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."
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