How did Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn go from being an elite soldier overseas to waging a “spiritual war” in America? An investigation with the Associated Press.
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In “Michael Flynn’s Holy War,” FRONTLINE and the Associated Press examine how the retired three-star general and first national security adviser to former President Donald Trump has emerged as a leader in a far-right movement that seeks to put its brand of Christianity at the center of American civic life and institutions and is attracting election deniers, conspiracists and extremists from around the country.
Drawing on interviews with 125 people, including Flynn’s family, friends, critics, current and former colleagues — and Flynn himself — the documentary illustrates how Flynn’s influence has grown since the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol — and how his pedigree and military career, combined with his connection to high-powered, well-financed political groups, have allowed him to travel the country and advance his movement since January 6.
In the run-up to the 2022 midterm elections, “Michael Flynn’s Holy War” is a revealing look at the rise of one of the Republican party’s most active and polarizing political allies, and what his growing influence might mean for future U.S. elections.
“Michael Flynn’s Holy War” is supported by Preserving Democracy, a public media reporting initiative from The WNET Group. The documentary is a FRONTLINE production with Midnight Films, LLC in partnership with The Associated Press. The director and writer is Richard Rowley. The producers are Paul Abowd and Jacqueline Soohen. The reporters are Michelle Smith, Paul Abowd and Richard Rowley. The correspondent is Michelle Smith. The international investigations editor for AP is Ron Nixon. The editor-in-chief and executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath.
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FRONTLINE is produced at GBH in Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional support for FRONTLINE is provided by the Abrams Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Park Foundation, the Heising-Simons Foundation, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund, with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation, and additional support from Koo and Patricia Yuen. Funding for Michael Flynn’s Holy War is provided by the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation and The WNET Group’s Preserving Democracy, a public media reporting initiative.
Prologue – 00:00
Michael Flynn’s Family Upbringing - 05:33
How Michael Flynn’s Worldview Developed During his Military Career - 11:21
Michael Flynn’s Role in the Lead-Up to January 6 - 22:07
A Far-Right Movement Attracting Election Deniers, Conspiracists and Extremists - 32:24
"Christian Nationalism" and Michael Flynn's Movement – 36:19
Sarasota County, Florida: An Example of Michael Flynn’s Focus on “Local Action” - 42:24
Credits - 51:59