Working with the Alethea Group, CNN found evidence that the screenshot may have made its first appearance online when it circulated early Wednesday morning on a QAnon forum on the hate-filled platform 8Kun, a successor to 8chan. CNN has reached out to 8Kun for comment.
Cindy Otis, vice president of analysis at the Alethea Group, found a copy of the image posted to 8Kun shortly after 5:30am ET.
It is possible, Otis pointed out, that the image first circulated on private channels or even elsewhere on the open web prior to this. However, it is clear that anonymous accounts played a pivotal role in the early amplification of a false image that would later be used by President Trump.
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