Brand New Republican Congresswoman Mayra Flores wasn’t too happy on Thursday when Fox News anchors Sandra Smith and John Roberts tried to ask her about her past support for the unhinged QAnon conspiracy theory, chiding the hosts for “staying focused on the issues that matter”.
In addition to her attempts to repeatedly change the subject, Flores also suggested that her use of QAnon hashtags in social media posts indicated her opposition to the conspiracy, which supporters believe is a cabal of satanic-democratic elites running a murderous child sex ring.
Flores, who won a special election this month to overthrow a Democrat-occupied Texas house district, repeatedly used different QAnon hashtags—such as #WWG1WGA—in social media posts, including in a political Facebook ad† In addition to spreading QAnon conspiracies in now-deleted tweets, Flores also spread false claims that far-left activists were actually responsible for the violence in the January 6 Capitol riot.
Although Fox News largely ignored her promotion of QAnon when she was initially praising her win as further evidence of a coming “red wave” for Republicans, Smith and Roberts took the time at the end of their Thursday afternoon interview to gently squeeze her on the subject.
“Last question for you – I just want to give you a chance to address this because some of your critics have noted: [that] a few years ago, when you were the chairman of the Republican Party’s Hispanic outreach for Hidalgo County, you made a few social media posts with hashtags for QAnon,” Roberts noted. “And I’m just wondering where you’re coming from with this whole QAnon thing.”
Flores dismissed it as just a “hashtag,” then insisted that her “post was actually against it” before declaring that she’s “never supported any of those conspiracies and none of this nonsense.”
Roberts asked her why she included the hashtags in her social media posts, prompting Flores to swerve and dodge as she scolded the anchor for the follow-up question.
“Again, Washington wants us to focus on nonsense,” she sobbed. “I’m focused on the issues that matter in my district and right now we’re focused on the increase in gas, the increase in groceries, food and the increase in health care.”
Smith, noting that Flores managed the social media account, again asked why Flores had added QAnon vocabulary to her posts. And again, the congressman warned the hosts.
“Stay focused! Stay focused on the things that matter,” she grumbled.
An apparently chaste Roberts replied that “we focus on the things that matter,” adding that “anyone watching Fox News would tell you that.” At the same time, however, he again tried to get an answer.
“We wonder what you say to the critics pointing that out and we wonder why you would have included it in the first place?” Robert wondered.
“I’ve said it over and over, I’ve never supported any of those conspiracies. Again, stay focused on the things that really matter to the American people. Border crisis and of course the economy”, replied Flores.
“Actually,” Roberts concluded.
Several experts who have studied QAnon responded to Flores’ Fox News exchange, noting that now that she’s an elected official, she should quickly walk away from her past support.
“I don’t think it’s that complicated” QAnon Anonymous Podcast Host Travis View Tweeted† “She used QAnon hashtags to target a demographic that might support her and increase engagement with her posts. Now that QAnon is an obligation, she declines it. She’s just a cynical politician doing what works right now.”
“Mayra Flores struggles here to handle the obvious: she grabbed QAnon when it was beneficial to advance her political career,” The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer added.
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