trust the plan. Maybe it’s all true.
“One way or the other — it’s a harmless, fun thing, or it’s true and it’s going to mean the destruction of the deep state — to me, I like those odds,” Mitchell declared. “I see no downside in it.”