Vice President Mike Pence seethed while being grilled by CNN anchor John Berman about President Donald Trump’s seeming embrace of those who believe the QAnon conspiracy theory.
In a Friday morning interview on New Day, Berman confronted the vice president about Trump’s wink and nod to the group.
“The president seemed to embrace QAnon — which is a group that the FBI has warned very likely motivates some domestic extremists to commit criminal, sometimes violent activity,” Berman said — as Pence shook his head. “This is a group that peddles theories that say that some politicians and high-profile Hollywood celebrities are members of a satanic cult, that are also cannibals. They say that coronavirus is being disseminated by George Soros and Bill Gates with the help of 5G networks.
“The president says they love America. So how do those beliefs embody a love of America?”
“You said the president seemed to embrace that,” Pence replied. “I didn’t hear that. I heard the president talk about he appreciates people who support him.”
Trump, at a Wednesday news conference, said “I’ve heard these are people that love our country. So I don’t know really anything about it other than they do supposedly like me.” After a reporter explained QAnon to the president, and asked him if he could support the theory, Trump responded, “Is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing? If I can help save the world from problems, I am willing to do it. I’m willing to put myself out there.”
Berman pressed the vice president.
“Do you believe they love America?” Berman said.
Pence pleaded ignorance.
“I don’t know anything about that conspiracy theory,” Pence said.
“How can you not know about it, given how much it’s been in the news?” Berman replied, incredulous. “How can you not know about it at this point?”
“Honestly, John, I don’t know anything about that,” Pence said. “I’ve heard about it. We dismiss conspiracy theories around here.”
Berman then asked Pence to do something that Trump wouldn’t — dismiss QAnon.
“Will you dismiss it?” Berman asked. “Will you dismiss it.”
“I just did, John,” Pence replied, tersely.
The vice president — who was on to offer rebuttal following the DNC — pivoted to bash Joe Biden and Democrats. Eventually, Berman cut him off and returned to QAnon, much to the vice president’s chagrin.
“So Mr. Vice President, you didn’t answer my question,” Berman said, while Pence continued to rant. Eventually, the vice president stopped, and Berman got back to QAnon.
“[Senator] Ben Sasse [R-NE] said ‘QAnon is nuts, leaders call conspiracy theories conspiracy theories.’ Will you call what they espouse conspiracy theories?”
Pence’s rage bubbled over.
“I just did, John,” Pence said again. “I called it a conspiracy theory. I said I don’t have any time for it, and I don’t know anything about it. And frankly, honestly John, I get it. I get that the media, particularly CNN, chases after shiny objects.”
“This is no shiny object,” Berman shot back, as Pence reverted to attacking Democrats.
Watch above, via CNN.
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