Republican bizarrely claims he has no idea what QAnon is while defending Marjorie Taylor Greene
Twitter / @TheRecount

QAnon might have started out as a niche conspiracy theory, but it’s obviously a driving political force within the US today.

That’s why the claims of a Republican official – Republican Kevin McCarthy – to not know what QAnon is seemed more than a little sketchy.

QAnon is a conspiracy theory which originated from an anonymous forum poster on 4chan during the early days of the Trump presidency – the poster claimed to be someone deep within the Trump administration who had secret knowledge about events which would happen. Four years later, it had morphed into a far weirder political subculture – it combined concerns around child trafficking, anti-racism movements and anti-vaxxers. Fundamentally, the root of QAnon was in loyalty to Trump, which is why the movement was such a significant influence on so many of the people who participated in the January 6 siege on the US Capitol. 

McCarthy is the House Minority leader, and earlier this week, spoke out in defense of Marjorie Taylor Greene, also known as the QAnon congresswoman. Greene has attracted criticism – and has even been taken off two House Committees – for her controversial views, which include openly supporting the QAnon conspiracy, claiming that school shootings are fake, and urging Trump supporters to come to the capitol on January 6. 

McCarthy said, according to Politico, 

[Greene] came inside our conference and denounced them as well. She said she was wrong. She has reached out in other ways and forms. And nothing that she said has been based upon since she has been a member of Congress.”

This is not true, as Greene has continued to share memes and speak out in support of QAnon since she became a member of Congress.

McCarthy then went on to say, 

“I think it would be helpful if you could hear exactly what she told all of us: denouncing QAnon – I don’t know if I say it right, I don’t even know what it is – any from the shootings, she said she knew nothing about lasers. All the things that have been brought up about her.”

It’s obvious that McCarthy isn't being truthful, not least because there’s video evidence of him talking about QAnon on Fox News back in August, before Greene had even been elected to Congress.

At the time, McCarthy had denounced QAnon and said that there was no space for it in the Republican Party.

Others pointed out that he had even condemned it in his statement earlier on the same day.

Others pointed out that it didn’t make sense even if he had conveniently forgotten all about QAnon - why would a prominent Republican congressman claim not to know about a well known and violent conspiracy theorist group, particularly after January 6th?

McCarthy specifically mentions the ‘space lasers’ because it’s from one of Greene’s most controversial social media posts, where she claims that ‘space lasers’ were used to set California wildfires. But even though he says she doesn’t know anything about it, there’s proof that she said so, and Greene denounced her former comments on Thursday on the House Floor.

As Greene seems like she’ll remain in office – and that she has the support of large swathes of the GOP, even if McCarthy doesn’t know about QAnon for now, he’ll definitely have to learn soon.

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