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Collins PAC donated hundreds of dollars to two candidates who support QAnon

A PAC with ties to Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) donated hundreds of dollars to two candidates running for state legislature seats who have openly supported QAnon conspiracy theories.

Republican candidates Kevin Bushey and Brian Redmond, who are running for election to Maine’s House of Representatives, received $400 each from Dirigo PAC, which is heavily associated with Collins, Business Insider reported.

QAnon is a far-right internet conspiracy theory that purports President Trump is fighting a battle against a “deep state” of satanic pedophiles and cannibals.

The baseless theory has grown in popularity to international proportions and has garnered significant public support from GOP candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is running to represent Georgia’s 14th Congressional District.

Last year, the FBI classified QAnon as a potential domestic terrorist threat, saying in a document that the agency “assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread … occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts.”

A spokesperson for Collins said Friday that her political committee was “not aware” of Redmond’s and Bushey’s support of the QAnon conspiracy theory, Bangor Daily News reported.

A Collins campaign spokesperson also denounced QAnon and said, “Dirigo PAC makes contributions at the state level based on the recommendation of the Maine Republican Caucus. It was not aware of the activities of these individuals at the time these two donations were made. Dirigo PAC will likely reconsider its vetting process in the future,” local CBS affiliate WGME reported.

The Dirigo PAC has granted more than $56,000 to state-level Republican campaigns this year, including $400 to each of the 50 state legislative candidates.

According to Mainer, which first reported the campaign contributions, Redmond’s Twitter account was banned this month.

His account cover photo included a quote that read, “Q’s Army/Irregular Warfare Division” and declared “WWG1WGA,” shorthand for the QAnon rallying call of “Where We Go One We Go All.”

In an interview with Mainer, Redmond said he was “hooked right off the bat” after he discovered the theory on a far-right libertarian economics blog, adding that he now considers himself an investigative journalist.

“It was an opportunity to wrestle back control of our government from subvertists and treasonists. … As a veteran, I was called to arms,” the candidate said.

Bushey, who is also a veteran, was cited by Mainer for his more eccentric and unorthodox opinions as a candidate running to serve in the state legislature.

He said during an interview on Crash Barry’s podcast “Open Ears Maine” that a shadow group of Freemasons, bankers, Catholics and Jews has “worked very diligently to support the idea that we should be in continuous war or having wars because they like to finance both sides of the equation.”

When asked whether his views might dissuade some voters from choosing him, Bushey said, “Well, I don’t know. They’re going to have to make their decisions on their own about who I am and what I stand for.”

“I’m a pro-life candidate, and I believe in God, and I believe in family,” he added. “And I’m going to work very hard to let people know it’s time that we bring that type of approach to government.”

Updated: 1:22 p.m.

Tags Alt-right Donald Trump Fringe theory Internet manipulation and propaganda Kevin Bushey Marjorie Taylor Greene QAnon Susan Collins

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