House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney denounced the baseless, far-right QAnon conspiracy theory Thursday after President Trump embraced its proponents the day before.
“QAnon is dangerous lunacy that should have no place in American politics,” said Ms. Cheney, Wyoming Republican and third-ranking member of the GOP in the House of Representatives.
Ms. Cheney’s unequivocal condemnation of QAnon, first reported by Politico, made her the highest-ranking Republican on Capitol Hill so far to reject the fringe conspiracy theory.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska were among the first elected Republicans in Congress to slam QAnon after Mr. Trump gave its believers his blessing.
Asked about QAnon during a White House press briefing Wednesday, Mr. Trump said he appreciates the support its proponents have for his presidency but does not know much about it.
Mr. Trump later failed to denounce QAnon when a reporter informed him its followers believe he is personally saving the world from a “satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals.”
“I haven’t heard that. But is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing? I mean, you know, if I can help save the world from problems, I’m willing to do it,” Mr. Trump.
“And we are, actually. We’re saving the world from a radical-left philosophy that will destroy this country,” Mr. Trump said at the press conference Wednesday.
Florida Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and longtime Republican consultant Karl Rove were among the first prominent members of the GOP criticize Mr. Trump’s remarks Wednesday about QAnon.
“Why in the world would the President not kick Q’anon supporters’ butts?” Mr. Bush asked on Twitter. “Nut jobs, racists, haters have no place in either Party.”
“Disavow them, get done with it,” Mr. Rove said on Fox News.
Mr. Kinzinger, who has served in the Air Force since 2003 and Congress since 2011, said on Twitter that QAnon is “Complete BS,” added whoever started it wants to “mislead and destroy” the nation.
“QAnon is nuts — and real leaders call conspiracy theories conspiracy theories,” Mr. Sasse said Thursday, The Washington Post reported. “If Democrats take the Senate, blow up the filibuster, and pack the Supreme Court — garbage like this will be a big part of why they won.”
The White House did not immediately return a message seeking the administration’s reaction to remarks made by the Republican lawmakers.
An intelligence bulletin issued by an FBI field office in May 2019 about “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists” warned in part about QAnon.
More recently, Facebook removed hundreds of QAnon-related groups from its social network Wednesday under its policy against dangerous individuals and organizations.
Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.