President Donald Trump told aides in private that he thought attorney Sidney Powell was “crazy,” but still promoted her to his legal team as he challenged some results of the presidential election, Axios reported.
“Sometimes you need a little crazy,” Trump reportedly told an official, according to Axios.
In her legal challenges to Biden’s win, Powell cited false claims linked to QAnon, a conspiracy-theory movement centered on the baseless notion that Trump is fighting a “deep state” cabal of pedophiles and human traffickers.
Powell didn’t immediately respond to messages from Insider seeking comment on the Axios report.
The Trump campaign cut ties with Powell on November 22, saying in a statement that the lawyer was “practicing law on her own” as she filed lawsuits to challenge Biden’s election win. The New York Times reported at the time that the distancing came after Powell accused Republican officials of manipulating voting machines.
Even Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, had previously sounded the alarm on Powell and her conspiratorial paranoia, Axios reported.
In one affidavit challenging Biden’s win, Powell included testimony from Ron Watkins, the former administrator of a message board where QAnon believers gather, called 8kun.
Watkins, who has become a major influencer in the QAnon world, helped popularize the voter-fraud conspiracy theories that made their way to Trump’s ears and encouraged his supporters to disavow Biden’s win.