Republican Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) slammed President Donald Trump for his comments about the QAnon conspiracy theory during a combative town hall event on NBC, and added scorn for Democrats who refuse to denounce Antifa.
A combative Mr Trump, sparring with moderator Savannah Guthrie on NBC, refused to condemn the freaky conspiracy theory QAnon, reiterated his unsubstantiated assertion the 2020 election is rife with fraud, and questioned whether masks can help combat the spread of Covid-19.
Ms Guthrie hit back with: "I just told you".
Even though the commission canceled the in-person debate that could have happened tonight, one occurred anyway, and President Trump soundly defeated NBC's Savannah Guthrie in her role as debate opponent and Joe Biden surrogate.
The host quickly responded: "I just told you".
Trump replied, saying: "I know nothing about it".
"The President's unwillingness to denounce an absurd and unsafe conspiracy theory last night continues an alarming pattern: politicians and parties refuse to forcefully and convincingly repudiate groups like antifa, white supremacists, and conspiracy peddlers", said Romney.
The two went back and forth over the issue and Trump said the only thing that was clear about QAnon was that they "are very much against paedophelia", which is something he supports.
The president initially answered that he didn't know what QAnon was, and then later praised them for being against pedophilia when pressed by Guthrie to denounce the believers of the conspiracy.
The president faced a series of tough questions Thursday night regarding his health, coronavirus leadership, winking at QAnon conspiracy theorists, the reporting on his taxes, and many other pressing topics. But he bragged that "I understand they like me very much" in August, Axios reported, posting video of the remarks.
Guthrie followed Thursday's exchange by asking the president why he retweeted a QAnon Twitter account that baselessly claimed Joe Biden had a Navy Seal team killed. "That was an opinion of somebody and that was a retweet". "You're the president. You're not like someone's insane uncle who can just retweet whatever".