Avril Haines, President-elect Biden’s nominee for director of national intelligence, pledged at her Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday to conduct a public assessment of the threat of the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory.
Why it matters: Many members of the pro-Trump mob involved in the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol siege were seen sporting symbols referencing QAnon, a sprawling and baseless conspiracy theory that purports that President Trump is fighting a vast deep-state cabal of pedophiles.
- The FBI has labeled fringe conspiracies like QAnon as potential domestic terror threats.
Driving the news: Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) asked Haines at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee whether she would commit to the assessment, which he first requested from the Trump administration in December.
- Haines said she will “work with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security” to produce a report. The former Obama administration official indicated she would also assess how foreign influence operations have exacerbated the spread of QAnon.
Go deeper: The Capitol siege’s QAnon roots