WILKES BARRE, PA – AUGUST 02: David Reinert holds up a large “Q” sign while waiting in line to see President Donald J. Trump at his rally on August 2, 2018 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. “Q” represents QAnon, a conspiracy theory group that has been seen at recent rallies. (Photo by Rick Loomis/Getty Images)
On a vote of 371 to 18, The House Friday to condemn QAnon, a far-right, pro-Trump conspiracy theory group that has dispersed misinformation about COVID-19 and believe the enemies of President Donald Trump are a “deep-state,” satan-worshiping, child-sex-trafficking cannibals that include Democrats and media. The movement has been identified by the FBI as a potential domestic terrorist threat.
Among the 18 representatives voting against condemning the group “and rejecting the conspiracy theories it promotes” was Wisconsin Republican Rep. Tom Tiffany, who won the northern Wisconsin seat formerly held by Sean Duffy in a special election earlier this year.
The measure was co-sponsored by two Republicans and three Democrats and was approved with affirmative votes from 225 Democrats and 146 Republicans. One of the sponsors had recently received death threats after he criticized QAnon.
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) did not vote, and all other Republicans from Wisconsin — Reps. Glenn Grothman, Bryan Steil and Jim Sensenbrenner — voted with all Wisconsin Democrats to denounce QAnon.
Last month Trump commended the group, promoting them — despite their baseless conspiracy theories and FBI red flags — as “people that love our country.” He has also backed and retweeted them on Twitter.
Tiffany had no press release or social media posts explaining why he opposed the measure. But his Democratic opponent, Tricia Zunker, seized on the opportunity to respond to his outlier vote.
“Conspiracy theories and movements like QAnon dehumanize citizens, incite violence and threaten our democratic institutions,” said Zunker in a statement. “Rep. Tom Tiffany is so extreme that he won’t join his own party leaders in condemning this dangerous conspiracy theory and the violence it promotes. The message is clear: Rep. Tiffany is standing up for QAnon in Congress; he is not standing up for the people of Wisconsin. This is a total failure of leadership. I unequivocally condemn all conspiracy theories and movements that seek to hurt our citizens, damage property and threaten our democratic institutions.”
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