- The Washington Times - Friday, October 16, 2020

President Trump refused to denounce QAnon during a town hall event Thursday and once again claimed ignorance of the far-right conspiracy theory movement recently condemned by other Republicans.

Facing questions from Savannah Guthrie, the town hall moderator and anchor of NBC’s “Today” show, Mr. Trump insisted he still knows little to nothing about QAnon and declined multiple opportunities to reject it.

Mr. Trump also pushed back repeatedly when told of specific beliefs held by proponents of QAnon, accused Ms. Guthrie of misunderstanding the movement and took issue with her asking him about it.

“It is this theory that Democrats are a satanic pedophile ring and that you are the savior, of that. Now can you just, once and for all, state that that is completely not true?” Ms. Guthrie asked.

“I know nothing about QAnon,” Mr. Trump replied. “I know very little. You told me, but what you tell me, doesn’t necessarily make it fact. I hate to say that. I know nothing about it.”

The discussion about QAnon continued for roughly two minutes and culminated in the president outright refusing to lay to rest one of the more extreme conspiracy theories believed by its proponents.

“I have no idea,” Mr. Trump answered in response to being asked if he is fighting a Satanic pedophile cult. “No, I don’t know that. And neither do you know that.”

The exchange happened nearly two months since Mr. Trump expressed his appreciation to QAnon proponents during a White House press conference and soon found himself at odds with fellow Republicans.

Indeed, Sen. Mitt Romney, Utah Republican, called out Mr. Trump Friday over his “unwillingness to denounce an absurd and dangerous conspiracy theory” during the previous night’s town hall event.

Democrats including House Permanent Select Committee in Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff of California were accordingly quick as well to slam Mr. Trump for not denouncing QAnon.

“This isn’t hard: QAnon is a crazy, dangerous, fringe conspiracy theory,” Mr. Schiff said on Twitter. “I denounce it. Trump refuses to say the same — simply because most of its followers support him. Worse, Trump amplifies QAnon, which can lead to real world consequences and violence. Enough already.”

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide