Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump brought up Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene’s support for the dangerous QAnon conspiracy theory during a meeting on keeping the Senate with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other aides, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN.
This person confirmed that Trump told those present that QAnon consists of people who “basically believe in good government,” which led to silence in the room. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows then said he had not heard the group described as such.
Trump’s comments were first reported by The Washington Post.
QAnon’s prevailing conspiracy theories — none based in fact — claim that dozens of Satan-worshipping politicians and A-list celebrities work in tandem with governments around the globe to engage in child sex abuse. The group also peddles conspiracies about coronavirus and mass shootings — none grounded in reality. Followers also believe there is a “deep state” effort to annihilate Trump.
The group has been labeled a domestic terror threat by the FBI. In public, Trump has claimed he doesn’t “know much about the movement, other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” while repeatedly declining opportunities to condemn the organization’s extremism.
As for Greene, Trump has called her a “future Republican star.” But she has a history of prejudice and a proclivity for amplifying conspiracies. She said that George Soros, a Holocaust survivor, collaborated with Nazis. She called “Q” a “patriot” who is “worth listening to.” She said that the deadly White supremacist rally held in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, was an “inside job” to “further the agenda of the elites.”
Greene said on Facebook that “there is an Islamic invasion into our government offices right now” and urged adherents of Islam and Sharia law to “stay over there in the Middle East,” according to Politico. She said that Black people “are held slaves to the Democratic Party,” while White males are “the most mistreated group of people in the United States today.”
Greene backed away from some of those comments during her campaign. In August, she told Fox News that QAnon “wasn’t part of my campaign” and that once she “started finding misinformation,” she “chose another path.”
But Greene has continued to spread misinformation and court controversy. In September, Greene asserted in a tweet that “children should not wear masks,” rejecting the recommendation of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health professionals. She also posted on Facebook an image of herself holding a gun alongside images of Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, encouraging “strong conservative Christians to go on the offense against these socialists who want to rip our country apart.” Facebook removed the photo by the following day, saying it violated the social network’s policies.
CNN’s Alex Rogers and Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.