Josh Hawley Flatly Rejects QAnon, Brands Followers 'Whackos'

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) has said the QAnon conspiracy theory has no credibility and criticized those who follow it.

Hawley, speaking to KMOV News 4, was asked if he in any way backs the ideology of QAnon followers and if this has any credibility in his opinion.

"No. Zero," he said. "I don't know, I still don't know what they are. I don't care to know. It seems like a bunch of whackos, extremists to me and absolutely not."

QAnon followers believe that former President Donald Trump is a hero fighting against a secret deep state government run by elitists participating in acts such as Satan-worshipping and child sex trafficking, based upon information from an anonymous figure known as "Q."

Some followers of the conspiracy theory have clung on to the beliefs, despite Trump's defeat and Joe Biden's inauguration as president. There are those among them who even believe Trump will be reinstated as president in March.

Polling has shown the conspiracy theory has gained traction among Republicans and Trump supporters. However, some survey results have suggested this has dwindled in recent times.

Followers of the conspiracy theory were involved in the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, as a rally of Trump supporters descended into violence as they disputed the results of the presidential election.

After January 6, Hawley faced a backlash for his position in questioning election integrity. He also faced criticism after being photographed with his fist raised to protesters on that day, prior to them storming the Capitol. He has faced calls to resign and the suggestion that he could be censured.

Hawley has suggested he is being targeted due to "cancel culture." He has continued to stand by his positions in the face of the backlash and said it is a "lie" he incited violence, after being accused of this by adversaries.

"It was never my intention, point to overturn an election. I had no power to do it, it was never what I was aiming to do," he said, in the KMOV4 interview. "My goal was to raise the concerns of my constituents."

He said he had "major concerns" about "what happened in Pennsylvania," after questioning legal points of how it administered the election and the use of mail-in voting, and said his constituents also did.

"I certainly stand by what I did," he said. "My goal was to raise the concerns of my constituents, and that is exactly what I did."

On the events of January 6, he reiterated that he condemns those involved in the storming of the Capitol. He said "there is no excuse for what they did," and they should be prosecuted for their actions.

Newsweek has contacted Hawley for further comment on QAnon.

josh hawley at senate judiciary committee
Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) speaks as Judge Merrick Garland testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination to be U.S. Attorney General on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on February 22, 2021. He has flatly rejected the beliefs of those who follow the QAnon conspiracy theory, saying it has no credibility. Al Drago/Pool/AFP via Getty Images