President Donald Trump added legitimacy to QAnon last week, refusing to denounce the baseless conspiracy theory and throwing renewed focus on other political leaders who are in Trump’s camp when it comes to QAnon.
Here in Colorado, at least four Republican officials who have expressed their support for QAnon have yet to denounce the theory, which promotes the idea that a satanic cabal of pedophiles is out to undermine Trump and America. The FBI considers QAnon a domestic terrorism threat.
Congressional candidate Lauren Boebert is the Colorado candidate who’s gotten the most attention in QAnon discussions.
Boebert was apparently a QAnon follower before winning the Republican nomination. She followed multiple QAnon channels on YouTube and she’d said she hoped QAnon is “real.”
After beginning her campaign to take on Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush for the western/southern Colorado congressional seat, campaign staff began to push back on her QAnon label. However Boebert, like Trump, hasn’t denounced QAnon outright, instead saying she is “not a follower.”
But even after saying she wasn’t a QAnon follower, she seemed to promote a QAnon conspiracy theory involving Tom Hanks getting his Greek citizenship because he’s a pedophile, and Greece classifies pedophilia as a disability.
Also on Colorao’s QAnon list is state Senate candidate Lynn Gerber, a Republican who’s battling Democrat Rachel Zenzinger for a Arvada/Westminster-area seat.
Gerber promoted QAnon videos this summer, saying one video was “something to listen to,” but she now denies she’s a follower–without denouncing QAnon outright and still indicating support for it.
Denver statehouse candidate Samantha Koch, a Republican, hasn’t distanced herself from QAnon, after blaming health orders for “millions of additional child sex assault crimes, originating online compared to this time last year.”
In fact, in Colorado, QAnon conspiracies about pedophilia have impeded efforts to stop actual child trafficking.
Jefferson County state Senate candidate Vanessa DeMott shared misinformation related to child sex trafficking without criticizing QAnon.
Otero County, Colorado, Republican leader Stephanie Garbo has also refused to denounce QAnon.
“I feel this, with every ounce of my being,” she wrote on Facebook in July, in response to a post, retweeted by an account associated with QAnon.
In addition to candidates and party leaders, some conservative groups are also promoting QAnon. FEC United is a new conservative organizing group that is working closely with Colorado Republicans. Its “United American Defense Force,” which is an armed group of FEC United members, promoted a QAnon event in mid-August at the peak of the conspiracy group’s “global pedophile ring” social media campaign.