Donald Trump Jr. takes over his “Conservatives on Telegram” account and begins uploading content exclusively for Telegram.
A few days after this, I wrote a thread on Twitter of my analysis of the Conservatives On Telegram movement. You can read it below or on Twitter.
Last week, Donald Trump Jr. joined Telegram, the app that conservatives are treating like Parler. He is one of many verified members of “Conservatives on Telegram (COT),” a network of GOP accounts managed by one group or person. But who is really behind the movement?
I’ve been trying to answer that question, and I can’t find a simple answer. COT isn’t a huge project like Parler. The outlet (Telegram) already existed without the GOP’s involvement. All they have to pay for is the COT website and someone to manage the network of accounts.
Since there’s not a money trail to follow or a CEO to research, I looked into the people in the COT network. What I uncovered is an interesting relationship between Turning Point USA, newly elected Republicans, and a political consulting firm called X Strategies.
Two of the top three verified accounts on the list below belong to Charlie Kirk and Benny Johnson. Kirk founded Turning Point USA, and Benny Johnson is the company’s CCO when he’s not hosting a show on Newsmax.
Johnson is also a manager of the “Trump Supporters Channel” created by Conservatives On Telegram. That was my first indication that TPUSA’s involvement goes deeper than most other figures involved. That’s a community channel, basically a chatroom.
Ryan Fournier, another verified member, is a co-chairman of Turning Point Action — TPUSA’s sister organization — and Students for Trump. Turning Point USA, Students for Trump, and the Trump Supporters Channel are the only verified community channels within the COT program.
According to his website, Fournier is also on the board of X Strategies / X Strategies DC. The company is co-founded by Alex Bruesewitz (who also has a COT Telegram channel) and Derek Utley, and it’s actually registered in at least five states — not just DC. (Sources: Delaware, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin)
Update 01/27/21: Alex Bruesewitz denies his or X Strategies’ involvement in the creation of Conservatives On Telegram. He also denies knowing who runs the program and says the person reaches out through Twitter to transfer Telegram accounts after they are set up.
However, this does not explain how Donald Trump Jr. became involved; he cannot receive Twitter DMs from accounts he doesn’t follow, and he doesn’t follow COT.
Bruesewitz and xStrat co-founder Derek Utley both took ownership of their COT accounts in the past 48 hours.
This could easily be a coincidence, but the COT Telegram account was updated with the following message an hour after Bruesewitz contacted Trump File:
X Strategies is at times a political consulting firm and at other times a digital branding and public relations firm. It depends who’s asking and which page of the xStrat website you’re on. One of xStrat’s oldest clients is, unsurprisingly, Parler.
Unlike TPUSA figures, Bruesewitz is not verified on Telegram, so I thought xStrat’s connection to Conservatives On Telegram ended with Ryan Fournier. I was wrong. Instagram accounts revealed a lot…
Of the 37 accounts that X Strategies follows on Instagram, 10 of them belong to COT members, including Charlie Kirk and TPUSA. On the “followers” side of things, something funny shows up: Marjorie Taylor Greene followed xStrat before Alex Bruesewitz and Derek Utley did.
Marjorie Taylor Greene only follows 50 accounts on Instagram, but almost HALF of them belong to people with Conservatives On Telegram accounts. And who was the first verified politician on Telegram? Marjorie Taylor Greene.
I doubt this is just a network on Telegram. This network has existed for awhile. Dan Bongino claimed he owns Parler. Who’s at the top of the COT website? Dan Bongino. Who’s been connected to a secret GOP group aimed at radicalization? Dan Bongino.
If you look at the list of COT accounts on ConservativesOnTelegram.com you’ll also find a lot of speakers who appeared at the Stop The Steal “Wild Protest” the day before and the day of the Capitol attack.
Stop The Steal is ran by Ali Alexander of course, and here’s a video of X Strategies co-founder Alex Bruesewitz saying he worked with Ali to promote Stop The Steal events. Link to video on Twitter.
I don’t know when Greene connected to X Strategies, but Lauren Boebert might. Boebert follows 105 people on Insta, but COT members account for over 20% of them. Her list includes COT people Greene follows and others. She also follows people mentioned in that MotherJones article.
Madison Cawthorn is also listed on COT, but he doesn’t run his account. Unlike Greene and Boebert, Cawthorn only follows six Instagram accounts associated with Conservatives On Telegram. That’s why it’s taking COT longer to bring him on board. He’s not in this larger network yet.
I don’t know the brains of this operation. But here’s what I believe: There is a network of far-right operatives trying to radicalize us (proven). The Mercers (Parler), Bongino, xStrat, TPUSA, Ali Alexander, Greene, Boebert, Hawley, and Trumps are all in the mix.
This theory might sound ridiculous, but it’s just adding names to the list we already have of people intent on reshaping U.S. politics. Others we know are Stone, Bannon, Manafort. The people mentioned in this thread aren’t the string pullers. They’re players on a global field.
1: Keep a close eye on the Conservatives On Telegram site. I expect that list to get much bigger over the next month or two.
2: Someone needs to track what they post on Telegram. If we ignore the echo chamber like we did with Parler, we won’t see what’s coming.
P.S.1 – I think this network is finding (and funding) relatable radicals to run for office. You can’t tell me Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, two of the least educated and most controversial people in Congress now, just decided to run for office and magically won.
P.S.3 – The AZ GOP that continues to embrace “Q” slogans is tied to TPUSA. But the ties to ALEC are exactly what I would expect. Look where else ALEC pops up: https://trumpfile.org/tag/alec . CNP/ALEC have the same goals as this network.
This wasn’t in my Twitter thread, but here’s every Conservatives On Telegram member that Marjorie Taylor Greene follows on Instagram: