House approves measure condemning QAnon, but 17 Republicans vote against it

The House passed a bipartisan resolution condemning the sprawling QAnon conspiracy theory, though 17 Republican lawmakers voted against the measure in the 371-18 vote.



a man standing in front of a crowd: House approves measure condemning QAnon, but 17 Republicans vote against it


© Getty Images
House approves measure condemning QAnon, but 17 Republicans vote against it

The GOP lawmakers voting “no” were Reps. Jodey Arrington (Texas), Brian Babin (Texas), Rob Bishop (Utah), Mo Brooks (Ala.), Michael Burgess (Texas), Buddy Carter (Ga.), Warren Davidson (Ohio), Jeff Duncan (S.C.), Drew Ferguson (Ga.), Bill Flores (Texas), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Steve King (Iowa), Mike Kelly (Pa.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Scott Perry (Pa.), Thomas Tiffany (Wis.) and Daniel Webster (Fla.).

Rep. Justin Amash (L-Mich.), who used to be a Republican, also voted against the resolution.

Another GOP lawmaker, Rep. Andy Harris (Md.), voted present.

President Trump has not condemned the QAnon conspiracy, which revolves around the baseless theory that Trump and his allies are working to expose a cabal of Democrats, media figures and celebrities who are running an international child trafficking ring.

As unhinged as the conspiracy is, it has gained steam in conservative circles and several Republicans running for the House this year have backed the theory, including Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who is expected to win her general election race this November.

Greene has been praised effusively by Trump and backed by Republican leadership despite her supportive comments about QAnon and a history of racist and anti-Semitic comments.

The measure condemning QAnon was sponsored by Reps. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) and Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.).

“QAnon and other conspiracy theories and movements that dehumanize people or political groups, incite violence or violent threats and destroy faith and trust in our democratic institutions must be identified, condemned and exposed through facts,” Riggleman told The Hill.

“The First Amendment is a powerful weapon. Turning that weapon on those who use fantasies as a menacing grift is the responsibility of reasonable citizens, legislators and executives.”

The QAnon theory is considered a serious threat, and has been tied to multiple instances of criminal activity.

Besides Greene, several other House GOP candidates have also expressed openness to the QAnon theory, including Lauren Boebert in Colorado, Burgess Owens in Utah, Mike Cargile and Erin Cruz in California, and Illinois’s Theresa Raborn.

The Freedom Caucus-affiliated House Freedom Fund, for example, has endorsed and directed funding toward Greene, Boebert and Owens.

Greene and Boebert have both attempted to distance themselves from the theory since winning their primaries. Experts studying QAnon have said while those walk-backs are expected, they’ll do little to convince the theory’s adherents that the candidates aren’t on their side.

While most Republicans have clearly condemned the theory, they have also sought to distract from it by pointing to allegations of violence by left-wing activists.

An amendment offered by Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) to include language in the measure condemning violence committed by antifa was voted down in the House Rules Committee.

Antifa, short for anti-fascist, refers to a loose collection of primarily leftist activists. The movement has been a preferred target of Trump as the

Read more

U.S. House condemns ‘QAnon’ conspiracy theory; 17 Republicans vote no

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday voted to condemn the online pro-Trump conspiracy theory known as “QAnon,” but 17 Republicans opposed the non-binding resolution, whose sponsor Democrat Representative Tom Malinowski said he has received death threats.



a large clock tower in front of United States Capitol: The U.S. Capitol building dome is seen in Washington


© Reuters/ERIN SCOTT
The U.S. Capitol building dome is seen in Washington

The House voted 371-18 to reject the conspiracy theory, which posits President Donald Trump has been working to take down a global child sex ring. As many as a dozen Republican candidates for Congress have voiced some support for the theory, and at least one of them appears to be a on a path to victory.

“The grotesque nature of the tweets and Instagram posts and the anti-Semitic tripe spewed by QAnon adherents should cause concern for everyone,” Representative Denver Riggleman, a Republican co-sponsor of the resolution, said on the House floor.

“But the death threats Tom Malinowski received were at surprise and a shock,” Riggleman said. “This type of behavior is easily condemned.”

Seventeen Republicans lawmakers and independent Representative Justin Amash voted against the resolution. Another Republican voted present, and forty lawmakers, most of them Republicans, did not vote.

Writing on Twitter, Amash said the resolution threatened protected speech – and may make things worse. “These are conspiracy theorists who believe in a deep state that’s fighting against them,” he wrote.

Republican candidates who have voiced some measure of support for the QAnon theory include Georgia businesswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, on track for a House seat after her Democratic opponent dropped out, and Jo Rae Perkins, who is running for Senate in Oregon against incumbent Senator Jeff Merkley. He is expected to win.

The theory claims without evidence that “deep-state” traitors, child sex predators and prominent Democrats are plotting against Trump, who in turn is leading a plot against them. The FBI included QAnon last year in a warning about “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists.”

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

Continue Reading

Source Article

Read more

House votes to condemn baseless QAnon conspiracy theory

Seventeen Republicans and one independent opposed the resolution.

Adherents of QAnon believe President Trump is battling a cabal of “deep state” saboteurs who worship Satan and traffic children for sex. In August, Trump gave a major boost to the baseless theory, saying that he appreciated the support of its followers, calling them “people that love our country.”

Malinowski said he has faced attacks online from QAnon supporters and received threats after the National Republican Congressional Committee ran an ad that falsely said Malinowski tried to block a provision in a 2006 crime bill that would have expanded registration requirements for sex offenders.

Malinowski, a freshman who worked on national security issues in the Clinton and Obama administrations, was the director of Human Rights Watch from 2001-2013.

“If you’ve seen extra vitriol on my social media, here’s why: the “Q” persona dropped a statement targeting me, citing the discredited NRCC (GOP SuperPAC) attacks on me & my resolution condemning QAnon. My office has gotten 6 death threats since yesterday,” Malinowski tweeted earlier this week.

Speaking on the House floor Friday, Malinowski warned of the threat of QAnon.

“Conspiracy theories, just like this one, have fueled prejudice, terrorism, even genocide and today, social media is fanning the flames,” he said.

The resolution “condemns QAnon and rejects the conspiracy theories it promotes,” while encouraging the FBI and law enforcement to focus on preventing violence, threats and harassment by extremists motivated by fringe political conspiracy theories. The measure also outlines a vision unlikely to be fulfilled — urging Americans, regardless of their political leanings, to seek information from authoritative sources and debate from a “common factual foundation.”

In his remarks, Malinowski alluded to the political gains of QAnon adherents.

Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has endorsed the baseless theory and made several other racist remarks on video, won a GOP primary runoff in Georgia’s heavily Republican 14th Congressional District in August, and has a clear path to becoming QAnon’s first devotee in Congress. Last month, her Democratic rival in the GOP-leaning district dropped out of the race, citing personal reasons.

Malinowski condemned other conspiracy theories. He added: “Only one of these threats is considered a terrorist threat by the FBI. Only one is winning elections.”

Source Article

Read more

House Republicans won’t expressly reject the QAnon conspiracy theory

  • Insider spoke with a dozen House Republicans about QAnon, a conspiracy theory that alleges a cannibalistic child-sex-trafficking cult has taken over the Democratic Party and global elites. Most of them would not denounce it.
  • The absence of a strong and unified stand in the GOP against QAnon suggests that Republicans have little appetite for alienating their party’s most extreme voters, with fewer than 50 days before Election Day.
  • A supporter of the outrageous conspiracy theory that has taken root in the Republican Party, Marjorie Taylor Greene, is favored to win a Georgia congressional seat in the November elections. House GOP leaders are ready to welcome her.
  • “I don’t think it’s a big deal,” said Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a close ally of President Donald Trump who has embraced QAnon supporters. Other Republican lawmakers deflected, saying they’d instead like to see a stronger condemnation for Black Lives Matter activists protesting police brutality.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

QAnon has been labeled a terrorism threat by the FBI and is linked to violent incidents across the country, but many Republican members of Congress Insider interviewed this week would not outright disavow it or call for a stronger condemnation by the party’s leadership. 

Only a handful of elected Republicans have voiced concern about the wild conspiracy theory that has infiltrated the party’s base.

Of the more than a dozen Republican lawmakers Insider talked to, only one — Rep. Peter King of New York — expressly denounced QAnon and its adherents. 

The absence of a strong and unified stand in the GOP against QAnon raises questions of how seriously the party is willing to take a dangerous conspiracy theory animating a part of its base. It also suggests that some Republican lawmakers have little appetite, with fewer than 50 days before Election Day, for alienating their party’s most extreme voters.

In interviews with Insider on Capitol Hill this week, some Republicans claimed ignorance, even though QAnon has received significant media coverage since at least 2018. A resolution denouncing QAnon is pending in Congress, and even President Donald Trump has commented on it.

Other members expressed skepticism about QAnon’s seriousness. At least three lawmakers deflected, saying they’d instead like to see stronger condemnation of racial-justice protesters and the Black Lives Matter movement’s call to “defund the police,” a rallying cry for reforms in American law enforcement. 

Those who did criticize QAnon demurred when asked if House Republicans should take a stand against the QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican congressional candidate who is all but certain to win in November after her Democratic opponent suddenly dropped out last week.

Arizona Rep. Debbie Lesko, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said she hadn’t “spent time looking into” QAnon.

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a close ally of Trump, downplayed it.

“I didn’t know anything until y’all started talking about it, and I haven’t taken the time to research it,” Jordan told Insider. “I don’t think it’s a big deal.”

Trump has

Read more

Democrat challenging QAnon conspiracist candidate in Georgia drops out

  • Kevin Van Ausdal, the Democrat candidate in the race for Georgia’s 14th congressional district, announced on Friday he was dropping out of the race and moving out of the state.
  • Van Ausdal was running opposite the GOP candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene, the staunchly pro-Trump candidate who has expressed support for the baseless, far-right QAnon conspiracy theory. 
  • Greene, who won a runoff primary race last month, had already been expected to win the seat in a heavily Republican district.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Kevin Van Ausdal, the Democratic candidate running against controversial GOP candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene in Georgia’s 14th congressional district, suddenly dropped out of the House race on Friday.

“I am heartbroken to announce that for family and personal reasons, I cannot continue this race for Congress,” he said in a statement posted to Twitter. “After lengthy discussions with my team, attorneys, party officials, and others, the answer was clear, stepping aside would be best for the voters.

Van Ausal said he would be moving from Georgia, which would render him ineligible to run for the seat. He said he was resigning from the race so that the Democratic Party had “a chance to put forward a candidate that can carry this fight to the end.”  

“I will put every resource, every bit of knowledge into the campaign that comes behind me to defeat Marjorie and restore hope to the people of Northwest Georgia,” he said.

According to a Politico report, the Georgia Democratic Party asked Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to officially disqualify Van Ausdal from the ballot and to be allowed to name a replacement candidate, though it’s not clear if he will allow them to do so.

According to Georgia law, a vacancy stemming from the “withdrawal of a candidate less than 60 days prior to the date of the election shall not be filled,” as Politico noted.

Greene was already favored to win the race because the district leans strongly Republican. President Donald Trump won 75% of the vote there in 2016, Business Insider previously noted.

Greene, who in August won a runoff primary race to become the only Republican candidate in the race, has made headlines for controversial statements and her promotion of a baseless, far-right QAnon conspiracy theory that the world is run by a Satanic cabal of elites aiming to bring down Donald Trump and his presidency.

The QAnon the conspiracy theory, which originated on 4chan, is centered around an unknown online individual called “Q,” who claims to have a top-security security clearance, as Business Insider’s Sonam Sheth and Eliza Relman previously reported.

 

 

“Q is a patriot, we know that for sure, but we do not know who Q is,” Greene said in a 2017 video posted to social media. “I don’t know who Q is, but I’m just going to tell you about it because I think it’s something worth listening to

Read more