Jan 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden's pick for intel chief commits to public assessment of QAnon threat

Avril Haines, President-elect Biden's nominee for director of national intelligence, pledged at her Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday to conduct a public assessment of the threat of the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory.

Why it matters: Many members of the pro-Trump mob involved in the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol siege were seen sporting symbols referencing QAnon, a sprawling and baseless conspiracy theory that purports that President Trump is fighting a vast deep-state cabal of pedophiles.

  • The FBI has labeled fringe conspiracies like QAnon as potential domestic terror threats.

Driving the news: Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) asked Haines at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee whether she would commit to the assessment, which he first requested from the Trump administration in December.

  • Haines said she will "work with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security" to produce a report. The former Obama administration official indicated she would also assess how foreign influence operations have exacerbated the spread of QAnon.

Go deeper: The Capitol siege's QAnon roots

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