Lindsey Graham says QAnon is 'bats--- crazy' after Trump defended the conspiracy theory's followers
- Republican Senator
Lindsey Grahamof South Carolina gave a harsh rebuke of the right-wing QAnonconspiracy theory movement, telling Snapchat in an interview that "QAnon is bats--- crazy."
- "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," the senator said.
- Graham's comments come just one week after President Trump flattered the movement's believers in a press conference, saying on August 19 that "these are people that love our country."
- Believers in the conspiracy theory have been linked to several criminal acts in the US, including at least two killings.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina gave a harsh rebuke of the QAnon conspiracy theory movement, contrasting with President Donald Trump's recent defense of followers of the movement.In an interview with Vanity Fair contributor Peter Hamby on Snapchat's "Good Luck America" show, the senator called the conspiracy theory "bats--- crazy" and said it incites violence.
Politico noted that Graham's anti-QAnon commentary comes as he faces a serious challenge for reelection in Democrat Jaime Harrison. Graham has held his South Carolina seat in the US
Several criminal acts in the US have been linked to some of the conspiracy theory's followers, including at least two killings, an attempted kidnapping, and stand-offs with police, and other charges. The FBI warned that QAnon was becoming a domestic terrorist threat last year.In his interview, Graham referenced a 2016 incident involving Edgar Maddison Welch, a passionate believer in the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, who entered a Washington, DC, restaurant with an assault rifle. Like other Pizzagate devotees, Welch believed that Hillary Clinton and her aides were running a child sex trafficking ring out of Comet Ping Pong, a popular pizza spot in DC. In the wake of his attack, Welch told The New York Times that "the intel on this wasn't 100 percent." He was sentenced to four years in prison on assault and firearms charges. Pizzagate was the precursor to the QAnon conspiracy theory, which expands on similar views.
QAnon, which emerged on 4chan in the fall of 2017, is centered on the premise that President Trump is fighting to defeat a deep-state cabal of elites who run the government (and every other sector and industry in the US) and engage in child trafficking.
In his interview, Graham called QAnon theories "garbage" and said that social media companies should be held accountable for QAnon.
"I would like to remove Section 230 liability. That if you're going to have a social media site like QAnon or anything else, you spread this stuff at your own peril," Graham said. By removing Section 230, social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok could be sued for the content shared on their platforms. "That's a pretty dramatic step. But the only way I know to make people more responsible who run these websites is allow lawsuits when they go too far," he said.
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