Celebrities Call Out Trump for His QAnon Answer During Last Night's Town Hall

Many celebrities have criticized President Donald Trump following his Thursday night town hall on NBC, when he dodged a question about the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory.

When NBC News anchor Savannah Guthrie summarized the theory to Trump ("Democrats are a satanic pedophile ring and that you are the savior of that"), she also asked him to say that it's not true and to disavow the conspiracy. "I know nothing about QAnon," Trump responded.

When Guthrie said that she'd just told him the main points of the theory, Trump responded, "You told me, but what you tell me doesn't necessarily make it fact."

'You're the president. You're not, like, someone's crazy uncle who can just retweet whatever' — Savannah Guthrie lays into Trump for spreading QAnon conspiracy theories pic.twitter.com/sqa0hrbU8d

— NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 16, 2020

Trump continued, "I know they are very much against pedophilia. They fight it very hard, but I know nothing about it." The president then offered to research it, before pivoting to speaking about Antifa.

In the wake of that exchange, a number of celebrities have called out Trump for dodging the question. Director Rob Reiner said that by dodging the question he was "embracing" the group, but said that the hysteria will be over soon, assuming Trump loses re-election. Katie Couric said that it was "insane" for Trump to say he doesn't know anything about QAnon. Author Nathan Rabin unpacked Trump's confusing "three-step" approach to the questions about the conspiracy theory.

I can’t believe I’m writing this but we have a President who embraces a group of people who believe Democrats are running a pedophile ring that sacrifices babies and drinks their blood. 18 days left in this insanity.

— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) October 16, 2020

So insane that @realDonaldTrump claims he does not what QAnon is. Hello? “I have nothing about QAnon. I know they are against pedophilia.” What?

— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) October 16, 2020

This is Trump's three step process when asked to condemn QAnon 1. Profess not to know anything about QAnon 2. Praise QAnon as patriotic and anti-pedophilia in a way that suggests you're very familiar with them 3. Condemn Antifa.

— Nathan Rabin (@nathanrabin) October 16, 2020

YouTuber and musician Jarrod Alonge tweeted that he didn't believe that Trump knows nothing about the conspiracy. "[H]e knows the conspiracy is helping his campaign," he wrote. "In case that wasn't abundantly clear." Singer-songwriter Cary Brothers expressed a similar sentiment, saying that Trump was pandering to the group.

Trump obviously knows everything you could know about QAnon but intentionally plays dumb during questioning because he knows the conspiracy is helping his campaign.

In case that wasn't abundantly clear.

— Jarrod Alonge (@JarrodAlonge) October 16, 2020

We've gotten to the point where a sitting U.S. President won't disavow a cult that believes Tom Hanks to be a satanist who drinks the blood of children.

He knows EXACTLY what the fuck QAnon is and lies to her face repeatedly because he's so desperate to get the vote of a CULT. https://t.co/l1VhlncqvN

— 𝙲𝚊𝚛𝚢 𝙱𝚛𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜 (@carybrothers) October 16, 2020

Radio personality Mark Simone defended Trump's deflecting of the question, calling the conspiracy theorists who perpetuate QAnon "small chat groups on line [sic]," and said that a president is "supposed to denounce and worry about violent groups rioting and burning down cities."

A President is not supposed to denounce Qanon, or even know what it is. He's not supposed to worry about small chat groups on line. He's supposed to denounce and worry about violent groups rioting and burning down cities, like Antifa. Biden not looking Presidential on that.

— MARK SIMONE (@MarkSimoneNY) October 16, 2020

Comedian Brent Terhune made fun of Trump's response in a satirical video. "I need a president who talks in soundbytes, and when he's asked about the sh**ty things his supporters do, he'll say, 'Oh, I don't know anything about that, but let me tell you about Antifa.' It's like really bad improv," he said.

Big T won that town hall. #Trump2020Landslide pic.twitter.com/fqcLloOrNC

— Brent Terhune (@BrentTerhune) October 16, 2020

A few others also took the QAnon dodging to serve as an example of why Trump should not be re-elected, like musician Ben Lee and talk show host Chip Franklin.

Donald Trump refused to denounce QAnon, a conspiracy cult that thinks celebrities and Democratic politicians literally eat babies. We need Joe Biden. We deserve a president who sees and understands reality, not a conspiracy theorist. #BidenCalm #BidenHarris2020 #FridayFeeling

— Ben Lee (@benleemusic) October 16, 2020

If you're a Republican?

Trump's defense of QAnon is all you need to know.

The water is poison. Drink from it and the country dies.

— Chip Franklin "good trouble" (@chipfranklin) October 16, 2020

Donald Trump's campaign did not respond to Newsweek's emailed request for comment in time for publication.

Conspiracy theorist QAnon demonstrators protest child trafficking on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, August 22, 2020. KYLE GRILLOT/AFP/Getty