Denver Riggleman, a former Republican representative, said his mother almost abandoned him when he attacked former President Donald Trump for retweeting a QAnon supporter’s account on CNN before the 2020 election.
“You have merged with the marsh…
I regret that you ever won the election.
You have obtained political office.
I’ve grieved over you, and you’ve crushed my heart,” In his upcoming book, The Breach: The Untold Story of the Investigation into January 6th, Riggleman said that his mother contacted him.
Early copies of the book were acquired by The Hill newspaper, and in it, Riggleman wrote of his mother’s response to his public criticism of the former president for his propensity to spread conspiracies.
Riggleman referred to Trump’s sharing of a post that promoted a QAnon conspiracy theory regarding the Bin Laden operation as a “hazardous tweet” during the CNN interview with Jake Tapper in October 2020.
What will it take to get you out of bed, son?
After his CNN interview, he said his mother emailed him: “I love you dearly, but cannot stand by and listen to your snobbish attitude and being hailed by elitist journalists and Democrats.”
Riggleman had co-sponsored a House resolution denouncing QAnon before his CNN interview, which had bipartisan support but 17 Republican votes against it.
He referred to some of the QAnon supporters’ ideas as “bats**t nuts” on CNN.
I knew my mom and I didn’t agree on politics, but this is different, Riggleman said. Any prospect of a generally typical relationship seems remote.
She was so close to rejecting me, he said.
Riggleman said that after leaving the Mormon religion, their relationship had already worsened.
They became closer when he joined Republican politics, losing his bid for Virginia governor in 2016 and defeating Leslie Cockburn, a Democrat who also happened to be Olivia Wilde’s mother, in a dramatic Congressional contest in 2018.
In addition to other things, Cockburn accused Riggleman of being obsessed with “Bigfoot erotica” after the actor shared several hilarious drawings of the fictional forest giant on social media, some of which included genitalia.
Then, in 2020, after officiating a same-sex wedding, Riggleman lost the Republican primary in his rural Charlottesville, Virginia, district.
Since then, he has abandoned the Republican Party.
My mother and I remain close despite leaving the Mormon Church, Riggleman stated. “I didn’t know whether it would withstand the Church of Trump,” the speaker said.
Riggleman said that things were getting better when he appeared on CBS Mornings on Monday.
“The love for my mother and her love for me will transcend it,” he said.
And it succeeded in doing so.
As another illustration of how “this type of information warfare, this digital metastasization of madness, can permeate everywhere, right,” Riggleman cited his mother.
He responded, “If the president is telling me and everyone else around him, then it definitely [had to be] real.” “It’s simply hogwash,” I said.
But I wanted to make sure people understood that there are a lot of families that are on the verge of tragedy and are attempting to inform others of a deception. It’s a fabrication. It’s just untrue. There’s no parsing it, he continued.
The majority of Riggleman’s latest book, which he wrote after leaving Congress in January 2021 and finishing it only three days before the assault on the Capitol, is about his time serving on the January 6 House select committee.
From August 2021 until this April, Riggleman, a former member of military intelligence, worked on the committee as a senior worker.
Riggleman said that his decision to leave the GOP was somewhat influenced by several text messages he saw Trump-supporting officials sending while serving on the January 6 committee.
If QAnon or similar conspiracy theories have taken hold within the GOP’s top levels of leadership, Riggleman added, “I believe maybe it’s time for me to leave this sort of job.”