Sen. Mitt Romney criticized President Trump over his remarks about the QAnon conspiracy theory and said it represents an “alarming pattern” in the political landscape.
The Utah Republican posted a statement to Twitter on Friday, a day after Trump was asked about the conspiracy theory that has grown in popularity in the lead-up to the presidential election. Trump said he “knew nothing about” QAnon during the town hall.
“The president’s unwillingness to denounce an absurd and dangerous conspiracy theory last night continues an alarming pattern: politicians and parties refuse to forcefully and convincingly repudiate groups like antifa, white supremacists, and conspiracy peddlers,” Romney said in the statement.
He also appeared to take to task politicians on the Left as antifa-associated violence has percolated in cities across the country.
“Similarly troubling is their silence regarding anti-vaxxers, militias, and anarchists,” Romney continued. “Rather than expel the rabid fringes and the extremes, they have coddled or adopted them, eagerly trading their principles for the hope of electoral victories.”
“As the parties rush down a rabbit hole, they may be opening a door to a political movement that could eventually eclipse them both,” he added.
QAnon is a conspiracy theory that Hollywood figures and Democratic politicians are involved in a secret, satanic “deep state” cabal centered around sexually abusing and eating children.
“I know nothing about QAnon,” Trump said when asked by moderator Savannah Guthrie during Thursday’s town hall.
Guthrie continued to push after describing what the theory entails and said, “I just told you,” when Trump claimed he didn’t know much about the conspiracy.
“You told me, but what you tell me doesn’t necessarily make it fact, I hate to say that,” he responded. “I know nothing about it. I do know they are very much against pedophilia — they fight it very hard.”
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