After critics lashed out at Representative Elise Stefanik (RN.Y.) for pointlessly blaming “usual pedophiles” for the shortage of infant formula in the United States, her office reportedly insisted that was not what she meant.
A spokesperson for the extremist lawmaker said she was not blaming “pedophile” crooks, but intended “pedo” to mean “children,” reported writer and activist Parker Malloy on Saturday — which still doesn’t make sense.
“Pedo” or pedophile is a well-known whistle for QAnon conspiracy theorists who are unfoundedly convinced that the “pedo” Democrats are running an international child sex trafficking operation.
The strange contortion after Stefanik’s outrageous Twitter post was captured in a recorded phone call to the legislature’s office by an “unidentified voter,” Malloy reported in “The Present Age.”
Neither Stefanik nor a representative could immediately be 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 an answering machine answering calls to a Stefanik constituent office.
The unnamed person asks who are the “usual pedo crooks” Stefanik refers to in his tweet.
“First, this is her personal Twitter. I just have to note this”, replies the employee, pointing out that the office received several calls about the matter. “And #2, ‘pedo’ is not shorthand for ‘pedophile, it’s ‘pedo’, as in ‘children’”.
“So these are people who are stealing your children?” asks the confused caller. “How are they stealing your children? Or are they children who are cheating?”
The person responds, “No, not children who are stealing… people who are stealing on behalf of children.”
When asked to explain how this works, the spokesperson says he “can’t really analyze it”. The full call can be heard here:
An employee on Friday gave a slightly different version of “pedo scammers” to The Independent, saying they were Republicans on The Lincoln Project — but apparently didn’t even try to explain it.
Mediaite was also informed on Friday, apparently without explanation: “Pedo crooks refer to Project Lincoln.”
The Lincoln Project is a PAC founded and administered by Republicans critical of Donald Trump. There’s nothing linking Project Lincoln to the infant formula shortage—or pedophilia.
Critics warned on Friday that Stefanik’s irresponsible “pedo” tweet could unleash violence against imaginary enemies. A gunman opened fire in 2016 at a Washington, D.C. pizzeria that was wrongly identified as the site of an alleged child trafficking operation. Nobody was hurt. The “Pizzagate” shooter was sentenced to four years in prison.
Stefanik was also criticized for her callous appeal in her tweet to deny infant formula to immigrant babies being prosecuted 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 the United States. Management does not manufacture formula; is created and sold by three large companies, which have little competition and powerful market control.
The shortage was triggered in part by supply chain issues related to the pandemic, combined with a massive safety recall by the biggest formula maker, Abbott Nutrition, which was forced to close its Michigan plant earlier this year over contamination concerns. .