A former national security advisor to Donald Trump has been captured lauding the far-right group QAnon in leaked audio.
In a recording released on X/Twitter, retired lieutenant general and former director of the Defence Intelligence Agency, Michael Flynn, can be heard wishing QAnon influencers a happy birthday and saying “I love you guys”.
The QAnon movement, which began in 2017, is based on a far-right conspiracy theory that a vaguely-defined cabal of cannibalistic paedophiles is conspiring against former president Donald Trump.
A subset of influencers in the movement, known as We The Media, met with Flynn during a Zoom call in which he wished one of its members, Scott Zimmerman, a happy birthday.
Zimmerman then said that Flynn has “no idea how much you are respected and loved and admired by your digital soldiers”, and that he had a license plate that read “we go all” – a reference to the QAnon slogan.
Another members, known online as AbsoluteConviction, thanked Flynn for his support and “everything you’ve done for us”.
Flynn then continued: “We are going to win because we have, you know, even though we … may never physically meet, we have to meet virtually constantly. And we have to bombard. I mean, that’s our ammunition, that’s our weapons system, right?”
The controversial Republican served as the 24th national security advisor in 2017 under Donald Trump, following his 2016 presidential win.
Flynn’s tenure in the role would last just 24 days after it was revealed that he had misled vice president Mike Pence and others over his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
Since then, Flynn has descended into endorsing far-right conspiracy theories and, in July 2020, pledged an oath to QAnon.
Following Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, Flynn would go on to suggest that he suspend the Constitution and hold a new election under military authority – an idea that was discussed during a meeting with Trump.
The meeting culminated in Flynn almost being made FBI director in the late stages of Trump’s presidency according to sources speaking to The New York Times.