President Trump participates in a town hall event on October 15. | Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
“Let me just tell you what I do hear about it is they are very strongly against pedophilia and I agree with that.”
President Donald Trump says he doesn’t know whether the QAnon conspiracy theory, which falsely contends prominent Democrats and global elites are part of a pedophile ring that only Trump can stop, is true or not.
At Trump’s NBC News town hall on Thursday, held in lieu of a debate with Joe Biden after a dispute over the format, moderator Savannah Guthrie gave Trump as many opportunities as she could to denounce the theory. QAnon went viral on extremist internet forums before gaining more traction after it spread to YouTube, Reddit, and more mainstream websites.
He wouldn’t do it.
“I don’t know anything about QAnon,” Trump said at first.
Guthrie pointed out she’d just explained it in brief: “this theory that Democrats are part of a Satanic pedophile ring and that you are a savior.” (The rest of the extremely short version is that a top-level government official — “Q” — is leaking this secret onto the internet.)