After critics slammed Rep. Elise Stefanik (RN.Y.) for pointlessly blaming “usual pedophile hustlers” for America’s infant formula shortage, her office reportedly insisted that’s not what she I meant at all.
A spokeswoman for the extremist lawmaker said she was not blaming pedophile scammers but he intended “fart” to mean “children,” writer and activist Parker Malloy reported Saturday, which still doesn’t make sense.
“Fart” or pedophile is a well-known whistle for QAnon conspiracy theorists who are unsubstantiatedly convinced that “fart” Democrats are running an international child sex trafficking operation.
The bizarre contortion after Stefanik’s scandalous Twitter post was captured in a recorded phone call to the lawmaker’s office by an unidentified “constituent,” 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 to a Stefanik election office.
The unidentified caller asks who are the “regular fart scammers” Stefanik is referring to in her tweet.
“First of all, this is your personal Twitter. I just have to keep that in mind,” the staff member replies, noting that the office had received several calls about it. “And #2, ‘fart’ isn’t short for ‘pedophile,’ it’s ‘fart,’ as in ‘children.'”
“So these are people who are scamming your children?” the confused caller asks. “How are they cheating on their children? Or are they children who are scamming?
The person replies, “No, not the children who are scamming…the people who are scamming on behalf of the children.”
When asked to explain how that works, the spokesperson says he “can’t really break it down.” The full phone call can be heard here:
On Friday, a staff member gave a slightly different version of the “pedophile con artists” to The Independent, saying they were Republicans on the Lincoln Project, but apparently didn’t even try to begin to explain that.
Mediaite was also told on Friday, apparently without explanation: “Fart scammers refers to the Lincoln Project.”
The Lincoln Project is a PAC founded and run by Republicans critical of Donald Trump. There is nothing to link the Lincoln Project to a shortage of infant formula or to pedophilia.
Critics warned Friday that Stefanik’s irresponsible “fart” tweet could spark violence against imaginary enemies. A gunman opened fire in 2016 at a Washington, DC pizzeria that was unsubstantiatedly identified as the site of an alleged child-trafficking operation. Nobody was hurt. The “Pizzagate” gunman was sentenced to four years in prison.
Stefanik was also criticized for her ruthless call in her tweet to deny infant formula to immigrant babies who are being processed or detained in federal facilities. The government is required by law to provide the necessities in such situations.
Stefanik blames the Biden administration for the current shortage of infant formula in the United States. The administration does not manufacture formula; It is created and sold by three large companies, which have little competition and powerful control of the market.
The shortage was caused in part by supply chain issues related to the pandemic combined with a massive safety recall by the largest formula maker, Abbott Nutrition, which was forced to close its Michigan plant earlier this year due to pollution problems.