Watch: QAnon-linked candidate Ron Watkins gets corrected onstage during GOP primary debate
Ron Watkins. (Screenshot/

Ron Watkins, a far-right activist running for Arizona's 2nd Congressional District, got corrected onstage at a GOP primary debate Thursday when he claimed that the cancelation of the Keystone XL pipeline project is the cause of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Watkins was asked whether he supports U.S. military aid to Ukraine by debate host Ted Simons.

"I support military aid to Ukraine but I want to say that we would not even be in Ukraine if President Biden did not shut down the Keystone Pipeline on the first day [of his presidency]," Watkins replied.

"'Because now that that's shut down, we have to get our oil and we're getting it from Russia and we're getting all these problems through the Ukraine that would not have happened if Biden did not shut down the Keystone pipeline," he added.

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At that point, another Republican onstage, Arizona state Rep. Walt Blackman, corrected him. "That is not why [Russia] went into Ukraine. They went into Ukraine because Ukraine [wanted] to be a part of NATO. Listen, you're trying to work on a national stage and you don't even know why the war started in Ukraine, it had nothing to do with the Keystone pipeline."

Watkins conceded, saying, "He's right, I made a mistake."

Local news outlet Arizona Family described the exchange as "one of the more cringeworthy moments in last night’s debate that featured three of the seven candidates vying for the GOP nomination in the district."

Watkins is believed by experts to be one of the first people who wrote the posts from "Q," the anonymous internet poster claiming to be a government insider whose rants spawned the QAnon conspiracy theory — although he denies he ever wrote any of the Q posts.