Mitt Romney calls Trump’s refusal to denounce QAnon ‘absurd and dangerous’

'You're the president. You're not like someone's crazy uncle who can retweet whatever,' NBC’s Savannah Guthrie told president

John T. Bennett
Washington Bureau Chief
Friday 16 October 2020 18:44 BST
Comments
Trump refuses to condemn QAnon saying they care very strongly about paedophilia

Republican Senator Mitt Romney is calling Donald Trump’s refusal to denounce the QAnon conspiracy theory “absurd and dangerous,” continuing his willingness to be the lone GOP lawmaker to publicly criticise the president.  

“The president’s unwillingness to denounce an absurd and dangerous conspiracy theory last night continues an alarming pattern: politicians and parties refuse to forcefully and convincingly repudiate groups like Antifa, white supremacists, and conspiracy peddlers,” the Utah Republican said in a statement posted on Twitter.

“Similarly troubling is their silence regarding anti-vaxxers, militias, and anarchists. Rather than expel the rabid fringes and the extremes, they have coddled or adopted them, eagerly trading their principles for the hope of electoral victories,” he added. “As the parties rush down a rabbit hole, they may be opening a door to a political movement that could eventually eclipse them both.”

Mr Romney was the lone Republican senator earlier this year to vote to remove the GOP president from office over his ask of Ukraine’s president to announce an investigation of now-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden over the son’s business dealings in the Eastern European country.

He was responding to comments Mr Trump made – and one he did not – during a Thursday night town hall with NBC News during which he repeatedly jousted with moderator Savannah Guthrie.

"I know nothing about QAnon," Mr Trump said when she asked him about the conspiracy theory and its followers, who believe a cabal of politicians and celebrities work together and with governments around the globe to sexually abuse children and worship Satan. They also believe there is a “deep state” plot to oust Mr Trump, and that he is working hard to terminate their pedophilic ways.

"I just told you," Ms Guthrie responded.

"What you tell me doesn't necessarily make it fact," the president shot back.

"I know nothing about it," Mr Trump claimed. "That was a retweet – that was an opinion of somebody. And that was a retweet. I'll put it out there. People can decide for themselves."

The NBC News anchor was not impressed: "I don't get that. You're the president. You're not like someone's crazy uncle who can retweet whatever."

But Mr Trump did not denounce the group on Thursday night, despite her efforts

In August, Mr Trump said this when asked by White House reporters about the group and his relationship to QAnon: "I don't know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate. … I have heard that it's gaining in popularity.”

"I've heard these are people that love our country,” he said then and added, referring to continued violence in cities including Portland, Oregon, “and they just don't like seeing it."

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in