Vice President Mike Pence will no longer attend a planned campaign fundraiser after a report revealed its hosts had previously showed support for the QAnon online conspiracy theory.
Pence was scheduled to make an appearance next week in Bozeman, Montana, but that meeting is no longer scheduled, the Trump campaign told The Associated Press on Saturday.
Caryn and Michael Borland, who were set to host the fundraiser, have shared posts in support of QAnon, and Caryn has also interacted with online accounts promoting the movement, according to a Wednesday AP report.
Numerous GOP candidates seeking election in Montana had planned to attend the event, as did members of the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee, the AP reported.
According to the outlet, Caryn and Michael Borland have donated more than $220,000 to the Trump campaign.
QAnon is driven by a belief that President Donald Trump is secretly at the center of a movement to defeat “deep-state,” criminal actors within the U.S. government.
Supporters of the conspiracy theory closely follow postings from an anonymous online person, who goes by the handle “Q” and claims to be a top-level government official who frequently shares information and updates about the purported behind-the-scenes fight.
Among the chief initiatives of that fight, per QAnon’s followers, is that Trump is attempting to take down a child sex trafficking ring which is supposedly run by a satanist cult of global elites. QAnon supporters also claim that members of the satanist cult engage in cannibalism and child torture.
QAnon supporters have linked the alleged international sex ring to late convicted sex offender and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, as well as the Clinton family and numerous other high-profile families across the globe.
The AP reported Pence has previously described QAnon as a conspiracy theory, telling CBS News last month: “I don’t know anything about QAnon, and I dismiss it out of hand.”
The Trump campaign has not commented on why the event in Montana was canceled.
Trump was asked about QAnon last month during a White House news briefing.
“Mr. President, at the crux of the theory is this belief that you are secretly saving the world from this satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals. Does that sound like something you are behind or a believer in?” a reporter asked.
The president surprised many with his response.
Trump answered: “Well, I haven’t — I haven’t heard that. But is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing? I mean, you know, if I can help save the world from problems, I’m willing to do it. I’m willing to put myself out there.”
“I don’t know much about the movement, other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate, but I don’t know much about the movement,” Trump added. “I have heard that it is gaining in popularity.”
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