- Former FBI official Frank Figliuzzi said Trump is drawn to QAnon like a moth to a flame.
- Figliuzzi said Trump is embracing the movement because he feels "increasingly cornered."
- Figliuzzi warned that violence could ensue if the QAnon movement felt threats to its leader.
A former FBI official said former President Donald Trump is likely feeling cornered and embracing the QAnon movement out of desperation.
Frank Figliuzzi, a former FBI assistant director, was weighing in on Trump's links to the QAnon movement during a Monday appearance on MSNBC's "Deadline: White House." Host Nicolle Wallace asked Figliuzzi if he thinks Trump knows just how dangerous the movement is to the US.
"Oh, not only do I think he knows it, but I think that's what attracts him to this. It's like a moth to the flame," Figliuzzi said.
"And the thing is, he knows that he's increasingly cornered," Figliuzzi added. "He's in trouble on so many legal fronts, even criminal fronts now, that this is, kind of, the almost last act of a desperate man."
Figliuzzi referenced Trump's rally in Youngstown, Ohio, where a QAnon song played during Trump's speech. During the rally, Trump's supporters were seen pointing their fingers to the sky in a strange, one-finger salute, which experts say might have been a nod to the movement's slogan, "where we go one we go all."
While the stadium in Ohio was not fully filled, and thus a sign that Trump may be losing support from his base, Figliuzzi said there's still a significant threat from Trump and the QAnon movement.
"What is extremely dangerous based on past histories of cults, is that as they come near the end, as the leader is threatened, they get more and more dangerous," Figliuzzi said. "And they do something cult experts call 'forcing the end.'"
This could happen if the movement's leader "calls for the violence" or is "taken out," Figliuzzi said.
"The members take a step up and force the ending — whatever that could be," Figliuzzi said. "That's what concerns me and we've learned from January 6, it only takes a small number of people to do that."
The Trump rally in Ohio is just one of many recent instances in which the former president appeared to embrace QAnon — a movement that claims without basis that Trump is fighting a deep-state cabal of pedophiles. In a stream of messages after the FBI's raid of Mar-a-Lago, Trump shared over a dozen posts on his Truth Social account, some of which referenced QAnon and contained baseless conspiracy theories about the FBI. Other posts by the former president on the Truth Social platform in September included a reposted image of himself sporting a "Q" lapel pin, along with the movement's "where we go one we go all" slogan.
Figliuzzi and a representative at Trump's post-presidential press office did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.