Following the FBI action against the former US President's resort residence, Canada’s far right is making the narrative their own.
“The kind of garbage has no place in Canada. No one should face this abuse.”
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
News of former President Donald Trump’s Florida resort being raided by the FBI has stoked reactions from his supporters both on the streets outside the resort and within the right-wing media landscape. While the exact purpose and fruits borne by the search have not been released to the public, members of the far-right in Canada are adding to the fracas of fear-mongering and speculation around the raid.
Since the news broke of the August 8 raid, US lawmakers who built their brand on backing Trump’s exceptionalist narratives have quickly marshalled to his defence. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene - known for supporting QAnon conspiracy theories - has written, among other things, on social media about how the raid was likely executed in order to plant evidence.
Right-wing talking head and streamer Steven Crowder – famous for challenging college students to “change his mind” for content – told his Twitter following “tomorrow it’s war.”
"My beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents," Trump said in a statement he published Monday evening.
According to CNN, the Department of Justice has two known active investigations connected to Trump, one on the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and the other involving the handling of classified documents.
By Trump's own telling the search extended to his safe, though an unnamed source familiar with the matter told Reuters that the safe was empty. The same report claims that 10 boxes of papers were removed from the property during the raid.
The FBI and US Department of Justice did not respond to requests for comment by time of publication.
North of the 49th parallel, there has been no shortage of individuals spreading abject horror and fear across the broad spectrum of Canada’s far-right. The feeling of outrage has been nearly unanimous – even among those who long ditched their support for the former president.
While blue and red lights were still flashing on the facade of Mar-A-Lago, Canada’s far-right media apparatus swung into action.
Canada-based Rebel News had its reporters on the scene and has pushed out 10 articles on the raid since news broke Monday evening, many penned by contributor Ian Miles Cheong. Behind the company’s paywall, founder and self-declared “Rebel commander” Ezra Levant asked in a video “has the deep state gone too far?”
“An incredible thing happened last night, incredible in a very bad way,” he said in a pre-show clip. Donald Trump’s residence was raided by the FBI. What were they looking for? Guns? Bombs? Some secret plans? No, it was a paperwork dispute.”
He added that they performed a “shock and awe FBI raid” on the former president’s resort home “just to show him we can.”
Other coverage by Rebel correspondents David Menzies and the company’s Quebec-based journalist Alexandra Lavoie called the raid by the FBI an “attack on the Constitution, on the United States of America itself” and “will do anything to make him look bad,” respectively.
The Epoch Times – a “pro-Trump propaganda machine” – a large and successful part of the Falun Gong spiritual practice’s media support, also published numerous articles about the raid. These include articles detailing a donation boom alleged by one of Trump’s sons, how the raid may “martyr” the president ahead of the 2024 presidential election, and echoes the president and his acolytes' claims of planted evidence.
Outside of these more “mainstream” right-wing political outlets, the various members of the Canadian far-right are climbing on the bandwagon.
The most attention within Canada appears to be coming from the very broad “freedom” or COVID-19 conspiracy movement that continues to hold street protests across the country. In one prominent Ontario group primarily dedicated to sharing anti-vaccine and New World Order conspiracy theories, the FBI’s actions had implications for the future.
“Precedents for when [Republicans] take the House/Senate in November,” the post reads. “Former Presidents can be impeached. Former Presidents must reveal tax/business records. Former Presidents lose [executive] privilege. Former Presidents must release phone/text records. Former Presidents can be FBI raided.”
Commenters in a Canadian pseudo-law movement posted a video about the start of the “planned civil war,” while a heavily shared Russian propaganda channel – typically dedicated to showing Russian victories in Ukraine – quoted Florida Governor Ron DeSantis calling the United States a “Banana Republic.”
The morning following the raid, Romana Didulo, the self-declared monarch of Canada – and most of the world – who carved a following out of a subsection of the QAnon belief system issued a travel warning for the United States to her “We the People” followers.
Didulo has claimed since 2021 that the same “white hats” – the benevolent opposites to the cannibalistic pedophiles of the “deep state” – that helped bring Trump to power had also appointed her queen.
When news of the raid broke, her channels shared a message put out by Didulo’s newly appointed commander-in-chief of the United States – oddly enough, it is not Trump himself.
“Notice: we have issued a general order for the call up of all available troops due to the pending arrest of President Trump by the FBI Prepare for anything now,” the message read.
It is not known how many, if any, of Didulo’s followers joined the protesting crowds, however, one Canadian made sure his presence was noted.
Former leader of the “Canada First” branch of Nick Fuentes’s Groypers and recent Florida transplant Tyler Russell posted a photo of himself on the streets. Standing in front of a campaign sign from Trump run in 2021, a white line runs through the president’s then-running mate Mike Pence – Pence is viewed by many as a traitor to Trump’s cause due to his role in formally recognizing the vote that elected President Joe Biden.
“Posted up at Mar-A-Lago. I will defend my president,” the streamer wrote.
The community built around Plaid Army fandom, Diagolon, has uniformly come out against the search.
In response, one of the conspiratorial movement’s most prominent talking heads, Jeremey MacKenzie, wrote to his own followers, “Steven Crowder: ‘Tomorrow it's war.’ Candace Owens: ‘dissolve the FBI!’ Congratulations commies. You did it. You really did it. You radicalized the normies.”
Others in the community, including meme maker and Holocaust denier Alex Vriend, pointed to connections between the judge who approved the raid and convicted sex offender and serial rapist Jeffery Epstein.
Federal magistrate judge Bruce Reinhart, who signed the warrant to seach Mar-A-Lago, quit his job as a prosecutor in 2008 to defend clients who worked for Epstein, including a pilot, scheduler, and one alleged “sex slave,” according to Politico.