This October, Frontline and The Associated Press will broadcast and stream an illuminating joint investigation into former President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
Titled “Michael Flynn’s Holy War,” the documentary explores how the retired three-star general has emerged as a leader in a far-right movement that puts 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.
From award-winning director Richard Rowley (“American Insurrection”) and AP correspondent Michelle R. Smith, “Michael Flynn’s Holy War” examines how Flynn returned from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan only to later declare that a “spiritual war” had come home to America.
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 Jan. 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 Jan. 6, while building his own political profile.
By reviewing campaign finance records, corporate and charity filings, social media posts and similar open-source information, as well as attending several public events where Flynn appeared, Frontline and AP found that Flynn has utilized public appearances to energize voters, make political endorsements to build alliances and amass a network of nonprofit groups to advance a movement that draws together election deniers, mask and vaccine opponents, insurrectionists, Proud Boys and elected officials.
In the runup to the 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.
“Michael Flynn’s Holy War” will be available to watch in full at pbs.org/frontline and in the PBS Video App starting Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022, at 7 p.m. ET. It will premiere on PBS stations (check local listings) and on the Frontline YouTube channel at 9 p.m. ET.
The documentary is part of an ongoing investigation from Frontline and AP that includes co-published digital stories. “Michael Flynn’s Holy War” is distributed internationally by PBS International.