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Trump refuses to disavow QAnon conspiracy theory at town hall

Top moments from Trump's presidential town hall
Trump participated in a town hall event on NBC News opposite a similar event with Joe Biden on ABC.

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he couldn’t disavow QAnon because he didn’t know enough about it, but said he did endorse adherents of the conspiracy theory’s efforts to fight pedophilia.

“I just don’t know about QAnon,” he said at a town hall hosted by NBC News. “I do know they are very much against pedophilia. They fight it very hard.”

Trump was repeatedly pressed by moderator Savannah Guthrie, who noted other Republicans - including Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska -- had denounced the far-right movement that contends without evidence that Trump is fighting a satanic cult of pedophiles, including prominent Democrats such as Hillary Clinton, who harvest the blood of children for its youth-preserving properties.


But the president refused to do so, conceding only that Sasse “may be right” and that he didn’t know if Guthrie was correct in describing it as crazy.

“What I do hear about it is they are very strongly against pedophilia and I agree with that,” he added.

Trump has previously retweeted accounts linked to QAnon and endorsed a Republican congressional candidate who says she believes in the theory.

The moderator, Savannah Guthrie, also asked Trump about his recent retweeting of a post alleging that President Barack Obama had killed members of SEAL Team 6, the Navy special operators who killed Osama Bin Laden, and that Bin Laden was still alive.

”That was a retweet,” he said. “I’ll put it out there, people can decide for themselves, I don’t take a position.”

He went on to say that he retweeted posts because “the media is so fake and so corrupt, if I didn’t have social media, I don’t call it Twitter I call it social media, I wouldn’t be able to get the word out.”

Trump’s appearance at the NBC town hall came after he pulled out of the second presidential debate, originally scheduled for Thursday night, because the commission organizing the contests decided to hold it virtually following his coronavirus diagnosis. Democratic nominee Joe Biden held a competing town hall at the same time broadcast on ABC.