A reporter asked Trump to respond to the victory of Marjorie Taylor Greene in the runoff race for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District. Greene has faced condemnation from House Republican leaders for creating racist Facebook videos and embracing QAnon.
“You congratulated Marjorie Taylor Greene in a tweet, you called her a ‘future Republican star,’” Associated Press reporter Jill Colvin noted. “Green has been a proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory ― she said it was something ‘worth listening to.’ Do you agree with her on that?”
“Well, she did very well in the election,” Trump said. “She won by a lot, she was very popular, she comes from a great state and she had a tremendous victory.”
Trump ignored Colvin when she pressed again for his reaction to the conspiracy.
Trump refuses to answer a question about whether he embraces the lunatic QAnon conspiracy theory pic.twitter.com/j1GPDznrxl— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 14, 2020
The baseless and constantly evolving theory holds that a mysterious, high-ranking government official known as “Q” has, for years, sprinkled cryptic clues all over the internet about a coming “Storm” of arrests ― and perhaps executions ― of Trump’s antagonists.
Twitter banned thousands of QAnon-linked accounts in July, noting the theory’s “potential to lead to offline harm.”
The cult-like conspiracy also has millions of active followers across countless Facebook groups and pages, a recent NBC investigation found. The investigation concluded that Facebook has been integral to the theory’s growth. Unlike Twitter, Facebook has yet to take any broad action against the group.
The far-right conspiracy has inspired real-world acts of violence.
Last year a QAnon adherent named Matthew Wright drove an armored vehicle onto a bridge near the Hoover Dam, where, armed with an AR-15, he blocked traffic and held up a QAnon-inspired sign.
In June, 29-year-old Alpalus Slyman led police in Massachusetts on a 20-mile chase with his five children in the car, all while livestreaming the chaos on Facebook from his phone. “The cops are in on it,” he says at one point to a crying child in the backseat. “Donald Trump ... QAnon, help me!”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.