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11 Republican congressional nominees support the QAnon conspiracy theory

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11 Republican congressional nominees support the QAnon conspiracy theory

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At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.

  • QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory that purports without proof that posts by an anonymous internet user from within the federal government are alluding to a secret war that the “deep state” is waging against President Trump.

Driving the news: At least two candidates were positioned to win seats in November.

Lauren Boebert, a first-time candidate, gun-rights activist and QAnon supporter, defeated five-term Rep. Scott Tipton in Colorado’s June 30 Republican primary for the 3rd congressional district. Trump had endorsed Tipton.

  • Boebert said in May she hopes QAnon “is real because it only means America is getting stronger and better and people are returning to conservative values,” which she supports.
  • In a statement, the National Republican Congressional Committee said that the district “is a Republican seat and will remain a Republican seat.”
  • Boebert told Axios she does not follow QAnon but is “glad the IG and the AG are investigating deep state activities that undermine the President.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene emerged from last month’s primary as the frontrunner heading into an August runoff for the Republican nomination for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, which is rated solidly Republican. She called Q a “patriot” in a 30-minute video in which she also professes the theory.

  • As Politico reported, House Republican leaders distanced themselves from Greene, who also has made Islamophobic, racist and anti-Semitic remarks.
  • After her rhetoric came under greater scrutiny, establishment Republicans have pushed to shift support to her runoff opponent, John Cowan, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Several other Republican congressional candidates with QAnon ties are running in solidly Democratic districts. Six of them bested competitors in contested primaries.

  • Angela Stanton-King, Georgia, 5th congressional district: On Instagram, Stanton-King posted a 12-minute video from a well-known QAnon promoter, who states “those who are corrupting our world” will be “permanently eradicated from the Earth.” Her primary was uncontested.
    • She received a pardon from President Trump on Feb. 18, for her 2004 conviction on federal conspiracy charges involving an auto theft ring, the AJC reports.
  • Mike Cargile, California, 35th congressional district: Cargile’s Twitter bio includes the “#WWG1WGA” hashtag, which stands for the QAnon motto Where We Go One We Go All. His primary was uncontested. Cargile told Axios: “Only a fool would look at the Washington landscape and conclude that the President has no enemies inside the beltway.”
  • Erin Cruz, California, 36th congressional district: Cruz told NBC News in 2019 that people who believe in the theory have “legitimate concerns.” She beat three other candidates for the nomination.
  • Alison Hayden, California, 15th congressional district: Hayden has promoted the theory on her campaign Twitter account and has repeatedly tweeted the QAnon-connected hashtag #GreatAwakening. She defeated five other candidates for the nomination.
  • Johnny Teague, Texas, 9th congressional district: On a campaign account which has since been deleted, Teague retweeted a video of QAnon supporters reciting an oath associated with the conspiracy theory, according to Media Matters. He defeated two other candidates for the nomination.
  • Rob Weber, Ohio, 9th congressional district: Weber tweeted congratulations to a Twitter user for being “17d,” a reference to the 17th letter of the alphabet, Q. He defeated three other candidates for the nomination.
  • Philanise White, Illinois, 1st congressional district: White has tweeted the #WWG1WGA hashtag on multiple occasions. She ran uncontested for the nomination.
  • Theresa Raborn, Illinois, 2nd congressional district: Raborn retweeted a video of former national security adviser Michael Flynn reciting an oath associated with the conspiracy theory, adding the #WWG1WGA hashtag. She ran unopposed for the nomination.
  • Billy Prempeh, New Jersey, 9th congressional district: Prempeh uploaded a photo of himself posing with a Q flag on his campaign Facebook page, adding the motto “Where We Go One We Go All. He beat one other candidate for the nomination.
  • Jo Rae Perkins, Oregon: The Republican U.S. Senate nominee recited the oath in a video posted on her campaign Twitter account. She beat three other candidates for the nomination. She told Axios that she believes QAnon is a news source that she uses for “connecting the dots” and “getting information that the mainstream media, generally, does not post.”

Of note: Buzz Patterson, who defeated three other candidates for the GOP’s nomination for California’s 7th Congressional District, tweeted “Yep!” in response to whether he supports the Q movement.

  • Patterson told Axios that he does not recall sending the tweet about the theory and does not “follow or endorse anything he/she/them say.”

Axios contacted each campaign and only received responses from Boebert, Cargile, Patterson and Perkins.

Between the lines: Trump has retweeted QAnon Twitter accounts on multiple occasions, while his son Eric Trump has promoted the theory in Instagram posts, Forbes reports.

  • A number of independent or write-in candidates who have supported the conspiracy theory will also appear on ballots in November.

Go deeper … The science of conspiracies: Where Flat Earth meets Pizzagate



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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories – KTVZ

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories - KTVZ

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Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York are calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to create a new bipartisan committee focused on election integrity and schedule hearings to reassure Americans over a process President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to undermine.

There is growing anxiety among Democrats, and some Republicans, that Trump will not only continue to sow doubt over the legitimacy of the coming election but throw the subsequent count into chaos by declaring victory before all the votes can be tallied, including the millions that will arrive by mail.

In a letter to McConnell, Sanders and Schumer quote back the Kentucky senator’s own words, in which he attested to the reliability of mail-in voting by citing its successes in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, which have been using the system for years.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of mail-in voting, promoted conspiracy theories questioning election security, called on supporters to act as unsanctioned “poll watchers,” and suggested that the absence of a clear result by the evening of November 3 would in some way cast doubt on the eventual outcome. Key allies in powerful positions, like Attorney General Bill Barr, have followed suit. Barr has persisted in puffing up a debunked claim that ballots received by mail would somehow strip the sender of their privacy — ignoring well-established safeguards.

By escalating the matter now, Sanders and Schumer are responding to growing concern, in partisan and nonpartisan spaces, that Americans are not adequately prepared for the potential of a longer-than-usual wait for results or Trump’s willingness to short-circuit the democratic process if he smells defeat.

“Democrats and Republicans in Congress must come together to ensure that we have a free and fair election where every vote is cast and counted without intimidation,” Sanders told CNN, “where no one has to put his or her health in danger to cast a ballot, and where we have full confidence in the results.”

The proposed hearings would invite a cross-section of election officials from across the country to testify to the security and reliability of mail-in, early- and in-person voting — subjects on which Sanders and Schumer, again, referenced McConnell’s own words.

“Despite the clear security of our vote-by-mail system, some have continued to undermine it with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud,” they wrote. “As you have correctly said, people ‘can vote early, you can vote on Election Day, or you can drop it in the mail,’ and that voters should ‘not worry about your vote not counting.’”

The minority leader and Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also want more detailed discussion about the fraught hours, or days, after the polls close and a real-time watch of the election horse race potentially swings from one candidate to another.

“We know a number of states may well be counting ballots for a period of time after Election Day, and that those votes may be determinative in this election,” the senators wrote to McConnell. “To avoid disinformation, conspiracy theories, and suspicion about results, we must understand the likely timeline for this process.”

The letter goes on to reference the recent war games-style preparations conducted by a group called the Transition Integrity Project, a bipartisan gathering of operatives and academics that made headlines when some of the outcomes of their exercises — including “both street-level violence and political impasse” — were reported on in late July.

“A bipartisan group of experts and officials have studied multiple scenarios where the outcome of the election was not immediately known. Some of these scenarios resulted in unrest and even violence,” Sanders and Schumer wrote, suggesting the Senate should elevate similar discussions and familiarize the public with the uncertainties ahead. “We would like to hear from the most knowledgeable people in the country as to how we can do everything possible to make sure that the election and the period afterward is secure and peaceful.”

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS supported Caputo, with a statement that called him a critical, integral part of the presidents coronavirus response, leading on public messaging as Americans need public health information to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no immediate statement from the White House.

Attempts to reach Caputo were unsuccessful.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called on Azar to fire Caputo, accusing the spokesman of trying to interfere with CDC reports to the medical and scientific community, as well as the public at large. And Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Azar himself to resign, citing interference with the CDC as one example of what he termed the administration’s failures.

Officials at CDC have privately complained of recent efforts by political appointees at main HHS to try to edit or press for changes in the agency’s weekly MMWR publications, a go-to resource for public health professionals.

MMWR articles are technical, but they reveal telling details. One published earlier this year noted that while Trump’s travel restrictions dramatically reduced travel from China in February, nothing was being done at that time to restrict travel from Italy and Europe, where the coronavirus was spreading widely and rapidly. Analysis of virus samples from hard-hit New York in March suggested it was introduced there from Europe and other parts of the U.S., the CDC article reported.

Caputo is an unswerving Trump loyalist. His recent book, The Ukraine Hoax, claims the presidents phony impeachment was rooted in a vast conspiracy.

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS…

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS...

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My RSS Feedunwinona:

This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS and Polio narrative (among others), only we’re seeing it escalated to weeks and months instead of years or decades.

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