President Trump has never mentioned the far-right conspiracy movement QAnon and does not support the fringe group, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told “America’s Newsroom” Thursday.
When asked by host Sandra Smith if the president supports this conspiracy theory, McEnany replied: “No, what the president is doing is working for the American people.”
TRUMP ADDRESSES QANON CONSPIRACY THEORY FOR THE FIRST TIME: ‘I HEARD THAT THESE ARE PEOPLE THAT LOVE OUR COUNTRY’
McEnany said the media is the one focusing on the “so-called QAnon” group, described as a baseless belief that Trump is trying to save the world by waging a secret campaign against enemies in the “deep state” and a child sex trafficking ring run by global elites who are satanic pedophiles and cannibals.
“I’ve never heard the president mention it. I talk to him oftentimes 10 times a day. Not once have I heard him mention this group,” she said. “The media talks about and asks about it, but this president is focused on the pandemic that he’s navigating a historic response for, a V-shape recovery as the economy gets back to work.”
After Smith pressed her again, noting that Trump said he “heard about” the online conspiracy theorists and added “they are people that love our country,” McEnany replied that Trump was “talking about his supporters.”
WHAT IS QANON, THE CONSPIRACY THEORY GROUP SHOWING UP TO TRUMP RALLIES?
“He believes his supporters are good hard-working people that love this country,” she said. “He’s not in the business of ‘basket of deplorable’ politics. He doesn’t talk about QAnon. He doesn’t think about it.”
Smith asked if he wants the support of the group, to which McEnany said, “He has not at all looked into who QAnon is,” calling it “some group on the internet … that the media tends to focus on far more than we believe is merited.”
Trump’s comment drew quick condemnation from the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, which argued that the president is “giving voice to violence” and seeking to “legitimize a conspiracy theory.”
“Not only is our president refusing to take responsibility for his failed leadership that has cost over 170,000 American lives and tens of millions of jobs — he is again giving voice to violence,” Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement, saying, “Trump just sought to legitimize a conspiracy theory that the FBI has identified as a domestic terrorism threat.”
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Fox News contributor and former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said the president “would be better off denouncing QAnon. They’re a bunch of whackadoodles. Both parties have nutty fringe groups. The USA Does best when leaders in both parties keep the sentiments of those people on the fringes.”
Until Wednesday, the president had remained silent on the conspiracy — twice ignoring a question last week about whether he supports QAnon and in 2018 then-White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump “condemns and denounces any group that would incite violence against another individual.”
Forbes reports that Trump has retweeted four congressional candidates who promoted the conspiracy theory and the FBI released a memo last year warning the group’s followers could be conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists.
Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.