The QAnon “shaman” who became a figurehead for the Capitol riots last month, has thrown former President Donald Trump under the bus, calling him “not honorable” and letting “a lot of peaceful people down.”
Now, QAnon followers are split on what to make of the iconic QAnon figure, with some calling him a “rat sack of shit” for abandoning Trump while others spin up a new conspiracy theory that he’s a military intelligence officer playing the long game.
The Shaman, who is known as Jake Angeli and whose real name is Jacob Chansley, is facing up to 10 years in prison for storming the Capitol on Jan. 6. Earlier this week, just before Trump’s second impeachment trial got underway, Chansley issued a statement apologizing for his conduct.
“I deeply regret and am very sorry I entered into the Capitol Building. I should not have been there. Period. I am sorry for having aroused fear in the hearts of others. That was wrong. Period," he said in a statement released by his lawyer Al Watkins.
Angeli flipped on Trump last month, but this week he doubled down on his criticism of the former president.
"I am deeply disappointed in former President Trump. He was not honorable. He let a lot of peaceful people down," his statement continued.
While Angeli has in the past offered to testify against Trump in the impeachment trial — an offer not taken up by the Senate — his new focus on Trump’s character is part of his defense team’s plan to get him off.
Angeli is in jail pending his trial, and now Watkins is claiming that his client should not face prosecution for a crime while Trump is currently on trial for inciting that crime.
"If you believe the government is correctly prosecuting the (former) president, you can't at the same time hold criminally culpable those who were incited, because the people incited become victims," Watkins told Associated Press in an interview.
But Trump and QAnon supporters had a different view of Angeli’s statement.
On Instagram, one prominent QAnon influencer claimed Angeli was working for the feds. In the comments on the post, fellow QAnon supporters had a lot of theories about what was happening.
“Very staged like he was bought,” one commenter said. “Never saw someone like him just walk into the chambers with a cop there and ask if he could go up there for a picture and no fight back from the cops. Cop just said don’t damage anything. Very weird to me. A lot of staged photo opps for this cat.”
Others on the Instagram thread claimed that Angeli was in fact a Navy intelligence officer, or “super soldier” — a claim that tracks back to a video Angeli himself posted online in December where he claimed to be “from the highest levels of the government.”
In reality, Angeli actually served in the Navy for two years as a supply clerk seaman apprentice, according to his personnel records.
Over on one of the main QAnon channels on Telegram, some members were trying to make the case for Angeli being “high-level military” but others were simply blasting him for abandoning the former president: “He is a rat sack of shit, saying that Trump incited him to break into the Capitol.”
But others on the same channel believe that Angeli was all part of the plan, and was used as a distraction while “while the other white hat guys grabbed 12 laptops..which Pelosi is freaking about,” adding that the “Shaman guy is a good guy..related to Kennedys.”
The idea that Angeli was part of some elaborate scheme by the deep state to sabotage Trump or part of an intelligence-led operation to facilitate Trump’s grand plan, is undermined by the fact that Angeli was a well-known figure at QAnon events and conferences in recent years, including his attendance at a QAnon event in Arizona just weeks before the election.
But, there’s an explanation for that too. According to “In The Matrixx,” a prominent QAnon influencer, Angeli was simply a plant by CNN at that event. That user further theorized that Angeli was being funded by the mainstream media to attend public events as a way to discredit the QAnon movement.
As normal for QAnon conspiracies, there was no evidence provided to back up this claim.