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McEnany says Trump does not support QAnon following president’s first comment about conspiracy group

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McEnany says Trump does not support QAnon following president's first comment about conspiracy group

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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.

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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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