Two prominent Republicans called on Donald Trump to denounce the QAnon conspiracy theory after he appeared to offer praise for people who believe it and support him.
“I’ve heard these are people that love our country. So I don’t know really anything about it other than they do supposedly like me,” Trump said of QAnon believers.
Trump is asked to shed light on his thoughts about about the lunatic QAnon conspiracy theory. Instead of denouncing it, he says, “I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate.”
“I’ve heard these are people who love our country,” he adds, coming close to an endorsement pic.twitter.com/gcvHvuqzIa
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 19, 2020
“I’ve heard these are people who love our country,” he said.
Former Florida Governor and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush expressed dismay at Trump’s refusal to denounce the movement on Twitter.
“Why in the world would the President not kick Q’anon supporters’ butts?” Bush tweeted.
“Nut jobs, rascists, haters have no place in either Party.”
Karl Rove, once a prominent Republican operative and still considered something of a party grandee, also criticized the President’s decision on Fox News.
“Big mistake. This is a group of nuts and kooks and he ought to disavow ’em. It’s just ridiculous. Disavow ’em, get done with it,” Rove said.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media