The former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn celebrated Independence Day by taking an oath — one that ended with a reference to the bonkers conspiracy theory QAnon.
“Where we go one, we go all!” Flynn declared Saturday night, surrounded by a huddle others repeating after him. “God bless America!”
That first phrase is so emblematic of the QAnon movement that it’s frequently shortened to a hashtag: “#WWG1WGA.”
Happy 4th of July ??
God Bless America ??
— General Flynn (@GenFlynn) July 5, 2020
The conspiracy theory, which is based on a series of anonymous message board posts by a supposed government insider, posits that President Donald Trump is at war with the “deep state” and an underground ring of pedophiles that includes prominent Democrats and Hollywood stars. Flynn, the theory goes, is one of a number of good guys railroaded by deep state operatives.
Flynn’s oath represents another, more recent facet of the conspiracy: Accompanied by the hashtag “#taketheoath,” QAnon supporters repeat the same oath of office recited by newly elected lawmakers as a way to declare themselves “digital soldiers.”
Flynn has had a good few weeks. Last month, an appeals court panel sided with Flynn and ruled that the Justice Department had a right to dismiss its case against him.
Flynn pleaded guilty in December of 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contact with the Russian government, but after a change in legal representation, he took an aggressive new tack and sought to drop his plea. The DOJ subsequently dropped its case against Flynn in May, a move Attorney General Bill Barr his defended.
Travis View, host of the QAnon Anonymous podcast, said Sunday that Flynn’s “oath” the previous night was “part of a years long pattern of signaling to the QAnon community.” Two years ago, View noted, Flynn was inscribing books with the “Where We Go 1 We Go All” slogan.
It’s also a family affair: Flynn’s brother Joseph did his own oath late last month:
— Joseph J Flynn (@JosephJFlynn1) June 30, 2020
And Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, took an oath as well — though she recited the pledge of allegiance, not the oath of office, and didn’t include a QAnon tagline at the end.
????Happy July 4, 2020 ????
The BEST yet!!
God bless America ??
I solemnly swear to support & defend the #Constitution against all enemies-foreign & domestic@realDonaldTrump@GenFlynn@BarbaraRedgate @JosephJFlynn1 @lofly727 @GoJackFlynn @lflynn1998 @molmccann @WhiteHouse pic.twitter.com/EMzYOpUxmK
— Sidney Powell ??⭐⭐⭐ (@SidneyPowell1) July 5, 2020
She told the Washington Examiner that the phrase “Where We Go One We Go All” was a reference to the engraving on a bell on President John F. Kennedy’s sailboat. Flynn, Powell said, “wanted to encourage people to think about being a citizen. Don’t read anything else into it.”
Powell subsequently told TPM in an email that “Neither of us knows Q or Qanon or follows anyone because of that, but we appreciate our Constitution, American Exceptionalism, Americans’ can-do spirit, American culture, the importance of our freedoms, liberty, and the Rule of Law.”
But the attorney retweeted other oath-takers who made their QAnon allegiances explicit.
Finally took the oath! Please excuse my appearance ? #TakeTheOath #WWG1WGA #QAnon #KeyboardWarriors #DigitalSoldiers @GenFlynn @lofly727 @flynn_neill @BarbaraRedgate @JosephJFlynn1 @GoJackFlynn @POTUS @realDonaldTrump @FLOTUS @DanScavino @DanScavino @tribunal_watch pic.twitter.com/dzjCbHAlDP
— carol b ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@carol_beeee) June 30, 2020
The wacko conspiracy theory has proven a potent political force on the right: Eric Trump posted a QAnon meme before one of his dad’s rallies last month, and several congressional candidates — some of them serious competitors — have expressed their support for the movement as well.
Theresa Raborn, the Republican congressional nominee attempting to unseat Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL) this November, responded to Flynn’s “oath” video with an “AMEN and CONGRATS!!!!” and a hashtag: “#WWG1WGA.”
— RabornForCongress (@Raborn4Congress) July 5, 2020
This post has been updated.