QAnon has infiltrated the Republican Party’s base, but these lawmakers are reluctant to denounce the fringe conspiracy theory and its supporters

Jim Jordan Donald Trump

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QAnon has been labeled a potential terrorism threat by the FBI and is linked to violent incidents across the country, but many Republican members of Congress that Insider interviewed this week would not outrightly disavow it or call for a stronger condemnation by the party’s leadership. 

Only a handful of elected Republicans have voiced concern about the wild conspiracy theory that has infiltrated the party’s base.

Of the more than a dozen Republican lawmakers that Insider talked to, only one — Rep. Peter King of New York — expressly denounced QAnon and its adherents. 

The absence of a strong and unified stand in the GOP against QAnon raises questions of how seriously the party is willing to take a dangerous conspiracy theory animating a part of its base. It also suggests that some Republican lawmakers have little appetite, with fewer than 50 days before Election Day, for alienating their party’s most extreme right-wing voters.

In interviews with Insider on Capitol Hill this week, some Republicans claimed ignorance even though QAnon has received significant media coverage since at least 2018. A resolution denouncing QAnon is pending in Congress, and even President Donald Trump has commented on it.

Other members expressed skepticism about QAnon’s seriousness. At least three lawmakers deflected, saying instead they’d like to see stronger condemnation of racial justice protesters and the Black Lives Matter movement’s call to “defund the police,” a rallying cry for reforms in American law enforcement. 

Those who did criticize QAnon demurred when asked if House Republicans should take a stand against QAon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican congressional candidate who is all but assured of winning in November after her Democratic opponent suddenly dropped out last week.

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Arizona Rep. Debbie Lesko, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said she hasn’t “spent time looking into” QAnon.

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a close ally of Trump, downplayed it.

“I didn’t know anything until y’all started talking about it and I haven’t taken the time to research it,” Jordan told Insider. “I don’t think it’s a big deal.”

Trump himself has acknowledged QAnon supporters as people who “like me, which I appreciate.” 

And the National Republican Congressional Committee, which works to elect GOP lawmakers, is issuing talking points similar to QAnon’s — such as accusations of pedophilia — to attack Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and other Democrats. 

A possible terror threat

QAnon adherents broadly believe that a satanic, cannibalistic pedophile ring has infiltrated the upper ranks of the Democratic Party and societal elite and that Trump will soon purge them with mass arrests. 

A recent trend of the conspiracy theory alleges widespread child sex trafficking, and believers have co-opted the hashtag #savethechildren to push this ideology. Supporters have organized rallies across the country throughout this summer and have made dozens of donations to Trump’s campaign and to the Republican Party.

The FBI last year warned of QAnon as a domestic terror threat as the conspiracy spread through major social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, as well as less mainstream corners …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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