It speaks volumes about the dangerousness of the Trump administration that its top two members would rather express ignorance about the extremist QAnon cult than denounce it.
August 22, 2020

Appearing on CNN's New Day, Pence was asked about Trump’s near endorsement of the group at the White House Thursday. At the time, Trump claimed to know nothing about the group, other than the fact that they like him, which is pretty much all the Narcissist in Chief cares about.

Friday, the vice president of the United States played dumb on QAnon, too.

During his interview with Pence, host John Berman asked about Trump’s embrace of the group, while also providing a taste of just what kind of folks they are. Yet Pence couldn't muster up the courage to denounce them:

BERMAN: I want to ask, at the White House, the president seemed to embrace QAnon, which is a group that the FBI has warned very likely motivates some domestic extremists to commit criminal, sometimes violent activity. This is a group that peddles theories that say that some politicians and high-profile Hollywood celebrities are member of a satanic cult, they are also cannibals, they say that coronavirus is being disseminated by George Soros, and Bill Gates with the help of 5G networks.

The president said they love America. So, how do those beliefs embody a love of America?

PENCE: Well, you said the president seemed to embrace it. I -- I didn't hear that. … I don't know anything -- I heard the president talk about he appreciates those that support him. … I don't know anything about that conspiracy theory, John.

Berman continued pressing. Pence continued to play dumb, though this time he offered the weakest of weak-kneed criticism:

BERMAN: How can you not know about it, given it's so much in the news? How can you not about it --

PENCE: Well, honestly, John, I just -- I don't know anything about that. I have heard about it. We dismiss conspiracy theories around here out of hand.

BERMAN: Well, will you dismiss it? Will you dismiss it?

PENCE: I just did, John.

BERMAN: No, you didn't.

PENCE: We dismiss conspiracy theorists out of hand.

Pence was suddenly eager to change the subject. He said, “The point is this president is going to continue to take our case all across this country. We -- the choice in this election has never been clearer. … [Democrats] never mentioned the violence that's tearing apart and claiming lives in cities around the country. And remarkably, Joe Biden last night never mentioned China.”

Berman was not diverted. “You didn’t answer my question,” he said, as Pence went on about Democrats’ “economic surrender to China.” But Berman continued pressing: “Will you call what they espouse conspiracy theories?”

PENCE: I just did, John, I called it a conspiracy theory. I said I don't have any time for it, and I don't know anything about it. And frankly, honestly, John, I get it. I mean, I get that the media, particularly, CNN chases after shiny objects.

BERMAN: This is not a shiny object. The FBI -- the FBI --

Pence was once again very eager to change the subject. “The Democrats have painted a picture of America that was grim and negative …”

Berman moved on.

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