Australian politician George Christensen confirmed that he has been following Facebook Pages that promote the QAnon conspiracy theory, calls for the ‘separation of races,’ and call COVID-19 a hoax.
Neither the MP or his office responded to multiple requests for comments about whether the account belonged to him or whether they disavowed the views promoted by the Pages.
But in a little-noticed interview streamed on YouTube the day before, Christensen admitted that the now-deleted Facebook account does indeed belong to him.
On October 1, a YouTube channel belonging to the Unshackled, an Australian alt-right website that’s hosted interviews with conspiracy theorists and a Neo-Nazi, posted an hour-long interview between host Tim Wilms and Christensen.
After being introduced, Christensen jokes that he has to go through a checklist since “a journalist found that I liked the Unshackled Facebook Page”.
A few updates: George Christensen confirmed that 'George Christensen' FB account does belong to him.
A few days ago, the Australian MP appeared on the Unshackled Youtube channel (which has posted conspiracy theories & interviews with Qanon believers & Neo-Nazis before) https://t.co/dBRCqu6CVe pic.twitter.com/EnGc2pe4nW
— cam 'two-bit journalist' wilson (@cameronwilson) October 5, 2020
Christensen falsely claims that Gizmodo accused Wilms of being a neo-Nazi, which he denies. Wilms also denies spreading conspiracy theories, despite having repeatedly interviewed QAnon believers and COVID-19 denalists.
When Christensen asks whether Wilms owns “a funny shirt about Pinochet” — a shirt that says the dictator who executed his political opponents did ‘nothing wrong’, a common alt-right meme — Wilms confirms that he does. Christensen replies “3 out of 4, that’s fine. We can go on.”
Even though Christensen has confirmed that the ‘George Christensen’ account does belong to him, that does not mean that Christensen shares the views of these Pages or that it has influenced his positions as a member of Parliament. Nor is there any evidence that Christensen engaged with any of the Pages’ content, other than liking the Pages in the first place.
It is also not clear whether these Pages were known for posting that kind of content at the time that Christensen like them, or whether the focus of the Page has changed since then.
But the account provides rare insight into the content that one of the loudest voices in Parliament may be seeing in his News Feed.
Christensen’s office has been contacted for comment.
A longer transcript of Christensen’s interview with Wilms can be found below:
CHRISTENSEN: Thank you and before we begin Tim, as you know some two-bit journalist found that I liked the Unshackled Facebook Page and accused you of being Neo-Nazis. So I have to do this checklist. Are you a neo-nazi?
CHRISTENSEN: Are you a racist?
CHRISTENSEN: Do you spread conspiracy theories?
CHRISTENSEN: Ok, no that’s fine. But you did wear some funny shirt about Pinochet?
WILMS: Yes, yes, I did. I do have that t-shirt.
CHRISTENSEN: 3 out of 4, that’s fine. We can go on. We can continue the conversation because I can now not be – what’s the word- guilty by association.