Oct 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

GOP lawmaker: Republican appeals to QAnon supporters show "we've lost our way"

Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) believes that the Republican Party's endorsement of a candidate who supports the QAnon conspiracy theory and its misinformation shows the GOP has "lost our way," he told NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday.

Driving the news: Marjorie Taylor Greene — a Republican nominee for Georgia's 14th Congressional District who had previously expressed support for QAnon, before distancing herself from it in August — received $5,000 from the National Republican Congressional Committee on Sept. 25 as a formal endorsement of her campaign, the Daily Beast first reported.

What he's saying: "So I might as well just piss everybody off, Chuck. So I think if we're doing this, if we're looking at the spread of misinformation as part of something just to pander to a certain subset of voters, I think we've lost our way," Riggleman said on "Meet the Press" after being asked about the message the endorsement of Greene sends.

  • Riggleman underlined his support for Republican ideas and "a lot of what President Trump has done," but he added that "when we start to actually represent as a party that's part of this anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that believes there's some kind of pedophilic cabal on the Democratic side of the House, I think we're in for a rough ride."
  • Pointing to his background as a former intelligence officer, Riggleman said, "I guess I scratch my head ... cause what are we doing here? Like I said before, these are people that believe 'Lord of the Rings' is a documentary, and the fact that we're trying to appeal to them is just ridiculous to me."

Between the lines: President Trump has repeatedly refused to condemn QAnon.

  • Trump said during NBC's 2020 town hall event that he did not know much about the far-right conspiracy theory, despite the FBI labeling it as a domestic terrorist threat in 2019.
  • Several QAnon supporters are running for Congress.

Go deeper: QAnon conspiracy theory explodes ahead of the election

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Greene said in an August interview that her previous support for QAnon "no longer represents" her.

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