Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that he doesn’t “know anything about” the QAnon conspiracy theory and that he dismisses it “out of hand” while denying having heard President Trump’s recent embrace of its followers.
On Friday morning CNN’s John Berman questioned the vice president on the conspiracy theory, which claims Trump and his allies are secretly working to expose a deep-state ring of child sex traffickers. While the theory was labeled a domestic terrorism threat by the FBI last year and many Republicans have publicly denounced it, Trump and Pence have been largely uncritical of the movement.
Pence claimed to have no knowledge of QAnon, saying he had no time for conspiracy theories as he heads the White House’s coronavirus task force. When asked if he would denounce QAnon specifically, Pence said only, “I dismiss conspiracy theorists out of hand.”
Speaking with CNN's John Berman this morning, Pence claimed not to know much about the QAnon conspiracy theory, saying he had little time to focus on conspiracy theories while heading the White House's coronavirus task force https://t.co/vBNUR8qwQu pic.twitter.com/7DMjuJq1QG
— POLITICO (@politico) August 21, 2020
“I said it’s a conspiracy theory, I don’t have time for it, I don’t know anything about it. And honestly, John, I get it. I mean, I get that the media, particularly CNN chases after shiny objects,” Pence said.
“This is not a shiny object,” Berman replied. “The FBI considers this a dangerous group.”
President Trump on Wednesday had said he didn’t “know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate.”
“These are people that don’t like seeing what’s going on in places like Portland and places like Chicago and other cities and states,” Trump said. “I’ve heard these are people that love our country and they just don’t like seeing it. I don’t know really anything about it other than they do supposedly like me. And they also would like to see problems in these areas … go away.”
After a reporter attempted to describe the QAnon conspiracy theory in further detail, Trump repeated that he wasn’t aware of it but it wouldn’t be bad thing if he could “help save the world from problems.”
Pence denied that Trump’s statements were an embrace of the movement, saying, “I didn’t hear that. I didn’t hear anything. I heard the president talk about how he appreciates people that support him.”