California Governor Gavin Newsom claimed the campaign to recall him is led by right-wing extremists, including QAnon supporters.
The moment: The Democrat governor spoke to the hosts of ABC’s “The View” Tuesday about the recall initiative, which he admitted is likely to reach the 1.5 million signature threshold to qualify for the ballot.
Newsom cited a Politico report which described recall organizer Orrin Heartlie’s controversial social media posts to say that the “the chief proponent of this recall petition supports putting microchips into migrants, into immigrants.”
- “The other proponents, the chief — the top ten proponents that are behind this are members of the three percenters, the right wing militia group, the Proud Boys, supported the insurrection, are folks that quite literally, enthusiastically support QAnon conspiracies, and so that’s the origin here,” he continued, referring to a variety of fringe groups,” he added.
- “Now as it relates to the people that signed this petition, it just takes one-quarter of people that supported Donald Trump to put a petition and the ballot, or rather recall on the ballot.”
The reaction: Newsom’s claims sparked scrutiny from several news outlets and prompted CNN fact check the governor’s claims.
- In an interview with the governor later Tuesday, CNN host Jake Tapper pushed back on his repeated claims about the partisan nature of the recall.
- “Certainly, all 2 million Californians who signed this aren’t all Trumpsters,” Tapper said.
- “I mean, we have interviewed people who were supporters of yours who are now supporting the recall effort in large part, at least according to, anecdotally, the interviews our reporters on the ground have been doing because they think that the measures you took were too harsh, too aggressive,” he added, referring to California’s controversial anti-COVID measures.
Popularity contest: The effort to recall Newsom gained momentum after leaked photos emerged showing the governor violating his own stringent anti-COVID restrictions by dining at an exclusive French restaurant with a group of high-profile politicians and lobbyists.