Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamNorth Dakota Republican latest House breakthrough COVID-19 case Texas House Republican tests positive for coronavirus in latest breakthrough case Graham told Trump he 'f'd up' the presidency: book MORE (R-S.C.) called the QAnon conspiracy theory that has been spread by some Republican congressional candidates “batshit crazy.”
“Well, QAnon is batshit crazy,” Graham told Snapchat's Peter Hamby in an interview that aired Thursday.
“Crazy stuff. Inspiring people to violence. I think it is a platform that plays off people’s fears, that compels them to do things they normally wouldn’t do. And it’s very much a threat.”
Once a fringe movement, the QAnon conspiracy has gained traction in recent years, with some congressional candidates expressing support of its claims.
The theory suggests that Trump and his allies are trying to uncover a group of Democrats, media figures and celebrities who are operating an international child sex trafficking scheme.
Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has previously endorsed the theory, won the Republican primary in Georgia's 14th District earlier this month, leading GOP Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerThe Memo: Trump's Arizona embarrassment sharpens questions for GOP The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble Fifth House Republican comes out in support of bipartisan infrastructure bill MORE (Ill.) to demand leaders denounce the movement.
Greene has since distanced herself from theory, which the FBI has labeled as a potential domestic terrorism threat.
Graham suggested repealing the protections offered to social media platforms under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields platforms from facing liability for the content posted by its users and the good-faith efforts they make to moderate it.
QAnon is not itself a social media site, but its supporters gather on multiple social media platforms, though Twitter and Facebook have made efforts to remove them.
Graham pointed to "Pizzagate," a related conspiracy theory that claims Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry negative images are defining White House Heller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll MORE and other top Democratic figures were running a child sex trafficking ring beneath a pizza shop in Washington, D.C. In December 2016, a man fired a gun in the Comet Ping Pong pizza shop in D.C., claiming he was there to “self-investigate" the claims.
“But the pizza owner, under my theory, could sue QAnon for passing along garbage. That’s a pretty dramatic step,” Graham said. “But the only way I know to make people more responsible who run these websites is to allow lawsuits when they go too far.”