Donald Trump refused to denounce the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory at his town hall on Thursday, instead praising the dangerous movement as people who “are very much against pedophilia.”
NBC host Savannah Guthrie pressed Trump on previous praise for QAnon believers as “people who love our country,” and asked him to disavow QAnon believers’ claims that the world is controlled by a cabal of Satanic pedophiles in the Democratic Party that he is on the verge of destroying.
“[C]an you,” Guthrie asked, “just once and for all state that that is completely not true and disavow QAnon in its entirety?”
Trump, who had just finished up complaining to Guthrie that he’s constantly being asked to disavow white supremacists, refused to disavow QAnon.
“I know nothing about it,” Trump said. “I do know they are very much against pedophilia, they fight it very hard.”
QAnon believers have been accused of a variety of crimes motivated by their beliefs, including murders, child abductions, and terrorism. The FBI considers QAnon a potential source of domestic terrorism. Social media networks have moved to block the conspiracy theory group, with YouTube launching a new purge of QAnon videos on Thursday.
Trump claimed throughout his response that he didn’t know about QAnon, and moved from there to criticize left-wing antifascist protesters instead.
“They believe in a Satanic cult run by the deep state,” Guthrie said of QAnon at one point.
“I’ll tell you what I do know about, I’ll tell you about antifa,” Trump replied.
Guthrie quoted Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) criticizing conspiracy theories, prompting Trump to complain that she would “waste the whole show” asking him to denounce QAnon.