An unlikely partnership between a QAnon influencer and a Washington, D.C. diner popular with lawmakers has ended in chaos, with the diner’s owner claiming she’s owed $10,000 and the conspiracy theorist wanted for arrest in two states on unrelated charges.
QAnon promoter Richard Potcner’s relationship with Pete’s Diner owner Gum Tong started in late January, when Potcner claimed in a video posted to social media platform Telegram that he had established an “open tab” at the diner. Potcner urged National Guard soldiers guarding the Capitol in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riot to order meals on his tab at the Capitol Hill diner, once a frequent breakfast spot for former Speaker of the House John Boehner.
As the bills piled up, Potcner asked his 200,000 Telegram followers to send him money so he could pay Tong for the meals. For months after that, Potcner posted videos of himself settling his tab with donated money from his fans. When Potcner’s tab would run out, Tong would continue to serve the meals, only to be paid back later by Potcner.