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By Tom George | KITV via CNN

HONOLULU — UPDATE: As of Sunday night, the Hawaii GOP official behind the now deleted Twitter thread has resigned. Edwin Boyette, the state Republican Party’s Vice Chair of Communication sent his letter of resignation to Party Chair Shirlene Ostrov, claiming sole responsibility for the series of posts and announcing he would step down immediately:

“Discussion of of some topics is ill suited to the forums of social media, and regardless of intent – only serves to increase conflict and discord. The discussion of the Q-Conspiracy was an error of judgment, and should not reflect upon the leadership or the members of the Republican Party of Hawaii. The responsibility for that discussion and that error is mine and mine alone.”

ORIGINAL STORY: The Hawaii Republican Party is under fire for a series of tweets that appear to defend supporters of the QAnon conspiracy.

The far-right internet conspiracy group was among those spreading false information that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, and QAnon supporters were among those who were part of the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th.

In the series of tweets, while the Hawaii GOP acknowledges QAnon is fiction, they also defended supporters as being “largely motivated by a sincere and deep love for America.”

Thousands of people commented on the thread nationwide, criticizing the posts. The backlash also prompted the Hawaii Democratic Party to issue a statement condemning the tweets, saying “There is nothing patriotic in defending Q-Anon adherents, there is nothing honorable in defending Proud Boy antics.”

When reached for a response Sunday morning, state GOP Chairwoman Shirlene Ostrov initially defended the tweets, telling KITV4 “the thread clearly debunks the “Q” phenomena as fiction,” and that it “explains the creators of the Q fiction exploited the patriotism and passion of their followers for greed and attention,” and went on the criticize the media.

But shortly after KITV4 reached Ostrov, the GOP deleted the entire Twitter thread. Ostrov has not commented since deleting the tweets.