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GOP leaders refuse to condemn QAnon as its supporters run for office

Not one Republican senator or House leader has spoken out against the dangerous movement.

By Josh Israel - August 18, 2020
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, right, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

A GOP congressman urged GOP leaders to denounce the dangerous QAnon conspiracy movement over the weekend. None have, thus far.

After QAnon fan Marjorie Taylor Greene won the party’s nomination last Tuesday for a U.S. House seat in Georgia, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) postedvideo online Sunday morning, urging fellow Republicans to speak up about the extremist movement.

“The president hasn’t fully denounced it or denounced it at all,” Kinzinger noted. “Now it’s time for leaders to come out and denounce it.”

“Qanon is a fabrication,” Kinzinger had tweeted last week, noting that it “Could be Russian propaganda or a basement dweller. Regardless, no place in Congress for these conspiracies.”

The dangerous and debunked QAnon movement embraces a series of far right-wing conspiracy theories involving Donald Trump battling a large group of Satanic pedophiles who control the “deep state” Washington establishment. The FBI has labeled QAnon a domestic terrorism threat.

Dozens of other Republican candidates across the country have also expressed support for QAnon.

While some in the GOP denounced Greene prior to her runoff over her blatantly racist, anti-Semitic, and Islamophobic views, the party has been mostly silent on her QAnon ties and has widely embraced her since her victory.

Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday that Greene was a “future Republican star” and “a real WINNER!”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office said he and Greene enjoy “a good and productive relationship” and that he will give her seats on House committees if she wins her general election.

Greene is expected to win in the deeply red Georgia 14th Congressional District.

Asked directly about the QAnon movement on Friday, Trump twice dodged the question, instead praising Greene for having done “very well in the election” and for coming “from a great state.”

The American Independent Foundation reached out to every Senate Republican on Monday to ask if they agreed with Kinzinger and whether they had made any statement denouncing QAnon. Not one of the 53 offices responded affirmatively to either question.

The offices of McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, and House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney did not immediately respond to similar inquiries on Tuesday morning.

So far, one congressional Republican has followed Kinzinger’s advice. Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA), who lost renomination last month to a far-right primary challenger, tweeted on Sunday afternoon that “Qanon has the same number of letters as Moron” and is an enemy “to intelligence and common sense.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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