Oct 16, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Romney: Trump's refusal to disavow QAnon is part of "alarming pattern" in politics

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said Friday that President Trump's refusal to condemn QAnon, a sprawling, far-right conspiracy theory, during an NBC town hall was indicative of an "alarming pattern" in today's politics.

The big picture: Romney's statement, which only specifically singled out the president, was similar to one he issued earlier this week — ultimately criticizing people across the political spectrum for their refusal "to forcefully and convincingly repudiate" divisive and conspiratorial groups.

What he's saying: "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."

  • "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. As the parties rush down a rabbit hole, they may be opening a door to a political movement that could eventually eclipse them both."

Catch up quick: QAnon falsely alleges a secret cabal of sex traffickers and pedophiles is waging a war against Trump from inside the government.

The backdrop: Trump has repeatedly claimed that he doesn't know much about QAnon, which was identified by the FBI as domestic terrorist threat in 2019, although he praised its supporters in August.

  • "I don't know anything about QAnon," he told NBC's Savannah Guthrie on Thursday.
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