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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

Go deeper

Nov 12, 2020 - Technology

Election reality fails to pop GOP's online filter bubble

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Trump administration's fight to question the election's outcome is providing a massive field test of the effectiveness of online echo chambers and filter bubbles.

The state of play: So far, the evidence from the Trump universe shows partisan delusion winning out over objective reality.

Updated 5 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 7 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.