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QAnon promoter Richard Potcner 'stiffed DC diner owner with $10k bill' after offering to pay for National Guard soldiers' meals and urging his 214,000 Telegram followers to donate to the cause

 A promoter of the QAnon conspiracy theory allegedly stiffed a Washington, DC diner owner with a $10,000 bill after offering to pay for meals for National Guard troops protecting the Capitol and asking his supporters to donate to the cause.  

Gum Tong, the owner of Pete’s Diner, an eatery that has long been popular with members of Congress, says she’s owed the massive sum by Richard Potcner, the conspiracy theorist who is also reportedly wanted in two states for unrelated crimes.

Potcner announced that he'd opened a tab at the diner in a video posted to Telegram, an encrypted messaging app popular with far-right conspiracy theorists, after hundreds of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol on January 6. 


In the video shared with his 214,000 followers, Potcner encouraged National Guard soldiers standing watch over the building to stop by Pete's and put their meals on his tab, The Daily Beast reported on Wednesday. 

Richard Potcner
Gum Tong

Richard Potcner (left), a promoter of the QAnon conspiracy theory, reportedly stiffed a Washington, DC diner owner with a $10,000 bill after he opened up a tab and asked his supporters to donate money to help feed National Guard troops protecting the Capitol. The image on the right shows the owner of Pete's Diner in DC, Gum Tong 

Gum Tong, the owner of Pete’s Diner, an eatery that has long been popular with members of Congress, says she’s owed money by Potcner, the conspiracy theorist who is also reportedly wanted in two states for unrelated crimes

Gum Tong, the owner of Pete’s Diner, an eatery that has long been popular with members of Congress, says she’s owed money by Potcner, the conspiracy theorist who is also reportedly wanted in two states for unrelated crimes

After Potcner denied the allegation on the social media app Telegram, where he was more than 214,000 followers, Tong said her restaurant has been inundated with angry phone calls from his supporters. Local police have urged Tong to file a report about the harassment

After Potcner denied the allegation on the social media app Telegram, where he was more than 214,000 followers, Tong said her restaurant has been inundated with angry phone calls from his supporters. Local police have urged Tong to file a report about the harassment

A large contingent of National Guard soldiers set up a heavily fortified presence in and around the Capitol for Joe Biden’s inauguration. After Biden was sworn in as president, the troop presence has been gradually reduced.

As more and more troops took Potcner up on his offer to pay for meals at Pete's he began asking his Telegram followers to send him cash to help cover the growing tab.  


In the weeks and months that followed, Potcner posted several videos showing him settling the tab using funds that were donated by his supporters on Telegram.

Tong kept serving the meals to the National Guard troops even when the tab ran out - only for Potcner to pay it back.

Tong told The Daily Beast that one day Potcner didn’t show up at the restaurant to pay the tab - leaving her stuck with a $10,000 bill. 

She said her restaurant - which sits across the street from the Library of Congress - has been inundated with angry phone calls from Potcner's supporters after he denied the allegation in a recent Telegram video. 

Local police have urged Tong to file a report about the harassment. 

Potcner posted several videos and photos on his Telegram account showing his efforts to feed National Guard troops. Soldiers are seen above taking food prepared at Pete's Diner back in March

Potcner posted several videos and photos on his Telegram account showing his efforts to feed National Guard troops. Soldiers are seen above taking food prepared at Pete's Diner back in March

‘He got the money from the people,’ Tong said.

‘But we didn’t get the money from him.’

On his Telegram, Potcner accused Tong of not rewarding him with any free food or drink even after he brought in some $60,000 in donations that he gave to her.

On his Telegram account, Potcner addressed Tong's allegations.

'I ate at Pete’s on the 11th of April. I asked if there was any unpaid tabs for the troops,' Potcner wrote on his Telegram page.

;Gum’s answer to me then was, No. Now two weeks later it’s 10k?

'Gum has my number. She hasn’t contacted me. Most of the troops have left & the ones that are still here are rarely visible.

'We gave her $13k plus in March. I’d love to continue that mission if the troops were still here but again their presence is no longer a heavy one.

'There is much more to this story on Pete’s & at the time I didn't want to come forth with this information because I still trusted in Gum. I didn't want to believe anything negative about her.

'Let’s just say someone was caught red handed doubling dipping... this is the main reason we sought new restaurants. (Italian pizza, hoagies, etc).

'We were transitioning to new places & then the troops suddenly all but disappeared.

'After giving Pete’s (gum) 60k plus of your donations and my own personal money. Gum had me running to Costco, doing errands etc. Yet ask me if she ever gave me one free meal let alone one free coffee??

'I have shown plenty of evidence/proof of me paying Gum. Has Gum showed any proof that I owe her?'

Potcner denied claims that he owes the diner $10,000. He claims he was never given a free meal or coffee in exchange for the business that he brought to the diner

Potcner denied claims that he owes the diner $10,000. He claims he was never given a free meal or coffee in exchange for the business that he brought to the diner

Tong (above) told The Daily Beast that her diner has been inundated with angry phone calls from Potcner's followers on Telegram after she went public with her allegations

Tong (above) told The Daily Beast that her diner has been inundated with angry phone calls from Potcner's followers on Telegram after she went public with her allegations

Potcner may be saving his money for legal fees as he is wanted in Pennsylvania and Maryland for weapons possession and a violation of probation, respectively, according to The Daily Beast.

On his Telegram page, Potcner denies the allegations.

'There have been a lot of wild, unsubstantiated rumors flying around regarding my whereabouts,' he wrote.

'Don’t believe what you’ve heard. It’s no where near the vicinity of actual facts.'

Potcner claims that he has been told by his lawyer not to comment any further.

He has amassed a following of more than 214,000 subscribers on Telegram who watch his videos that he posts under the title ‘Richard Citizen Journalist.’

In the videos, Potcner films and photographs mundane places and sights in Washington, DC and then analyzes it to uncover clues as to how the country actually works.

Many of Potcner’s followers watch the videos to ‘decipher’ clues that will confirm beliefs held by those who believe in QAnon, namely that Trump will return to the presidency.

Last month, Potcner posted a video of flooding near the Jefferson Memorial in DC. The clip was viewed more than 150,000 times.

QAnon followers who posted comments in the comment section wrote that the flooding will crippled DC’s tunnel networks and kill Trump’s opponents.

'The rats will be flooded out of their underground and this tells me the children have been rescued,' according to one of Potcner's followers.

Potcner said he and his girlfriend, Tuli Depex, got the idea of helping out the National Guard troops shortly after the service members were deployed days after the January 6 insurrection.

Potcner, who attended the 'Stop the Steal' rally that day, believes the election was stolen but says he didn't go to the US Capitol as several Trump followers did that day.

'There is no doubt in my mind the election was stolen, it's a 100 per cent fact, I saw it,' Potcner told DailyMail.com in March. 

'President Trump won the election!'

He says he attended the rally on the National Mall but didn't go to the Capitol on January 6.

But Potcner said politics has nothing to do for his desire to feed and help out the troops. 

'I saw the troops guarding the US Capital and being a veteran I wanted to do something to help them out.'

The former salesman who has been unemployed since last March because of the pandemic went out and bought several hundred dollars' worth of gift cards to pass out to the troops soon after their deployment to DC. 

National Guard soldiers have been deployed to Washington, DC since January 6 to protect the US Capitol and surrounding areas nearby. National Guard troops are seen above on April 28, when President Joe Biden gave his first address to a joint session of Congress

National Guard soldiers have been deployed to Washington, DC since January 6 to protect the US Capitol and surrounding areas nearby. National Guard troops are seen above on April 28, when President Joe Biden gave his first address to a joint session of Congress

The National Guard was called in after the January 6 MAGA riot at the US Capitol staged by supporters of then-President Donald Trump

The National Guard was called in after the January 6 MAGA riot at the US Capitol staged by supporters of then-President Donald Trump

'We stopped into Pete's diner to grab a cup of coffee and struck up a conversation with Gum,' said Potcner.

Pete's Diner is a DC institution which has been around for the past 50 years. Tong, 56, bought the diner 21 years ago.

It's been a favorite haunt of Washington politicos, with former speaker of the House John Boehner being known to frequent the diner.

'We then started passing out coffee and donuts to some of the soldiers and it just grew from there,' added Potcner.

'I then made up a business card and passed it out to the troops that said, 'Open Check For Troops at Pete's Diner.'  

Potcner's followers, or 'fellow patriots' as he refers to them as, on his Telegram account send him money to pay for the meals for the troops and other items.

'It's to the point where Pete's Diner is now serving about 400 meals per day to the troops. That's a lot of work for a small diner,' Potcner said back in March.

Potcner says he's 'not making a dime off of the donations' and says he'll keep doing this as long as he can pay for their meals.

He claims to have 'maxed' out his personal credit cards and have paid for some of the meals and gift cards out of his own pocket. He said he's doing it because he loves the troops.

'I'll continue feeding the troops and passing out the items my followers send it for as long as I can,' added Potcner.  

Potcner began gaining a mass following in the initial months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Posing as an investigative journalist, Potcner traveled to various hospitals and filmed empty parking lots which he said proved that the pandemic was a hoax.

A video from September of last year shows Potcner barging through a restricted area in a hospital that was off limits to anyone but patients and medical staff. He is then hauled away by security.   

1 comment:

  1. Good cop/Bad cop. They are PLAYING you yet again so you'll cheer on the RETURN of TRUMP and his WAR on Iran for our ENEMY Israel. Epstein GUILTY zioTrumpy and Q didnt save ya! in fact Trump INSTALLED Sessions, Barr and Wray when WE all KNEW what deep state GARBAGE THEY WERE AND ARE! Some 4D CHESS PLAYER. Dont fall for it AGAIN.. Trump serves our ENEMY in Tel Aviv that DID 911, Epstein and ISIS NOT US!Sadly Epstein Trump is the SAME SWAMP we've always had. Neither Barr nor Durham even INVESTIGATED according to Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch.

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