Biden’s pick for intel chief commits to public assessment of QAnon threat

WASHINGTON DC (Axios): Avril Haines, Pres-ident-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.

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