Pence set to attend fundraiser hosted by couple who shared QAnon posts

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Vice President Pence and other top officials from President Trump‘s campaign are scheduled to attend a fundraiser in Montana next week hosted by a couple who have backed the QAnon conspiracy theory.

According to an event invitation obtained by The Associated Press and a review of social media posts by fundraiser hosts Caryn and Michael Borland, the couple appears to express support for the baseless conspiracy theory that has entered the mainstream lexicon in recent months.

The conspiracy, which originated in fringe corners of internet forums and blogs, is broad, but generally suggests Trump is fighting entrenched enemies in the government and combatting satanism and child sex trafficking.

The fundraiser, slated for Sept. 14 in Bozeman, Mont., is expected to feature other figures from the president’s campaign team, including Kimberly Guilfoyle, a Trump fundraising official who is dating the president’s son Donald Trump Jr., Republican National Committee (RNC) chair Ronna McDaniel, RNC finance chair Todd Ricketts, and RNC co-chair Tommy Hicks Jr., according to the event invitation.

Many Republicans have sought to distance themselves from the widely discredited QAnon conspiracy, including Pence himself, who dismissed it out of hand when questioned about it last month.

The Hill reached out to both the Trump Campaign and the vice president’s office about the matter but did not immediately hear back.

The president himself pleaded mostly ignorant about the theory when asked about it, though he told reporters during a White House press briefing last month that the conspiracy was “gaining in popularity” and that its supporters “like me very much.”

The Borlands were also present for the president’s renominating convention last month at the White House.

The couple has reportedly donated over $220,000 to Trump’s reelection campaign, with a majority of donations made in Caryn Borland‘s name.

The Borlands also said they dined with Sen. Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky, according to a caption of a Facebook photo uploaded on Aug. 27, featuring the couple and Paul posing together.

Originally published: 2020-09-09 13:43:43

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