Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn is going all in on the QAnon conspiracy theory, promoting an online store to sell QAnon hats and T-shirts, the proceeds of which will benefit his partnership with a prominent QAnon booster.
Flynn’s drawn-out legal battle with former Special Counsel Robert Mueller turned him into a hero for QAnon believers. Many QAnon supporters, who rely on mysterious online clues to construct a worldview where the Democratic Party and other institutions are controlled by a cabal of pedophile-cannibals, claim that Flynn is “Q”, the anonymous figure behind the conspiracy theory. They also took a previously obscure Flynn quote about the American military’s “digital soldiers” as their banner, adopting the phrase to refer to QAnon believers themselves.
Flynn started to more aggressively court his QAnon fans this year, taking the “QAnon oath” in July and appearing on QAnon podcasts after receiving a pardon in November. Along the way, Flynn once again became an adviser to Trump, reportedly urging the president to impose martial law in a recent, heated Oval Office meeting.
Flynn aligned himself even further with QAnon on Tuesday, endorsing a T-shirt website called “Shirt Show USA” that sells QAnon gear and other “official” Flynn-themed merchandise. The website’s offerings include camo trucker hats, T-shirts, and sweatshirts with the phrase “WWG1WGA,” a reference to the central QAnon motto, “Where we go one, we go all.”
The ad copy describing the $35 trucker hats makes clear that the site’s creators endorse QAnon, including a reference to another QAnon term, the “Great Awakening.”
“It’s no conspiracy and it’s certainly more than a theory,” the description reads. “The Great Awakening is happening and the signs are everywhere.”
Flynn’s son Michael Flynn Jr. also endorsed the site on Tuesday, saying the money would support his father and “digital soldiers.”
“Each purchase helps @genflynn and his army of Digital Soldiers in the fight against fake news,” the younger Flynn posted on conservative media site Parler.
According to the descriptions of the QAnon gear, the sales proceeds will go towards launching a new Flynn news outlet called “Digital Soldiers.” That site bills itself as a collaboration between Flynn and conspiracy theory website UncoverDC, which is run by major QAnon promoter Tracy Diaz.
Diaz, who operates under the online alias “Tracy Beanz,” was a crucial early backer of QAnon in its first days, helping it to make the jump from internet forums like 4Chan to wider audiences on more mainstream social media sites and organizing a QAnon rally in Washington, D.C.
The Digital Soldiers website, which features Flynn’s signature, bills itself as the home for an “insurgency” of “thousands of fellow digital soldiers.”
“Digital Soldiers from all over the world have stepped up to fill the void where real journalism once stood,” the site reads. “We are pushing back against the rise of fake news.”
The FBI classifies QAnon as a potential source of domestic terrorism. The conspiracy theory has been tied to three murders, a terrorist incident, alleged child kidnapping plots, and other crimes.