The Big MAGA and QAnon Civil War Keeps Getting Nuttier and Sleazier

·4 min read
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty

The big MAGA civil war between Trump-loving attorney Lin Wood and former national security adviser Michael Flynn went nuclear this week and it’s causing chaos among the former president’s acolytes.

As Fever Dreams previously reported, Wood has been scrambling to retain credibility on the right ever since Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse slammed him as a shoddy lawyer and accused him of betrayal and grift. He’s also been attacking fellow stop-the-steal figures like Kraken-queen Sidney Powell and former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne. For example, Wood—who has a penchant for taping his friends as well as his enemies—released audio of Byrne trash-talking Powell, claiming that she wanted to sleep with him and that she spread lies about him after he rejected her. “There has been a good amount of infighting and backstabbing recently, stuff that amounts to very high-school-style drama,” explains Fever Dreams co-host Will Sommer.

But things really escalated when Wood released audio of Flynn—“his erstwhile buddy and fellow QAnon hero”—ripping into the pro-Trump conspiracy theory as a CIA-backed plot. This, despite the fact that “QAnon’s been very good to Michael Flynn,” Sommer notes. “Some of them believe he’s Q… I mean this is a guy who is thick as thieves with QAnon. But privately, [he calls it] a ‘CIA operation. It’s nonsense.’ So this is a pretty big break from what he does publicly.”

As a result, pro- and anti-Flynn factions inside QAnon have been ripping into each other on Telegram and other right-wing social media platforms. “This has basically started a big civil war… including, I should say, the JFK Jr. people in Dallas. So they’ve all sided with Lin. Michael Flynn, obviously, has his own adherents—but this has really, like, started a lot of drama,” Sommer says.

“They’re calling it a civil war but maybe it’s more like a prison riot… this has also set off a lot of people who have beefs with people on the other side, but that are totally unrelated to this. But now they’re seeing this as their opportunity to settle scores with their rivals… things are all on fire over there.”

As Fever Dreams identified early on, the far right has become enamored with strange and seemingly silly trends—“Let’s Go Brandon,” for one. Next up might be a new crusade sweeping the MAGA internet, including in white nationalist and QAnon circles, which implores anti-vaccine “resisters” to mark up QR codes on restaurant menus with black sharpies.

Annoying? Yes. Likely to take down the system? Well, depends on who you ask. The end game is a bit mysterious—as Fever Dreams co-host Asawin Suebsaeng notes, it seems to be a mish-mash of V for Vendetta fantasies, along with “the first Matrix or, I don’t know, Marathon Man.” But it’s a hot topic thanks to the emergence of the new Omicron variant, so watch for those little black marks soon on a restaurant menu near you.

Feds Are Asking Questions About Sidney Powell and Her Pro-Trump Group

Elsewhere on Fever Dreams, Sommer and Suebsaeng discuss a new CIA publication that rips into Trump and reveals that intelligence agencies stopped briefing the ex-president after the Jan. 6 riot. Biden has also declared Trump’s banned from the regular intel briefings that other ex-presidents routinely receive. But, as The Daily Beast reported, Trump’s adamant that he’s the one who didn’t want the briefings from mean old president Biden in the first place. “When we reached out to Donald Trump’s office early this week about the reporting we had, and also the details in this newly revised CIA book,” Suebsaeng relates, “he tried to convince us that his current lack of post-presidency briefings is all his own decision. It was all by his own design…

“It has incredibly huge ‘You didn’t dump me, I broke up with you first’ energy.”

And finally, Sommer spent Thanksgiving watching actor Nick Searcy’s pro-insurrectionist documentary about Jan. 6—“Capitol Punishment”—which basically contended that the rioters were just harmless old folks. The film really wanted to feature the Twisted Sisters song “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” but since they couldn’t get permission to use it, they had to settle for pleading with viewers to sing along at home. Sommer’s professional review: “I mean, it really is the lowest budget operation I’ve ever seen.”

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