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RNC cancels speaker Mary Ann Mendoza after she promoted QAnon, anti-Semitic conspiracies

The sudden development came on the second night of the Republican convention.
Image: Andy Biggs,Mary Ann Mendoza
Angel Families founder Mary Ann Mendoza, left, speaks as she holds a photo of her son, police Officer Brandon Mendoza, during a news conference in Washington on June 18, 2019. At right is Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.Susan Walsh / AP file

An activist who was scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night was abruptly yanked off the program after it was reported that she had shared an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory on social media hours ahead of her scheduled appearance.

"Do yourself a favor and read this thread," the woman, Mary Ann Mendoza, wrote on Twitter, linking to a string of tweets about a bogus 100-year-old Jewish plot to run the world that managed to add some QAnon conspiracies and touched on everything from the Titanic to Hillary Clinton.

Mendoza apologized about an hour before the RNC programming was set to begin, saying: "I retweeted a very long thread earlier without reading every post within the thread. My apologies for not paying attention to the intent of the whole message. That does not reflect my feelings or personal thoughts whatsoever."

Mendoza's removal was so abrupt that organizers had already sent out a copy of her prepared remarks, which were supposed to have been under an embargo until her appearance.

Campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh confirmed, "We have removed the scheduled video from the convention lineup, and it will no longer run this week." No reason was given.

QAnon is a baseless conspiracy theory with a variety of outlandish claims centered on a belief that President Donald Trump is waging a secret war against a Democratic and Hollywood elite cabal of child abusers.

The FBI said last year that its theories are likely intended to "motivate some domestic extremists," but Trump gave the group a public embrace last week, saying, "I've heard these are people who love our country." He added that he didn't know much about the movement "other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate."

Mendoza was going to speak out about her son, who was killed in a collision with a drunken driver who was in the country illegally.

"President Donald Trump is the first political leader we've ever seen take on the radical left to finally secure our border and to end illegal immigration since day one. I've met him many times, and I know what's in his heart," she was to have said.

The Democratic group American Bridge 21st Century had called for Mendoza to be removed after The Daily Beast first reported her tweet.

"There's no place for Mary Ann Mendoza's anti-Semitic views. Sadly, under Donald Trump's watch, anti-Semitism is on the rise and is now in the front and center at the Republican National Convention," said a spokesperson, Kyle Morse.

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Earlier Tuesday, Georgia congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene — who has voiced support for QAnon and has a history of making racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim comments — tweeted that she has been invited to attend Trump's acceptance speech at the White House on Thursday. "I'm honored and thrilled," she wrote in the post, which included a copy of the invitation.

Hallie Jackson reported from Washington, D.C., and Dareh Gregorian from New York.