Pence bails on plans to attend fundraiser hosted by QAnon couple

  • Vice President Mike Pence will no longer attend a fundraiser hosted by a couple who has publicly supported the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, The Associated Press reported.
  • The president’s campaign for re-election confirmed Saturday to the Associated Press that Pence’s schedule had been changed, although give a reason for the change. 
  • Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported that the event’s hosts, a couple who has donated approximately $220,000 to Trump’s campaign, had shared social-media posts expressing support for the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory. 
  • The theory is centered around the blatantly false idea that a group of elitists are working as part of a “deep state” conspiracy against President Donald Trump that is conspiring to commit a variety of criminal acts that include pedophilia.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Vice President Mike Pence canceled his plans to attend a fundraiser for the Trump reelection campaign days after it was reported that the event’s hosts had publicly expressed support for the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory. 

The Associated Press on Saturday reported that the Trump re-election campaign said the vice president’s schedule had been changed, although it did not provide a reason for why it had been altered, according to the report. Three other Republicans in Montana running for election were also slated to attend the fundraiser, according to the AP.

The vice president on Monday is still slated to host an event in nearby Belgrade, Montana, according to the AP report.

Earlier this week, the outlet reported that Caryn and Michael Borland, who were hosting the September 14 Bozeman, Montana, fundraiser, had shared social media posts and memes expressing support for the QAnon conspiracy theory. 

As Business Insider’s Ben Gilbert previously reported, the unsubstantiated QAnon theory stems from the idea that leaders from the Democratic Party and members of the so-called “deep state” are conspiring to commit a variety of criminal acts, including pedophilia. At its core, QAnon believers think that deep-state actors are attempting to undermine President Donald Trump.

Its followers also believe in a so-called “Great Awakening” — an idea that stemmed from the president’s 2017 reference to a “calm before the storm.” QAnon believers think the president is working to take down elites, globalists, and the supposed deep state, Business Insider’s Eliza Relman and Grace Panetta previously reported.

As the Associated Press reported, Michael Borland featured several QAnon “Q” logos on his Facebook page, while Caryn Borland had retweeted and engaged with QAnon accounts on Twitter. In total, the couple has donated some $220,000 to the president’s bid for another four years in the White House, according to the report.

Despite a lack of footing in reality, the QAnon conspiracy has permeated the mainstream

While QAnon has been a fringe far-right theory and movement, it is permeated the mainstream in 2020. Marjorie Thomas Greene, a Georgia candidate for US House who is expected to win her race, has publicly expressed her support for the baseless theory. 

In July, online furniture company Wayfair faced unsubstantiated accusations from QAnon’s conspiracy theorist followers, who claimed that the retailer was selling human children through pricey listings for cabinets and pillows. The company later explained that the cabinets were expensive because they were industrial-grade items, and the pillows had been priced in error.

Last month, the mayor of a small town in Washington state also lent support to the theory during a radio appearance, calling it a “truth movement that encourages you to think for yourself,” Insider’s Rachel Greenspan reported.

Pence meanwhile, has publicly dismissed the movement. 

“I don’t know anything about QAnon, and I dismiss it out of hand,” the vice president said during an August appearance on CBS News.

At the end of August, however, President Donald Trump seemed to offer praise for the movement despite similarly claiming he didn’t know much about it. 

“I don’t know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” Trump said on August 20. “But I don’t know much about the movement. I have heard that it is gaining in popularity.”

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