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Washington state mayor criticized over past QAnon comments

UPDATED: Mon., Feb. 1, 2021

Associated Press

SEATTLE — A mayor of a small town in Washington state has drawn opposition for comments supporting adherents to QAnon conspiracies.

Sequim Mayor William Armacost has previously declared QAnon a “truth movement” and encouraged listeners of a local radio station to watch a YouTube video supporting the online movement, the Seattle Times reported Sunday.

QAnon followers advocate conspiracy theories rooted in the baseless belief that former President Donald Trump was fighting deep state enemies and a cabal of Satan-worshipping cannibals operating a child sex trafficking ring. Some QAnon believers were among the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The video promoted over the summer by Armacost, which has subsequently been removed by YouTube, discussed a “war of biblical proportions” to rid the world of an evil global conspiracy.

Armacost, a city council member who was selected to serve as mayor by fellow councilors a year ago, refused to pass judgment on the conspiracy movement in an interview last week.

Armacost denied he had ever explicitly “endorsed or said I was a QAnon supporter” and said he had simply encouraged people “to seek truth.”

Armacost could not immediately be reached for further comment.

Shenna Younger, a co-founder of a citizens group promoting good governance in Sequim, a community of just over 7,000 residents on the north coast of the Olympic Peninsula, said its 500 active members are concerned about Armacost’s “QAnon ideologies.”

“This is not indicative of who we are. It’s a small minority,” Younger said. “This spotlight is damaging our tourism and our businesses.”

The community group believes recalling the mayor would be costly and therefore is focused on replacing three city council members aligned with Armacost in the November election, Younger said.

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