I’m trying to understand why he would do this, and why — if he was intent on doing it — he wouldn’t at least keep it ultra-low-key. Why hand the media ammo like this in the middle of the convention?
Party chieftains like Kevin McCarthy and Trump campaign spokesmen like Jason Miller have spent the past two weeks trying to distance Trump and the party from Marjorie Taylor Greene’s primary win in GA-14. Now here’s an official embrace in the form of a (virtual) engraved invitation.
Is Trump doing some sort of theme for the evening, maybe? Getting all of the Republicans who are grossly unfit for office together in the same room to celebrate? Is Steve King invited too?
I’m honored and thrilled to be invited to attend President Trump’s acceptance speech Thursday evening at the White House.
— Marjorie Taylor Greene For Congress🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) August 25, 2020
I called her the “QAnon candidate” in the headline but she’s insisted lately that she soured on the movement awhile back after “Q’s” assurance that Republicans would do well in the 2018 midterms didn’t pan out. Maybe she should be known as the “Pizzagate candidate” instead:
In another post from 2017, Greene linked to a blog post from a conspiracy website that speculated that “Pizzagate”– a debunked conspiracy theory from 2016 that claimed that the Clintons and Democratic operatives were running a pedophilia ring out of a pizzeria in Washington, DC — was real.
“Shockingly, the website tells about information that was only whispered about and called conspiracy theories by all main stream [sic] news media,” Greene wrote, linking to the post that falsely claimed a DNC staffer was the source for Wikileaks.
“Yet when you go to the website, it tells as if Seth Rich is speaking from the dead saying all the horrible things are true. That Hillary rigged the election against Bernie Sanders. That John Podesta had him murdered. That John Podesta is a pedophile and pizza gate [sic] is real,” Greene added in November 2017.
She also reportedly wondered whether the Charlottesville white-nationalist rally was some sort of “inside job” involving Obama and whether Pelosi might be guilty of treason for refusing to fund Trump’s border wall. It’ll be a fun photo op when Pelosi swears her into Congress in January.
Last week Robert Tracinski warned readers to prepare themselves for the GOP’s “anti-anti-QAnon” phase. He may have been too optimistic, as the invitation to Greene makes it sound like Trump is poised to go full pro-QAnon. Even so, Tracinski described several hallmarks of anti-anti-QAnon-ism: (1) Professing ignorance of what the movement is about despite having been asked about it repeatedly; (2) complaining about the media’s interest in the topic; (3) Whataboutism in the form of trying to change the subject to left-wing cranks like Ilhan Omar or other Trump antagonists. He published that on August 21; two days later Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, appeared on the Sunday shows and the subject of QAnon came up. How’d Tracinski do by way of predictions?
On “Fox News Sunday,” Meadows seconded Trump’s claim of lacking information on QAnon, saying, “We don’t even know what it is.” And he pushed back against media coverage of the group, arguing there are more pressing issues to focus on.
“I find it appalling that the media when we have all of the important things going on, a list of Top 20s, that the first question at a press briefing would be about QAnon, which I had to actually Google to figure out what it is,” Meadows said. “It’s not an essential part of what the president is talking about. I don’t know anything about it — I don’t even know that it’s credible.”
“If you want to talk about conspiracies, let’s get back to talking about how the FBI and others within the FBI spied on the Trump campaign. I’ll be glad to speak about that,” Meadows said.
Three for three. This morning Dem Rep. Tom Malinowski announced that he and Republican Denver Riggleman would co-sponsor a House resolution denouncing QAnon. The national press secretary for the NRCC — who wasn’t compelled to say a word about it — nonetheless piped up:
But you won’t demand raging anti-Semite and current House Democrat @IlhanMN be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee???
— Michael McAdams (@M_McAdams) August 25, 2020
I’m all for taking McAdams’s advice on Omar, but neither Malinowski’s tweet nor the resolution he and Riggleman are sponsoring mentions Trump or the GOP. McAdams sure was quick to get defensive on QAnon’s, rather than the party’s, behalf. Or are the two already sufficiently entangled that signing up to defend one necessarily means having to defend the other?
The most charitable read on Trump’s invite to Greene is that he *might* be welcoming a slew of GOP primary winners to the White House for his speech, not granting her a special invitation but also not excluding her from a group invite. For instance, Lauren Boebert of Colorado also received an invitation. Interestingly, Boebert has also gotten into trouble over QAnon, once saying that she hopes the theory behind it is real without asserting that it is. She’s been distancing herself from it since then, but a Colorado website noticed this curious tweet from a few days ago:
Joe Biden is doing a fundraiser with newly minted Greek citizen Tom Hanks tomorrow.
I just… no comment.
— Lauren Boebert for Congress (R-CO3) (@laurenboebert) August 18, 2020
That was nice and vague for maximum plausible deniability, but Q-bots believe that Tom Hanks is part of the evil cabal of pedophiles that rules the world and that he sought Green citizenship for reasons having to do with sex trafficking. That tweet reads like Boebert is winking at QAnoners over their suspicions about Hanks but keeping it ambiguous enough that she could say when asked about it, “Shucks, I didn’t mean anything by it. I just meant it’s weird that Biden would fundraise with Greeks!” Playing footsie with Q believers might just turn out enough kooks to help her win her election this fall.
Quite a crop we’ll have in Congress next year. There are apparently cranks speaking at the convention tonight too. Here’s GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of the few members of the party to speak out critically of QAnon, trying to talk sense to people last week.