Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai appeared Wednesday in a video promoting his impending net neutrality repeal, dancing with a woman who has a history of promoting the so-called "Pizzagate" conspiracy.
The Pizzagate conspiracy theory, which proliferated during the final days of the 2016 presidential race, posits without evidence that high-ranking Democrats were involved in a nonexistent pedophile ring based out of a Washington, D.C. pizzeria. In December 2016, a man motivated by the conspiracy theory fired a gun in the business.
The video, produced by conservative outlet The Daily Caller, features Pai insisting that the FCC's impending, highly criticized repeal of net neutrality will not affect what users can do online.
In one clip, Pai is seen dancing alongside Martina Markota, a video producer for The Daily Caller.
Gizmodo reports that Markota had previously included an unlisted YouTube video on her website, in which she talks about Pizzagate.
“This is not something I’m making up because I’m trying to, you know, put in my fantasy version of what’s going on and interject it into these email scandals. This is independently of the campaign — I know what cheese pizza is,” Markota reportedly says in the clip, according to Gizmodo.
The video appears to have been removed from Markota's website.
Markota said in a message to The Hill that the video in question was about a New Jersey corrections officer being charged in October for possessing child pornography, pointing to an Associated Press report about the matter. That article states that the accused offender used the phrase “Cheese Pizza” to refer to child pornography.
The FCC is set to vote Thursday on a plan to repeal Obama-era protections for net neutrality, the principle that internet service providers must treat all online content equally.
Pai has long been a proponent of repealing the protections, which he claims hinder innovation in the telecom industry.
Opponents of the repeal, however, say that it will allow internet service providers to give preferential treatment to certain websites, while access to smaller sites will be stymied.
--This report was updated at 12:31 p.m.