House GOP leader on new members who have backed QAnon: 'Give them an opportunity'

House GOP leader on new members who have backed QAnon: 'Give them an opportunity'
© Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyCheney reveals GOP's Banks claimed he was Jan. 6 panel's ranking member House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress GOP memo urges lawmakers to blame White House 'grinches' for Christmas delays MORE (R-Calif.) defended the conference welcoming incoming GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor GreeneMarjorie Taylor GreeneGOP efforts to downplay danger of Capitol riot increase The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she's meeting with Trump 'soon' in Florida MORE (Ga.) and Lauren BoebertLauren BoebertRepublicans' mantra should have been 'Stop the Spread' Democrats fret as longshot candidates pull money, attention Colorado remap plan creates new competitive district MORE (Colo.) despite their past positive comments about the QAnon conspiracy theory.

The California Republican argued that the incoming members need to be given a chance to prove themselves as representatives, adding that they both have moved to distance themselves from the baseless conspiracy theory that alleges there's a cabal of Democrats and global elites running an international child trafficking ring and attempting to control the government.

“Our party is very diverse — you mentioned two people who will join our party and both have denounced QAnon,” he said at a press conference on Thursday.

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“And the only thing I would ask of you in the press — these are new members, give them an opportunity before you claim what you believe they have done and what they will do. I think it's fair for all."

Since first announcing her bid for office, Greene has come under fire for her past support for the QAnon conspiracy theory. She said that "Q," the mysterious figure who posts anonymous messages online that serve as the foundation for the theory, is a "patriot," in a YouTube video from 2017.

"He is someone that very much loves his country and he’s on the same page as us and he is very pro-Trump,” she said.

After winning her primary, Greene later attempted to distance herself from the conspiracy theory.

“No, I don't [consider myself a QAnon candidate]. I think that's been the media's characterization of me. Never once during my campaign did I ever speak about QAnon or Q,” she told Fox News in August.

Greene is controversial beyond her past support of QAnon. She drew condemnation after videos emerged of her making bigoted remarks and publicly questioning whether a plane crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11. She later walked back the remarks. She also sparked controversy over comments suggesting Muslims do not belong in government and that Muslim members of Congress should take their oath on a Bible instead of the Quran.

Boebert, who is best known for her ownership of a grill that lets its staff openly carry firearms, also expressed an openness to QAnon during an appearance on a right-wing internet show called "Steel Truth" in May. 

"I am familiar with that," she said when asked about her thoughts on Q. "Everything I've heard of Q — I hope this is real because it only means America is getting stronger and better and people are returning to conservative values."

She later walked back her support of the conspiracy theory.