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After critics bludgeoned Rep. Elise Stefanik (RN.Y.) for absurdly blaming ‘usual pedo scammers’ for America’s baby formula shortages, her office then allegedly insisted that this no was not at all what she meant.
A spokeswoman for the hardline lawmaker said she did not blame “pedophile” crooks, but meant “pedo” to mean “children”, writer and activist Parker Malloy reported on Saturday – which still doesn’t make sense.
“Pedo” or pedophile is a well-known whistle to QAnon conspiracy theorists who hold the baseless belief that “pedo” Democrats are running an international child sex trafficking operation.
The bizarre contortion after Stefanik’s outrageous Twitter post was captured in a recorded phone call to the lawmaker’s office by an unidentified “voter,” Malloy reported in “The Present Age.”
Neither Stefanik nor a representative could be immediately reached for comment, and HuffPost could not confirm that the speaker on the recording was a spokesperson for Stefanik. But the recorded voice appeared to be identical to that of an answering machine answering calls from a constituent office of Stefanik.
The unidentified caller asks who the “usual pedo scammers” Stefanik refers to in his tweet are.
“First of all, it’s his personal Twitter. I just have to write that down,” the staff member replies, pointing out that the office has received a number of calls about it. “And #2, ‘pedo ‘ is not an abbreviation of ‘paedophile, it’s ‘paedo’, as in ‘children’.”
“So these are people who cheat their children?” asks the confused caller. “How do they spoil their children? Or are they children who tear themselves away?
The person responds, “No, not kids fighting…people fighting on behalf of kids.”
When asked to explain how it works, the spokesperson says he “can’t really analyze it.” The full phone call can be heard here:
On Friday, a staffer gave The Independent a slightly different version of “pedo crooks”, saying they were Republicans in The Lincoln Project – but apparently didn’t even try to begin to explain that one.
Mediaite was also informed on Friday, apparently without explanation: “Pedo scammers refer to the Lincoln project.”
The Lincoln Project is a PAC founded and led by Republican critics of Donald Trump. There is nothing that connects the Lincoln Project to the shortage of infant formula – or to pedophilia.
On Friday, critics warned that Stefanik’s irresponsible “pedo” tweet could spark violence against imaginary enemies. A gunman opened fire in 2016 at a Washington, DC pizzeria baselessly identified as the location of an alleged child trafficking operation. No one was hurt. The “Pizzagate” shooter was sentenced to four years in prison.
Stefanik was also torn for her heartless plea in her tweet to deny infant formula to immigrant babies being processed or detained in federal facilities. The government is required by law to provide necessities in such situations.
Stefanik blames the Biden administration for the current shortage of infant formula in America. The administration does not manufacture infant formula; it is created and sold by three large companies, which have little competition and strong market control.
The shortage was triggered in part by pandemic-related supply chain issues, combined with a massive safety recall by the largest formula producer, Abbott Nutrition, which was forced to close its Michigan plant early. this year due to contamination issues.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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