Ex-Trump press secretary criticized for stirring up QAnon on Twitter
Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has come under fire for a tweet singling out a comment from President Biden about his adoration of children.
"Signing off with a final notable quote from Joe Biden during his town hall this evening," McEnany tweeted late Tuesday night following Biden's town hall on CNN. "'Everyone knows I love kids better than people.'" McEnany added a "questioning" emoji to the end of her tweet.
Critics blasted the comment as a nod to the far-right Qanon movement, a false conspiracy that has been cultivated on the internet in recent years and alleges many of the country's political leaders are pedophiles or murderers.
Several of the people who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 have told authorities they believe in the Qanon conspiracy.
"This is pathetic even for [McEnany] standards. It’s also dangerous given the conspiracy theories the #Trump movement has led, but you know that already Kayleigh & you don’t care," tweeted Olivia Troye, a former top aide to Vice President Mike Pence and vocal critic of the administration since leaving it. "Remember this when the next Pizzagate type of attack happens-You’re enabling it."
Former Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman echoed Troye's comments.
"It will take massive and multiple doses of facts based digital antibiotics to cure Q sickness. Kayleigh needed relevance and to increase her twitter and media interactions...Choosing to be relevant to the crazy and violent seems to be a moneymaker," he said.
CNN anchor Jake Tapper reported on Wednesday morning that a former White House staffer told him "This is 100% meant to stir up the qanon crowd. Awful.”
Some observers of online disinformation and conspiracy theories noted McEnany's tweet sparked a spike in chatter among Qanon followers online.
The former press secretary attempted to clarify what she meant to be her tweet in responding to Tapper.
"I tweeted this revealing, bizarre quote from Joe Biden that underscores his horrific pro-choice, anti-child policies that have dehumanized life (Mexico City policy etc.)," she said. "[Tapper] your source should put her name on the record if she claims to know the intent of my tweets."
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is telling associates he had no idea his Justice Department seized phone records of two top Democratic congressional critics of then-President Donald Trump. In the hours since The New York Times broke the news on Thursday that prosecutors subpoenaed Apple metadata from Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA), former Attorney General Sessions has privately told people that he wasn’t aware of, nor was he briefed on, the reported data seizures while he led the Trump DOJ. This week’s revelations were a surprise to him, according to a source familiar with the matter, and another person close to Sessions.
The US justice department’s internal watchdog launched an investigation on Friday after revelations that former president Donald Trump’s administration secretly seized phone data from at least two House Democrats as part of an aggressive leaks inquiry related to the Russia investigation into Trump’s conduct.
Donald Trump called Joe Biden a “mental retard” during the 2020 election, a new book says, but was reluctant to attack him too strongly for fear the Democrats would replace him with Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama. Biden went on to beat Trump by more than 7m in the popular vote and by 306-232 in the electoral college, a result Trump deemed a landslide when it was in his favor against Clinton in 2016.
The deadly insurrection at the US Capitol was “planned in plain sight” but intelligence failures left police officers exposed to a violent mob of Trump supporters, a Senate investigation has found. The Capitol police intelligence division had been gathering online data since December about plots to storm the building on 6 January, including messages such as: “Bring guns. It’s now or never.” But a combination of bad communications, poor planning, faulty equipment and lack of leadership meant the warnings went unheeded, allowing the insurrectionists to overrun the Capitol and disrupt certification of Joe Biden’s election victory. Five people died.