Aug 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

GOP Sen. Ben Sasse slams Trump's praise for QAnon supporters

Ben Sasse.

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) criticized President Trump's embrace of QAnon supporters, telling the Washington Post on Thursday that "real leaders" would denounce the "nuts" conspiracy theory.

Driving the news: Sasse's statement came a day after Trump said he does not know much about QAnon, but that he understands its supporters "like me very much" and that they "love America."

What he's saying: "QAnon is nuts — and real leaders call conspiracy theories conspiracy theories," Sasse, who has not shied away from criticizing Trump in the past, said in a statement to the Post.

  • "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," he added.

Why it matters: Few Republicans have been outspoken against QAnon, which falsely claims that Trump is saving the U.S. from a powerful cabal of sex traffickers within the "deep state."

  • The president also recently congratulated Marjorie Taylor Greene, a vocal QAnon conspiracy theorist, for winning a congressional GOP primary runoff election in Georgia.
  • At least 11 GOP candidates for Congress have openly supported or defended the QAnon movement or some of its tenets.

Worth noting: Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Jeb Bush, the former Republican governor of Florida, joined Sasse in blasting Trump for his remarks on QAnon.

Go deeper: How QAnon works like a video game to hook people

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