Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) slammed President Trump’s remarks on Wednesday in which he seemed to encourage believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Followers of QAnon believe that the U.S. is run by a cabal of pedophiles and cannibals in the Democratic “deep state,” media, and Hollywood, and that Trump is saving the country from that cabal. Trump has congratulated Georgia businesswoman and QAnon believer Marjorie Taylor Greene for winning a Republican congressional primary. The FBI designated QAnon a “domestic terror threat” in 2019 because of what the agency said was the potential for the theory to drive adherents to acts of violence.
“I don’t know much about the movement; I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” Trump said at a Wednesday press conference when asked by a reporter for his views on the theory. “I heard these are people that love our country.”
“QAnon believes you are secretly saving the world from this cult of pedophiles and cannibals. Are you behind that?” the reporter continued.
“I haven’t heard that. Is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing?” Trump answered. “If I can help save the world from problems, I am willing to do it. I’m willing to put myself out there. And we are actually, we’re saving the world.”
Senator Sasse, who has been an open critic of previous Trump statements, slammed the president’s apparent refusal to disavow QAnon supporters.
“QAnon is nuts–and real leaders call conspiracy theories conspiracy theories,” Sasse told the Washington Post on Thursday. “If Democrats take the Senate, blow up the filibuster, and pack the Supreme Court–garbage like this will be a big part of why they won.”
Sasse sparred with Trump earlier this month over the president’s executive orders on coronavirus relief and other issues, which the Nebraska senator called “unconstitutional slop.”
“No president — whether named Obama or Trump or Biden or AOC — has unilateral power to rewrite immigration law or to cut taxes or to raise taxes,” Sasse said in a statement. “This is because America doesn’t have kings.”