Cooney Campaign: Why doesn’t Gianforte know anything about a resolution he’ll be voting on?
Helena, Mont. — After again declining to denounce the dangerous QAnon conspiracy theory over the weekend, evidence is mounting that Rep. Greg Gianforte is lying by pretending he does not know about a theory the FBI has labeled a domestic terror threat.
“Montanans deserve to be told the truth – it is preposterous to claim Greg Gianforte has never heard of QAnon,” said Cooney for Montana Communications Director Rojna Abel. “With a bipartisan resolution condemning QAnon pending before the House, the recent FBI bulletin labeling QAnon a domestic terror threat – in addition to reporting on the theory by every major news outlet in America – it defies belief that Greg Gianforte does not know about QAnon. Feigning ignorance to avoid answering hard questions about your associations with fringe conspiracy theorists is unconscionable.”
QAnon is an internet conspiracy whose followers believe that a group of satan-worshipping pedophiles are secretly operating a global child sex-trafficking ring. The Associated Press reported over the weekend – and Gianforte’s campaign confirmed – that Gianforte planned to attend a fundraiser at the home of Caryn and Michael Borland, who are active followers of the QAnon conspiracy, before Pence abruptly pulled the fundraiser down Saturday.
“The rhetoric QAnon supporters espouse is incredibly dangerous and has no place in Montana politics,” Cooney wrote in a letter to Gianforte urging him to denounce QAnon on Friday. “Attending a fundraiser at the home of individuals who believe in the QAnon conspiracy theory gives credence to a widely-debunked conspiracy theory that threatens to cause real harm to Montanans.”
Cooney’s letter continued: “It is incumbent upon elected officials to speak out against movements like this, before more people get hurt. I urge you to join me in denouncing this dangerous conspiracy theory.”
Lt. Gov. Cooney’s full letter is below.
Friday, September 11, 2020
Rep. Greg Gianforte
Greg for Montana
PO Box 877
Helena, MT 59624
Dear Rep. Greg Gianforte,
It has come to my attention that you are scheduled to attend an event Monday with followers of QAnon, an internet conspiracy group the FBI recently labeled a domestic terror threat. I am writing today to ask you to join me in denouncing this dangerous movement and to disassociate yourself and your campaign from its followers.
As I am sure you are aware, QAnon’s adherents believe, among other things, that a group of satan-worshipping pedophiles are secretly operating a global child sex-trafficking ring. The conspiracy has been linked to several instances of violence in recent months, and has been banned from prominent social media sites for inciting or threatening to incite violence.
The rhetoric QAnon followers espouse is incredibly dangerous and has no place in Montana politics. QAnon followers have fantasized about harming their perceived opponents, and make baseless claims and wild accusations based on the unhinged posts of an anonymous figure called “Q.”
That is unacceptable.
Attending a fundraiser at the home of individuals that support the QAnon conspiracy theory gives credence to a widely-debunked conspiracy theory that threatens to cause real harm to Montanans.
It is incumbent upon elected officials to speak out against baseless conspiracy theories like this, before more people get hurt.
I urge you to join me in denouncing this dangerous conspiracy theory.