Days after stepping back her support for QAnon, Oregon Republican nominee for U.S. Senate Jo Rae Perkins told a national news outlet that she does indeed support the conspiracy movement.
Perkins gained widespread attention after referencing QAnon in an Election Day video Tuesday. Her campaign released a statement Wednesday that said she was not a “follower of Q.”
But in an interview with ABC News published Friday, Perkins distanced herself from the campaign statement. The Albany financial adviser told ABC News she did not read the statement closely before it was released, according to the report.
“Some people think that I follow Q like I follow Jesus,” Perkins is quoted as telling an ABC News reporter. “Q is the information and I stand with the information resource.”
Yet hours after the interview brought a renewed wave of national attention, Perkins declined to verify the accuracy of quotes or disclose her true stance on the conspiracy theory.
“I had no idea that was even out there,” Perkins told The Oregonian/OregonLive, referencing the ABC interview. She declined to say anything else.
Perkins’ now-deleted Election Day video, posted on her official Twitter account, made multiple references to the QAnon conspiracy theory.
The theory posits without evidence that a global cabal of elites is operating a child sex trafficking ring and engaging in ritual abuse and sacrifice. Although there are various branches of the theory, a commonly held belief is that President Donald Trump is working covertly to break up the ring.
“Where we go one, we go all,” Perkins says in the video, a main slogan for followers of the theory. “I stand with President Trump. I stand with ‘Q’ and the team.”
The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Perkins had ties to Jim Watkins, a leading figure in the QAnon conspiracy movement. Perkins is listed on the Disarm The Deep State super PAC website as an “avid follower of Q theory.” Watkins owns 8chan, an online message board where new “Q drops,” are posted. Federal campaign finance records show the super PAC’s treasurer is Jim Watkins. Perkins lists an anonymous endorsement on her campaign website that links to the Disarm The Deep State website.
Perkins’ campaign finance records show she received 39 donations of $17 apiece. The number “17” is significant in the QAnon conspiracy movement because “q” is the seventeenth letter of the alphabet.
Perkins defeated runner-up Paul Romero, a Roseburg U.S. Navy veteran, by more than 55,000 votes. Perkins is unlikely to present a significant challenge to Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley.
— K. Rambo
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