The head of the New York Police Department’s second-largest police union gave a television interview Friday afternoon while sitting in front of a mug emblazoned with QAnon imagery and slogans.
The mug was positioned behind Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, during a roughly seven-minute interview on the Fox News show “Your World with Neil Cavuto.”
Followers of the QAnon conspiracy believe there is a “deep state” within the US government that is controlled by a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles. According to the conspiracy, the cabal is largely run by Democratic politicians and liberal celebrities – and President Donald Trump is trying to take them down. The baseless theory has been linked to several violent incidents.
The mug behind Mullins featured the word “QANON” and the hashtag #WWG1WGA, which stands for “where we go one, we go all,” a popular slogan among QAnon supporters. At the center of the mug was a large letter Q, which refers to a supposed government insider who, according to QAnon supporters, posts cryptic clues on the Internet about the “deep state.”
More than a year ago, the FBI reportedly assessed that QAnon was a dangerous movement that was likely to inspire its most extreme members to commit violent acts of domestic terrorism.
Mullins and the union didn’t respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio retweeted an image of the mug, calling it “delusional.”
Sleuths on social media quickly noted that Mullins gave at least two interviews to conservative outlets in the past week from the same office, with the same QAnon mug in the background.
The interview was about the recent uptick in violent crime in some of America’s largest cities, including New York City. Mullins has an antagonistic relationship with city leadership and recently traded barbs with the liberal de Blasio, who signed a budget that transferred and slashed $1 billion from the NYPD.
In recent weeks, QAnon supporters have been posting videos of themselves reciting an oath and repeating the “where we go one, we go all” catchphrase that is seen on the mug. They say they are preparing “digital soldiers” for an apocalyptic reckoning, when thousands of “deep state” pedophiles will be arrested and prosecuted at military courts at Guantanamo Bay.
“It’s frightening that someone so closely linked to law enforcement would seemingly endorse the ideas of Q, which is dedicated to the illegal and unconstitutional use of the military as a police force to hold tribunals and execute America’s enemies,” said Mike Rothschild, who recently published a book examining and debunking some of the most prominent conspiracy theories.
Flickers of the far-right conspiracy movement have seeped into mainstream politics.
There is a small but growing contingent of Republican candidates who have been linked to the QAnon movement and are on the ballot this November. And Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn recently posted a video of himself with family members reciting the QAnon oath and slogans. His lawyer told CNN that she didn’t think the video was controversial.
CNN’s Mark Morales contributed to this report.