Trump retweeted an old video of Biden rubbing a woman's shoulders with the hashtag 'PedoBiden,' explicitly pushing a QAnon conspiracy theory
- President Donald Trump retweeted a post on Tuesday that featured the hashtag "PedoBiden," pushing a fringe theory against his 2020 Democratic presidential opponent, Joe Biden.
- The 2015 video shows Biden touching the shoulders of an adult woman at an event in the White House, but the accusation is untrue and has been promoted by the far-right conspiracy-theory movement QAnon.
- Biden has been accused of behaving inappropriately toward women in the past, as has Trump.
President Donald Trump peddled a false claim about his 2020 Democratic presidential rival, Joe Biden, on Tuesday by retweeting a post that featured the hashtag "PedoBiden."
The tweet, from an account with the username ConservativeGirl, depicts a video of Biden touching a woman's shoulders and seemingly whispering in her ear, along with the caption: "We can beat them at their game .. #PedoBiden."
The clip, from Biden's time as vice president, is of a 2015 swearing-in ceremony for then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter at the White House, where Biden is seen standing behind Carter's wife, Stephanie, and squeezing her shoulders. The image triggered a media outcry at the time because of Biden's handsy behavior.
—Conservative Girl (@ConservUSA38) September 15, 2020
Biden has faced scrutiny throughout the 2020 campaign trail for his past conduct toward women, with seven women coming forward to say he had inappropriately touched them or violated their personal space. None of those women were minors, and none described the behavior as sexual. However, another woman, Tara Reade, a former Senate aide, has accused Biden of sexually assaulting her while she worked for his office in 1993, a claim he has denied.
Trump has been accused of varying degrees of sexual misconduct by more than two dozen women. He hasn't addressed all of the women's claims but has issued broad denials.
There is no evidence supporting the pedophilia allegation about the former vice president. The far-right conspiracy-theory movement QAnon has continued to push the false narrative that Washington harbors satanists who run a global child sex-trafficking ring and are protected by a "deep state" that Trump is fighting against.
Fringe theories sweeping the internet have been slowly inching their way into mainstream politics. Trump and some members of Congress have repeated similar baseless statements, whereas others have gone to condemn the movement.
Trump last month was confronted about QAnon, which has spread disinformation while boosting pro-Trump propaganda on social media. The president has retweeted such content numerous times and has declined to denounce the group, instead praising its followers as "people that love our country."
Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican candidate for Congress, has promoted QAnon and was endorsed by Trump. Her Democratic challenger dropped out of the race last week, meaning Greene will almost certainly be elected to Congress in November.
The Trump campaign lately appeared to distance itself from the group, as Vice President Mike Pence earlier this week canceled plans to attend a fundraiser hosted by supporters of QAnon.
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