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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.

Biden's Day 1 challenges: Systemic racism

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Kirsty O'Connor (PA Images)/Getty Images

Advocates are pushing President-elect Biden to tackle systemic racism with a Day 1 agenda that includes ending the detention of migrant children and expanding DACA, announcing a Justice Department investigation of rogue police departments and returning some public lands to Indigenous tribes.

Why it matters: Biden has said the fight against systemic racism will be one of the top goals of his presidency — but the expectations may be so high that he won't be able to meet them.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Most Americans are still vulnerable to the coronavirus

Adapted from Bajema, et al., 2020, "Estimated SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence in the US as of September 2020"; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

As of September, the vast majority of Americans did not have coronavirus antibodies, according to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Why it matters: As the coronavirus spreads rapidly throughout most of the country, most people remain vulnerable to it.