Far-Right Extremists Rally Behind 'Take Back Our Border' Convoy

Far-Right Extremists Rally Behind 'Take Back Our Border' Convoy

Amid an ongoing right-wing media panic about a supposed “invasion” of migrants coming across the southern border, a group of right-wing extremists — including members with ties to QAnon, the election denial movement, and anti-vaccine propagandists — have organized a convoy and series of rallies along the southern border. The “Take Our Border Back Southern Border Convoy” has been amplified and celebrated by right-wing media and political figures as posts promoting it have spread across social media.

  • A group of right-wing extremists are organizing a convoy along the southern border to protest the supposed migrant crisis
    • The Take Our Border Back convoy aims to “call on our government to TAKE ACTION and SECURE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER.” The convoy is set to start from Virginia and travel across various locations on the southern U.S. border from January 29 through February 3, with a series of rallies planned along the way. A GiveSendGo fundraising campaign in support of the convoy has already received over $36,000 in donations. [TakeOurBorderBack.com, accessed 1/24/24, GiveSendGo, accessed 1/25/24]
    • The convoy's organizers and sponsors include far-right podcasters, online influencers, and conspiracy theorists. In a video posted to the convoy’s Rumble channel, podcast host Kim Yeater said that she, Noél Roberts, Pete Chambers, Robert Agee, and Mark Anthony are members of the group’s “steering committee.” Yeater’s Take Your Power Back podcast, Robert's “Patriot Mom 007” account, Chambers’ website, Agee’s right-wing billboard company, and Scotty Saks’ Sovereign Radio program are also listed as sponsors of the convoy. [Rumble, We The People, 1/19/24; TakeOurBorderBack.com, accessed 1/25/24]
    • Yeater, Chambers, and other organizers have used extreme rhetoric when talking about the southern border, frequently claiming that there is an “invasion” of migrants and pushing the racist “great replacement” conspiracy theory. In an interview uploaded to Rumble on January 20, Yeater claimed that migrants at the border are part of a “Trojan horse” of “fighting age men crossing our border.” During a January 24 appearance on Infowars’ The Alex Jones Show, Chambers claimed that “globalists” are using immigration to destabilize the U.S., saying, “This is ‘we’re going to take over your country from within’ stuff,” echoing the white supremacist “great replacement” conspiracy theory, which claims that migrants are being purposefully brought to the U.S. to replace white Americans as a new electoral majority. [Rumble, The Alex Stone Show, 1/20/24; Infowars, The Alex Jones Show, 1/24/24; Southern Poverty Law Center, 5/17/22]
  • The Take Our Border Back convoy is being organized and promoted by anti-vaccine figures, conspiracy theorists, and vehement election deniers
    • Kim Yeater, one of the convoy organizers who has promoted it in a media appearance, has a history of promoting election denial efforts. Yeater is a radio host and the CEO of Take Our Elections Back, which aims “to restore the integrity of America's voting system.” She has also promoted multiple events held by election denier Mike Lindell. On an episode of her radio show, Yeater said there is “not even a question anymore, there’s election fraud. Period,” adding that it would be “a problem” if voting machines were used in future elections. Yeater has worked with many of the other convoy promoters in the past and seemingly mingled with multiple far-right figures. [KimYeater.com, accessed 1/25/24; Rumble, accessed 1/26/24; Instagram, accessed 1/25/24, 1/25/24, 1/25/24; Salem Radio Network, Take Your Power Back, 8/21/23]
    • At least two sponsors of the convoy have referenced the QAnon conspiracy theory. Right-wing billboard company Banners 4 Freedom, a sponsor of the convoy run by organizer Robert Agee, has shared the “WWG1WGA” hashtag associated with the conspiracy theory. Agee himself has used the QAnon slogan on social media, including during an X Space about the convoy. Scotty Saks, host of Sovereign Radio which is another convoy sponsor, has also used the slogan on social media. [Telegram, 1/7/23; Banners4Freedom.com, accessed 1/25/24; Twitter/X Space, 1/23/24, 1/23/24; Twitter/X, 10/10/18]
    • Discussing the federal response to January 6, convoy organizer and promotor Mark Anthony expressed that the convoy would be heavily protected and only going to places where local law enforcement is “on board.” In an interview uploaded to Rumble, Anthony stated that “January 6, that scared the hell out of everyone. I mean scared them to the point they feel like they didn’t want to do anything because they’re scared about the government coming after them.” Anthony added, “Every place that we have, we’ve gotten in with the sheriffs, we’ve gotten in with the local police departments, and these people are on board. Even Border Patrol.” [Rumble, 1/19/24]
    • Convoy organizer Peter Chambers, a former Green Beret who claims he retired because of “the mandates for the vaccines,” is also sponsoring the convoy through his Remnant A-Team ministry. Chambers became an anti-vaccine figure during the COVID-19 pandemic and appeared in the anti-vaccine propaganda film Died Suddenly, produced by conspiracy theorist Stew Peters. He was part of a lawsuit attempting to block the military from mandating COVID-19 vaccines, and he has also spread the 5G conspiracy theory. Chambers has also claimed that he “developed friendships all along the border with Border Patrol guys that really want to do their jobs, you know, Department of Public Safety, Texas Rangers.” [Rumble, 11/4/23; Mother Jones, May 2023; Arizona Mirror, 10/20/23]
    • Noél Roberts, a right-wing podcaster known online as “Patriot Mom 007,” has frequently appeared alongside fringe figures and election deniers. Roberts has interviewed extremist Arizona Sheriff Mark Lamb, right-wing lawyer Harmeet Dhillon, and Turning Point USA influencer Benny Johnson, among others. [PatriotMom007.com, accessed, 1/25/24, 1/25/24; Media Matters, 2/9/23]
    • Joshua James, who self-identifies as a “De Jure Sheriff” of Bexar County, Texas, has frequently promoted the convoy on social media and also posted the QAnon slogan. James claims to be “constitutional sheriff” in Texas, but actually is a self-identified “de jure sheriff” -- a term that seemingly flows from the sovereign citizens movement, which holds that local sheriffs are the supreme law of the land and that the federal government of the United States is illegitimate. [Instagram, 10/31/20, 1/11/24; Facebook, accessed 1/25/24; Twitter/X, accessed 1/25/24; Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 1/25/24, Sovereign Citizen Watcher, 5/21/22]
  • Right-wing media and political figures have celebrated the convoy as part of an ongoing attack against the Biden administration’s border policies
    • Rep. Keith Self (R-TX) promoted the convoy on X (formerly Twitter), saying “The time is NOW to take action and secure our borders!” Self provided specific dates and locations of the convoy and included a screenshot of the poster advertising it. [Twitter/X, 1/22/24, 1/22/24]
    • Chambers appeared on a recent episode of Infowars’ The Alex Jones Show to promote the convoy and fearmonger about “an invasion” happening along the southern U.S. border. During the segment, Chambers claimed that “this is an invasion, absolutely. Oh, absolutely. We briefed Gov. Abbott two years ago on the invasion that was taking place on the border.” Discussing what the “feds” are “going to try next,” Jones suggested, “Maybe they send a shooter down to shoot some of the illegals to make us the — make them the victims.” [Infowars, The Alex Jones Show, 1/24/24, 1/24/24]
    • Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon mentioned the convoy when discussing the “pure insanity” he claims is going on in Europe, saying that “it’s coming here to the U.S. This is why you’re seeing the farmers and the truckers are going to have a convoy to go to the southern border.” [Real America’s Voice, War Room, 1/24/24]
    • One America News host Alison Steinberg promoted the convoy, showing its flier during the January 25 episode of In Focus. Steinberg also said that the convoy would be “adding to the escalation,” asking, “Is this a constitutional crisis? Could this be a match that ignites a civil war?” [One America News, In Focus, 1/25/24]
    • In an appearance on Fox Business, Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX) welcomed the convoy to her state, saying: “Bring those beautiful, huge semis, those 18-wheeler bad boys down here to protect our border. … I hope it is a fantastic convoy.” When discussing the convoy with Van Duyne, host Liz MacDonald said “more Americans are stepping up.” [Fox Business, The Evening Edit, 1/25/24]

LIZ MACDONALD (HOST): We have a new, this new news coming in. A trucker convoy is kicking off heading to the border states — we're hearing February 3 — for a multistate rally at the border in Texas, Arizona, and California. And they're calling on active and retired law enforcement, military veterans, elected officials, small business owners, ranchers to join them to rally in protest of what's going on at the border. What do you make of this? More Americans are stepping up.

REP. BETH VAN DUYNE (R-TX): Hey, don’t forget the mama bears that they’re also asking to go down there, who are seeing what’s happening in schools, where their kids are getting kicked out because they’re having illegal immigrants stay in classrooms.

Yeah, I say bring those beautiful, huge semis, those 18-wheeler bad boys down here to protect our border. They need to understand that this is not simply — you know, they can't sweep this under the rug. People are opening their eyes to it, and I hope it is a fantastic convoy, and I hope it does, you know, shed more light on it, and you're seeing people from around the country. I mean, they're even talking about having folks from Canada now come down because they see the damage that is being caused. So yeah, bring those bad boys down to our coast.

      • “Pizzagate” conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec shared an image of the convoy flier to X asking, “So, how many fed will be at this?” Yeater replied to the post saying that there should be “NO FEAR” because “GOD IS WITH US.” [Twitter/X, 1/25/24]
      • Far-right blog The Gateway Pundit shared information about the convoy and claimed, “This message is being sent all over social media.” The post also claims that “good Americans have had enough of Biden’s destruction of the country.” [The Gateway Pundit, 1/25/24]
      • On X, right-wing outlet The Leading Report shared the convoy’s flier. The post also highlighted the convoy’s “opposition to the open border disaster under the Biden administration.” [The Leading Report, 1/22/24]
      • An article posted to the website The Politics Brief claimed that the convoy was in protest of “the recent Supreme Court decision that will allow Border Patrol agents to cut razor-wire fencing installed by Texas National Guard personnel.” The article also highlighted Self’s endorsement of the convoy, and former Fox News associate producer Kyle Becker shared the article on X. [The Politics Brief, 1/24/24; Twitter/X, 1/24/24]
      • Right-wing outlet Conservative Brief published an article celebrating that the convoy will “draw more attention to President Joe Biden’s lax immigration enforcement policies.” [The Conservative Brief, 1/24/24]
      • Conspiracy theorist Lara Logan shared a post on X about truckers going to the border, saying, “This is one to watch.” Other users replied to her post with further information about the Take Our Border Back convoy. [Twitter/X, 1/23/24]
  • Social media users have also promoted the convoy has across various platforms
    • A public Telegram group for the Texas Three Percenters militia directed members to the convoy website for details. The post also threatened “legal action against non-affiliated individuals posting inaccurate, non-approved, offensive, provocative or aggressive content” in relation to the convoy. [Telegram, 1/22/24]
    • On Telegram, QAnon promoter Defender of the Republic shared the link to the convoy’s website, stating: “Digital soldiers, it’s time to work.” Their message opened with an appeal to other QAnon followers, reading, “If you’re a follower of Q, the white hats have been asking you to get involved.” [Telegram, 1/23/24; Substack, 12/30/23]
    • On X, far-right streamer Ryan Augustine Sánchez shared information about the convoy, claiming that it would be part of a “standoff against Federal troops.” He also stated that the convoy would be in support of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas National Guard. [Twitter/X, 1/23/24]
    • Responding to an X post from right-wing account Merissa Hansen discussing the border, one user shared the convoy’s website. The post also mentioned a planned stop along the route where the user states that they plan to join the convoy. [Twitter/X, 1/23/24]
    • Right-wing influencer account “Trucker Jake,” who claims that he will be joining the convoy, has repeatedly shared the link to the official website. In one post discussing the convoy, the account claimed that migrants coming across the border “are not economic refugees. They are all criminals, and they all need to go back.” [Twitter/X, 1/19/24, 1/24/24]
    • On fringe social media platforms Truth Social, Gab, and GETTR, users have widely shared the link to the convoy’s website. [Truth Social, Gab, GETTR, accessed 1/25/24]
    • Details of the convoy have also been posted to a number of public and private Facebook groups. One post celebrating the convoy stated that it was “Doing the lord's work!!!” [Facebook, accessed 1/25/24]

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

How Key Right-Wing Media Figures Rewrote The History Of January 6

How Key Right-Wing Media Figures Rewrote The History Of January 6

In the years since the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which was spurred by then-President Donald Trump’s attempt to retain power, right-wing media figures have repeatedly whitewashed the violent attack, pushed misinformation and conspiracy theories about it, and defended its participants.

As a result, the initial consensus of the horrors of the day has disappeared, with Republicans reportedly “now less likely to believe that Jan. 6 participants were ‘mostly violent,’ less likely to believe Trump bears responsibility for the attack, and … slightly less likely to view Joe Biden’s election as legitimate.”

The following right-wing media personalities have been critical in the push to downplay January 6, and they have continued their apologia for the violent crowd that sought to overturn an election.

  • Darren Beattie
  • Beattie was a speechwriter and policy aide for then-President Trump who was fired in 2018 for attending a white nationalist conference two years before. In 2020, he founded right-wing site Revolver News, with Trump himself praising the outlet’s commentary. Beattie has repeatedly pushed the baseless conspiracy theory that the FBI, in connection with an undercover agent named Ray Epps, helped to incite the January 6 riot.
    • 2021: Beattie spread a conspiracy theory that Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick’s death was not a result of injuries sustained in the attack, calling his claims “the most important story Revolver has ever run.” Fox’s Tucker Carlson also highlighted the story, calling it an “exhaustive and fascinating new analysis.” [Media Matters, 2/12/21]
    • 2022: Beattie and his news outlet, Revolver News, were crucial in pushing the false claim that Capitol rioter Ray Epps was an undercover FBI agent who duped the crowd into entering the Capitol building. Epps has sued Fox News, and his suit describes Beattie as “the principal person driving the false story that Epps was a federal agent planted as a provocateur to trigger the Capitol violence on January 6th.” [Media Matters, 1/19/22; The New York Times, 7/12/23]
    • 2023-present: Beattie has continued to falsely allege that Epps was a federal agent, claiming he was treated leniently for that reason. In posts on X from September, Beattie claimed that “charging Ray Epps now for ‘disorderly conduct’ is not going to make the Feds' credibility problem go away.” Beattie additionally called the government’s case against Epps “a phony charge” that “will only make things worse for the Fed narrative.” He also suggested that the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing was a false flag and said that the Justice Department and FBI should “at least do us the courtesy of a high effort cover up like you did with OKC” for January 6. [Media Matters, 9/21/23; Twitter/X, 9/19/23, 9/19/23, 9/19/23, 9/19/23]
  • DB Tweet Collage
  • Julie Kelly
  • Kelly is a prolific conspiracy theorist who has written for a number of conservative outlets, mainly American Greatness, National Review, and The Federalist. Then-Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) gave Kelly and former Trump adviser John Solomon special access to security camera footage from the Capitol attack, as she claimed that conservatives were being unjustly persecuted.
    • 2021: Kelly called January 6 Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone a “crisis actor.” [Media Matters, 7/27/21]
    • 2022: On One America News, Kelly pushed a conspiracy theory that the FBI fabricated pipe bombs that were discovered at the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C. the night before the January 6 riot. Kelly also published a book where she claimed that the Biden administration is weaponizing January 6 to persecute conservatives and criminalize political protest. [One America News, Tipping Point with Kara McKinney, 2/16/22; Google Books, accessed 1/5/23, Post Hill Press, accessed 1/5/24]
    • 2023-present: Kelly repeatedly spread the Epps conspiracy theory, and when Epps was charged, she questioned why he wasn’t charged with more crimes, posting, “No obstruction felony? No civil disorder charge? Not even a trespassing on restricted grounds misdemeanor?” Kelly also claimed that the Biden’s Justice Department has “successfully criminalized political speech and activity.” In May, then-Speaker McCarthy reportedly gave Kelly special access to security camera footage from the Capitol attack. [Media Matters, 9/21/23, 5/31/23; The Washington Post, 6/6/23; Premiere Networks, The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show,3/23/23]
    • Tucker Carlson
    • As a Fox prime-time host, Carlson relentlessly downplayed the January 6 insurrection and promoted the conspiracy theory that Ray Epps, whom he posited was a federal agent or FBI informant, incited the riot. Carlson also repeatedly hosted Beattie and Kelly to push misinformation about the attack.
    • 2021: Carlson put out a revisionist January 6-focused series that suggested the attack was a “false flag.” In an interview with Kelly, Carlson said the left used officer Brian Sicknick’s death “as a political weapon” and that his state funeral was “fake.” “Completely fabricated,” agreed Kelly. Carlson also hosted Beattie and cited an article in which he suggested the January 6 attack may have been orchestrated by FBI operatives. [Media Matters, 11/2/21, 11/4/21, 6/16/21, 6/17/21; Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 11/1/21]
    • 2022: Carlson defended the rioters as “passionately patriotic Americans” “who genuinely love America” and on the one-year anniversary of January 6 he downplayed the violence as “just barely” a riot. As a guest on Carlson’s show, Beattie also called January 6 “a clear hoax” planned and carried out by “the feds.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 6/8/22, 1/6/22, 6/9/22]
    • Early 2023: Carlson continued to downplay the severity of the January 6 riot, calling the rioters “nonviolent … protesters” and “patriotic Americans.” He also said January 6 was “probably second only to the 2020 election as the biggest scam in my lifetime.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 3/21/23, 3/14/23]
    • April 2023-present: After Carlson was fired in April from Fox, he appeared on a Spaces live chat on X (formerly Twitter) and continued to downplay the insurrection. [Twitter/X, 12/12/23]
  • Steve Bannon
  • Since he left the Trump administration in 2017, Steve Bannon has hosted War Room — a podcast for Real America’s Voice — where he has frequently defended those involved in the insurrection. Bannon has also hosted both Beattie and Kelly to also push conspiracy theories about January 6.
    • 2021: Leading up to the January 6 insurrection, Bannon bragged on his podcast about his role in working to undermine the results of the 2020 presidential election. [Media Matters, 10/29/21]
    • 2022: Bannon defended the Proud Boys ahead of one of Congress’ January 6 hearings, referring to the organization, whose leaders have since been convicted for their role in the January 6 attack, as a “rag tag beer drinking group.” Bannon also repeatedly made false claims that U.S. Senate sergeant-at-arms Michael Stenger’s death was an intentional homicide, comparing it to older right-wing conspiracy theories around the suicide of Clinton administration official Vince Foster. [Real America’s Voice, War Room, 6/9/22; CNN, 9/1/23; Media Matters, 6/29/22]
    • 2023-present: Bannon is still hosting his podcast, War Room, where he has continued to downplay the insurrection, including dismissing Trump's role by stating that Trump was “doing his duty” to “make sure that the 2020 election had been fairly decided” and continuing to insist that the 2020 election was stolen. [Real America’s Voice, War Room, 8/2/23]
  • Charlie Kirk
    • Charlie Kirk, who co-founded the right-wing organization Turning Point USA, has repeatedly downplayed the insurrection and accused Ray Epps of being a federal agent.
      • 2021: In the immediate aftermath of January 6, Kirk downplayed the attack, saying that “just because you do something that is regrettable does not mean that you are planning an armed insurrection against the United States government." [Newsweek, 1/12/21]
      • 2022: Kirk pushed the Epps conspiracy theory, posting to X that Epps “texted his nephew ‘I orchestrated it’” and claiming that he is the “only man caught on camera actively calling for people to enter the Capitol and riot.” In another post, Kirk said, “If the FBI knows who Ray Epps is, why haven't they arrested him yet?” [Twitter/X, 1/11/22, 12/30/22]
      • 2023-present: Kirk continues to run Turning Point USA and has repeatedly promoted far-right talking points, including false claims about January 6. On his eponymous show, Kirk has primed his audience to prepare for “another January 6” over Trump’s various indictments and called on a future administration to “get some pardons done” for the January 6 insurrectionists. [Media Matters, 9/22/23, 11/21/23; Real America’s Voice, The Charlie Kirk Show, 1/3/24, 12/7/23, 7/28/23, 1/6/23; Twitter/X, 9/19/23]
    • CHarlie Kirk Epps tweet 1

    • The Gateway Pundit
    • The Gateway Pundit, a right-wing website that frequently pushes conspiracy theories and hoaxes, and Editor-in-Chief Jim Hoft have repeatedly claimed that the January 6 insurrection was a false flag operation organized by federal law enforcement.
      • 2021: The Gateway Pundit was reportedly a favorite source for Donald Trump in the lead-up to January 6. According to The Washington Post, “In the weeks before he left office in 2021, Trump brandished printouts of Gateway Pundit articles questioning the results of the election.” In May 2021, a few months after the insurrection, Hoft published an article claiming that someone inside the Capitol unlocked the doors for the rioters, citing an anonymous member of the Oath Keepers — a group with several members who have since been convicted for their roles on January 6. [The Washington Post, 1/3/24; The Gateway Pundit, 5/24/21; Politico, 1/23/23]
      • 2022: Hoft doubled down on the claim that “someone inside the security booth at the US Capitol opened the doors” in a Gateway Pundit article titled “WE WERE RIGHT. ” In another article, Hoft claimed that instead of investigating the Oath Keepers’ involvement in January 6, “the FBI would have better luck if they looked at their trained operatives instead who were leading the charge on the Capitol building.” [Twitter/X, 6/13/22; The Gateway Pundit, 1/29/22, 8/24/22]
      • 2023-present: Hoft and The Gateway Pundit remain a source of conspiracy theories about January 6. Hoft has penned several stories alleging that Ray Epps’ criminal charges and sentencing are proof that he was a federal agent and said President Joe Biden “will use the J6 anniversary to accuse Trump supporters of being white supremacists.” [The Gateway Pundit, 1/2/24, 9/19/23, 1/3/24]
    • Laura Ingraham
    • Fox News host Laura Ingraham has used her prime-time platform to repeatedly claim that January 6 was a “false flag operation” orchestrated by “antifa” or federal agents.
      • 2021: Ingraham suggested “antifa sympathizers” were behind the January 6 attack, citing a Washington Times article that was later debunked. [The New York Times, 3/1/21]
      • 2022: Ingraham cited Darren Beattie’s Revolver News on her show on Fox to argue that “Epps may have led the breach team that first entered the Capitol on January 6.” [Media Matters, 1/19/22]
      • 2023-present: Ingraham has used her prime-time slot on Fox News to continuously defend Trump and attack those who are involved in the legal cases against him over his alleged role in attempting to overturn the 2020 election. She has also whitewashed the Capitol insurrectionists as “old ladies walking through the halls of Congress taking selfies.” [Media Matters, 11/01/23; Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 10/10/23, 8/7/23, 3/29/23]
      • Infowars
      • Prolific conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars co-host Owen Shroyer were part of the crowd on January 6. Shroyer has since celebrated the insurrection while Jones has claimed that any violence that occurred was caused by antifa or federal agents.
        • 2021: Jones responded to the FBI’s investigation into his involvement in the insurrection by claiming that “we know who did it: antifa with some paramilitary groups all together, which are going to turn out to be feds with idiots they provocateured to be part of it, the Q people,” calling it “the modern Reichstag 2.0.” Shroyer stated that “we should have been proud of what happened on January 6.” [Infowars, The Alex Jones Show, 1/14/21, 5/17/21]
        • 2022: Jones claimed that when investigated by the January 6 committee, he pleaded the Fifth Amendment “almost 100 times.” [Texas Tribune, 4/28/22]
        • 2023-present: Jones celebrated Tucker Carlson’s revisionist history of the insurrection, claiming the footage Carlson aired showed that “January 6 was an inside job.” In the days before Shroyer was sentenced to two months in prison for leading a portion of the crowd on January 6, Jones claimed that the government was “asking for prison time for a man that did nothing and was there with me trying to stop people going to the Capitol because he still says he thinks the election was stolen.” [Media Matters, 2/28/23; Infowars, The Alex Jones Show, 9/6/23; PBS, PBS NewsHour, 9/12/23]