Mr Flynn’s disavowal of QAnon is a major blow to the violent conspiracy movement
Former White House national security adviser and QAnon adherent Michael Flynn appears to now be claiming the right-wing conspiracy movement he publicly pledged allegiance to last summer is actually a disinformation campaign orchestrated by the Central Intelligence Agency.
Believers in the online conspiracy movement — which first originated on internet message boards such as 8chan and has been classified as a national security threat by the FBI — hold that the US government, most businesses, and the legitimate press have been captured by a global cabal of elite, Satan-worshipping paedophiles led by top Democrats, which has taken the form of the “deep state” opposed by former president Donald Trump.
Many QAnon supporters also believe that the late John F Kennedy Jr, the attorney, magazine publisher and son of assassinated president John F Kennedy, faked his death in a plane crash and is secretly assisting Mr Trump’s efforts.
A number of participants in the 6 January insurrection at the US Capitol were believers in QAnon, including “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley, who recieved a 41-month sentence for his role in the worst attack on the US legislature since the 1814 Burning of Washington.
Mr Flynn, a retired three-star US army general who once helmed the Defence Intelligence Agency, infamously pledged allegiance to the conspiracy movement in a video he posted to Twitter in July 2020. In May, he spoke at a Dallas, Texas QAnon conference, where he suggested that a Myanmar-style military coup should happen in the US.
But the disgraced ex-Trump adviser appears to disavowed the movement during a telephone call with pro-Trump election conspiracy theorist and attorney Lin Wood, which Mr Wood recorded and posted to his Telegram channel on Saturday.
After a person whose voice sounds similar to other recordings of Mr Wood said that QAnon had grown out of Flynn’s online call for “digital soldiers” to wage war on the “deep state” to benefit Mr Trump, another person whose voice sounds similar to Mr Flynn replied: “I think it’s an information campaign that the CIA created. That’s what I believe now. I don’t know that for a fact. But that’s what I think it is”.
He later added that the conspiracy movement was “total nonsense” and called it a “disinformation campaign created by the left”.
The Independent has obtained and reviewed a copy of the recording but has not authenticated it with Mr Flynn or Mr Wood, neither of whom could be reached for comment.