Vice President Mike Pence dismissed the QAnon conspiracy theory Friday and said he knew nothing about it after other top Republicans disavowed it as having no place in the party.
“I don’t know anything about that conspiracy theory. I don’t know anything about QAnon, and I dismiss it out of hand,” Mr. Pence said during an interview aired on “CBS This Morning.”
“I don’t have any time for it, and I don’t know anything about it,” Mr. Pence echoed on CNN’s “New Day” program.
The vice president’s comments dismissing QAnon easily made himself the most powerful Republican in elected office thus far to reject the conspiracy theory in recent days.
But they also fell short of the more critical remarks about QAnon made by other leading Republicans this week after President Trump offered praise for its proponents Wednesday.
Pressed about QAnon by a reporter, Mr. Trump declined to denounce the far-right conspiracy theory and instead expressed his appreciation to its believers for supporting his presidency.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill were subsequently quick to forcefully denounce QAnon afterward, including notably several leading members of Mr. Trump’s own party.
“QAnon is dangerous lunacy that should have no place in American politics,” House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming said in a statement Thursday.
“There is no place for QAnon in the Republican Party,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said on Fox News that night. “I do not support it,” he added.
Adherents of QAnon believe an anonymous government official known as “Q” has been posting classified information online about a supposed plot against Mr. Trump.
The theory also purports the president is saving the world from a satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals, which Mr. Trump did not reject when asked about it this week.
“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,” he said Wednesday. “And we are, actually. We’re saving the world from a radical-left philosophy that will destroy this country.”
A bulletin issued by an FBI field office in 2019 described QAnon proponents as possible domestic terrorism threats and cautioned some may be driven to carry out violent acts.