Trump refuses to disavow QAnon

President TrumpDonald TrumpRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-backed candidate in Texas House runoff DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit MORE on Thursday refused to disavow QAnon during an NBC News town hall, saying he knows nothing about it beyond that supporters of the theory are “strongly against pedophilia.”

Trump was asked by host Savannah Guthrie to disavow the conspiracy theory, after she described it as a theory about Democrats being a satanic pedophile ring.

“I know nothing about QAnon. I know very little,” Trump said. “You told me but what you tell me doesn’t necessarily make it fact. I hate to say that.”

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"I know nothing about it. I do know they are very much against pedophilia, they fight it very hard. But I know nothing about it,” Trump continued.

When Guthrie noted that Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseSasse calls China's Xi a 'coward' after Apple Daily arrest Defunct newspaper's senior editor arrested in Hong Kong Murkowski: Trump has 'threatened to do a lot' to those who stand up to him MORE (R-Neb.) said QAnon is “nuts” and that “real leaders call conspiracy theories conspiracy theories,” Trump again said he has no knowledge about the theory.

“He may be right. I just don’t know about QAnon,” Trump said. 

As Guthrie continued to press him, Trump replied: "Let me just tell you what I do hear about, it is they are very strongly against pedophilia and I agree with that. I do agree with that very strongly." 

QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory whose followers believe that an underground cabal of satanic worshipers run child sex trafficking rings and are in control of the so-called deep state government and that Trump is working to expose them.

The movement began on the internet but has grown substantially in recent months, garnering support even from some GOP congressional candidates. The FBI designated the collection of individuals a domestic terror threat in 2019 because it had the potential to encourage violence.

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Trump has previously offered tepid support for the group, telling reporters at a news conference in August that he knew little about it but understands its supporters like him “very much” and “love America.”

Following Trump’s remarks then, Vice President Pence was pressed in a news interview on QAnon and said that he dismisses it “out of hand.”

Trump also tangled with Guthrie when she asked him why he had appeared hesitant at times to denounce white supremacy, including in the first presidential debate with Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Iowa governor suggests immigrants partially to blame for rising COVID-19 cases Biden officials pledge to confront cybersecurity challenges head-on MORE.