In a Feb. 18, 2021 tweet, Joe Kent announced his candidacy against Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA). Herrera Beutler, who represents Washington’s 3rd District, was one of ten Republican House members who voted to impeach former president Trump over the Jan. 6 insurrection.
The ex-Green Beret has been a champion of the Big Lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen by Democrats, and has advocated for sham “audits” in “every state.” And he has embraced the “America First” slogan used last year by a number of racist congressional candidates.
Kent’s candidacy has received enthusiastic support from the GOP’s pro-Trump wing. Paul Gosar, an Arizona congressman with deep ties to white nationalists, endorsed Kent. So did coup-supporting conspiracy theorist Michael Flynn, Rep. Matt Gaetz, Donald Trump Jr., and even Donald Trump himself.
Unsurprisingly, in order to shore up support for his congressional run, Kent has been appealing to fringe media outlets which traffic in misogyny, racism, and conspiracy theories.
Kent has made at least three appearances on shows hosted on Infowars — a website founded by Alex Jones, a prominent far-right conspiracy theorist who has spread falsehoods about everything from the Oklahoma City bombing to 9/11 to the Sandy Hook shooting.
On Apr. 29, 2021, Kent promoted his campaign on War Room, an Infowars show hosted by Pizzagate peddler J. Owen Shroyer. Kent told Shroyer he decided to run because Rep. Herrera Beutler committed the “ultimate betrayal” by voting in favor of the “sham impeachment” of Donald Trump based on the “false narrative” that he incited an insurrection.
Later in the show, Shroyer — who himself was charged in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection — complained about “the Left going after individuals for Jan. 6.” “You know they’re arresting veterans, they’re arresting journalists, they’re arresting single mothers,” Shroyer said.
Shroyer asked Kent about alleged left-wing rioters who have been “bailed out” while many Jan. 6 insurrectionists are in prison awaiting trial. Kent responded by calling antifascists and Black Lives Matter activists the “militant wing” of the Democratic party and compared them to terrorists.
“Every terrorist organization or oppressive government, they have a political wing and they have a direct action terrorist wing that actually goes out and does their dirty work. And the Democrats have essentially weaponized antifa and BLM to be their militant wing, unofficially,” he said.
On May 28, 2021, Kent returned to War Room where he and Shroyer spread falsehoods about the 2020 presidential election and David Chipman, President Biden’s first choice to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Kent told Shroyer that concerned voters frequently ask him about “election integrity” based on the Big Lie that the Democrats stole the 2020 presidential election.
“Because the American people, the grassroots, they’re not believing the mainstream media,” Kent said. “They know the narrative is a complete and total lie that Joe Biden won an overwhelming victory and they see the way that great patriots are being targeted.”
Kent added that voters want the 2020 election to be “fully adjudicated,” and claimed that “the truth is coming to light” thanks to the demand for sham election “audits” in states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Georgia.
Shroyer acknowledged that these “audits” would not yield a “big break” that would “overturn the results” of the 2020 presidential election. However, he said he held out hope that the results will “open a lot of eyes” to the idea that the election was rigged.
Kent agreed with Shroyer and praised the “patriots down in Maricopa County” who are trying to prove that Donald Trump was the rightful winner of Arizona’s electoral votes. And he criticized Dominion, a company which conspiracy theorists falsely accused of manipulating vote totals.
During the next segment, Shroyer and Kent propagated the false claim that ATF nominee David Chipman was involved in the 1993 standoff between ATF agents and the Branch Davidians, an apocalyptic religious sect headed by David Koresh with headquarters near Waco, TX.
During the siege, the Branch Davidian compound caught fire, resulting in the deaths of 76 Branch Davidians including 20 children.
“It’s a weird thing, though,” Shroyer said. “I think it’s universally accepted now — I don’t know anybody that supports what the ATF or the FBI or what happened to the Branch Davidians there, what happened at Ruby Ridge and Waco — I don’t think anybody thinks that was a good thing.”
Shroyer referred to Chipman as the “main face” of the siege and accused him of “playing Army man” and “killing people.” The War Room host further claimed that Chipman “pos[ed] on the burning corpses with his rifle,” and showed a photo of a man standing in front of the rubble of the Branch Davidian compound.
However, David Chipman is not the man in the photo. Moreover, Chipman’s only connection to the Waco siege is that he had been assigned to a group of Department of Justice employees tasked with investigating the events in Waco after the fact.
“You could’ve picked pretty much any other federal agent, but Joe Biden — but to put somebody in charge of the ATF — he picked a guy that was on the ground, that posed over the burning corpses of children that were murdered by the ATF. And then he comes out and he says he actually intends to take assault rifles,” Kent said.
As he spoke another photo appeared — this one a doctored picture of Chipman smiling while holding a picture of the Branch Davidian compound as it burned to the ground. The original photo was taken from a Reddit AMA Chipman did while he worked for a gun control advocacy group.
On June 18, 2021, Kent appeared on The American Journal — an Infowars show hosted by Harrison Smith. Smith has claimed that nonwhite immigration is a form of genocide against white Americans, and that white people are being systematically replaced by immigrants of color.
Smith has also suggested that Biden administration officials “deserve to die,” referred to migrant children as the “unwanted detritus of the Third World,” and told an antisemitic caller that “Jewish organizations” are “directing” the FBI.
During this appearance, a caller who identified as a veteran living in Washington state asked Kent about voter fraud.
“[M]y question for Joe is, unless we address the voter fraud on 11-03-2020, and addressing those electronic systems, how is he possibly going to win in the 3rd District which is in Seattle . . . against the Democratic machine in King County which cheats all the time and stole the election from [Loren] Culp for governor and gave it to [Jay] Inslee?” he asked.
Kent responded by calling “election integrity” his “number one issue” and reiterating the need for a “full adjudication of the election of 2020.” He also gave a full-throated endorsement to so-called “election integrity committees,” instructing viewers to “get involved” with them.
“So I’ve been encouraging everyone in my district and throughout the state who cares about election integrity to get involved in the various election integrity committees we have. We have them in every single congressional district. We now have them active in every single county,” he said.
He boasted that there is a “concerted effort going on right now to get a audit and a recount the way that Maricopa County has right now,” and claimed that “Washington state representatives” traveled to Arizona in order to “observe those procedures.”
At the July 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Joe Kent was interviewed by Anthony Johnson of 21 Studios — a small men’s rights organization which puts on yearly events (the men-only 21 Convention, women-only 22 Convention, and the 21 Convention Patriarch Edition for fathers).
The YouTube channel for 21 Studios boasts multiple videos with titles like “How to Get Your Balls Back,” “Why You Should Track Your Partners [sic] Ovulation Cycle,” “How to Bang 1,000 Women with Coach John Anthony,” and “How to Control the Inner Succubus of Any Woman.”
Videos also include interviews with and speeches by extremist figures like white nationalist Stefan Molyneux, rape apologist/conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, far-right writer/white supremacist conference attendee Jack Donovan, and Pat Stedman, a “Dating + Relationship Coach” who faces five charges in connection with the Jan 6. insurrection.
Last year, Anthony Johnson — the self-proclaimed “Chairman of 21 Studios” — interviewed male supremacist hate group leader Paul Elam for Johnson’s Red Man Group YouTube show. During that interview, Elam remarked that “for the most part” women are “defective” and “outlived their usefulness in many ways.”
Johnson’s Twitter account is, unsurprisingly, a cesspool of misogynistic garbage.
Johnson has called feminism a “toxic hate and supremacist movement” whose “claws” are embedded in “every part of American life and government.” He has described abortion as both a “feminist holocaust” and the “largest genocide in history,” and advocated for banning it.
He opposes the inclusion of women in the military, tweeting that women are “100% made to breed not fight.” He followed this tweet with one in which he wrote, “Putting delicate breeding females in high risk combat and law enforcement roles is extremely delusional.”
Instead, Johnson would rather women simply marry at a young age and have children of their own.
“Women should aim to get knocked up as young as they can for best results,” he opined in a May 17, 2021 tweet. In fact, Johnson tweeted in July that he wouldn’t “consider women over 25 for breeding.” “Aim higher, younger, and hotter,” he advised.
Johnson has also stated that adult women should continue living with their parents “until they are taken in marriage,” and that their parents should restrain them with a “shock collar” if need be. On July 29, 2021 he tweeted that “Women will not be great again until they are all barefoot and pregnant. ALL of them.”
In August, Johnson tweeted messages that appeared supportive of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.
In one tweet Johnson described the Taliban as a “bunch of uncivilized red necks [sic]” who “took their country back from a puppet government and foreign invaders.” In another he claimed that “What happened in #Afghanistan is the exact reason government wants everyone to be unarmed. They hate being overthrown.”
In a third tweet he appeared to brag that “The future in #Afghanistan is 100% patriarchy.”
During his CPAC interview — and much to Johnson’s delight — Joe Kent declared that he is “totally against abortion,” which he called a form of “eugenics” and compared to slavery and segregation. “They’re trying to do population control on minority populations and on impoverished people,” Kent said.
With respect to gun rights, Kent said that “pretty much anything beyond the way the Second Amendment was written is an infringement on the Second Amendment” and voiced his support for repealing the National Firearms Act, which was passed in 1934.
Kent also echoed the far-right claim that the Second Amendment was not designed to protect hunting or even the right to self-defense, but rather to “keep a tyrannical government in check.” Kent cited the Biden administration as a reason why “the Founders gave us the Second Amendment.”
When asked about his immigration policies, Kent stated that the border wall should be completed and that the U.S. military should be deployed to the southern border in order to “stop that invasion.” Kent claimed that South American countries are “pretty much emptying out all their undesirables and sending them north.”
Kent also advocated for the reinstatement of the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” program, which needlessly exposed asylum seekers to violent crimes. He also said he favors an “immigration moratorium” — a policy that has been pushed by white nationalists for years.
“You also spent basically your entire 20s and 30s in the U.S. military, in the Army. Do you feel that that taught you more about being a man and like becoming more masculine?” Johnson asked at one point. “How did that affect you in that way?”
Kent said the Army was “definitely a hypermasculine environment” and joked that it was “drowning in” “toxic masculinity.” Kent told Johnson that he enjoyed his time in the military, although he complained about the “bad stuff going on in the military right now with critical race theory and the wokeness.”
“I still encourage people to [join the military], ’cause I think for a lotta young men the military is a natural path,” he continued. “Men are designed to be warriors. Our society, fairly recently, has been trying to breed that out of us. But we have thousands of years of evolution.”
When asked his thoughts on women in combat, Kent said it should be allowed so long as women meet the required standards. He cited as an example his late wife, Shannon, who was killed in action in 2019.
When Johnson circled back to discuss masculinity, Kent lamented what he called an ongoing “war on the sexes” in which women and men are discouraged from being “nurturers” and “protectors” respectively. And he complained that violence has been taken away from things like “combat sports” and “the way that we have kids solve problems.”
Anthony Johnson is currently one of nearly 2,000 people Joe Kent currently follows on Twitter, along with conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson, white nationalist Scott Greer, antisemitic monarchist Michael Sisco, and Matt Braynard — the organizer of Saturday’s rally in support of the Jan. 6 insurrectionists which Kent is scheduled to speak at.
Digital Soldier Network
On May 27, 2021, Kent appeared on Digital Soldier Network, an online show hosted by self-described Navy veteran Jeff Dow. Dow chiefly uses his show to spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election and the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the 2020 election, Dow declared his support for the Three Percenters — a wing of the militia movement which takes its name from the false belief that only 3% of colonists took up arms against the British during the Revolutionary War.
Showing off his t-shirt which sported a large, crimson Roman numeral III, Dow told viewers that “we are the three percent.”
“This group is part of a collective that is not willing to bend over and take it,” Dow said. “This is a group that is a collective — I promise you if you are watching this there is a very strong chance that you are the person that everybody has been going to.”
“If you have had even one person reach out to you for advice and your thoughts on what’s going on right now, you’re not gonna wanna hear this but you no longer have the ability to quit,” he continued. “You don’t have the authority to step away from this movement. We are too far in.”
Dow declared his belief that Trump would still prevail. “I see the litigation team comin’ in. I see a handful of states that are cheating — that the numbers of total voters are higher than the numbers of registered voters,” he said.
By early January, shortly before Biden’s victory was officially certified by Congress, Dow ran with the false claim that Vice President Pence had the ability to overturn the results — an ability that the media didn’t want the masses to know about.
“‘The January certification of states’ electoral votes, overseen by the vice president, is usually considered a formality,'” Dow read from an online article. “That is the phrase you’re hearing in the media. There’s three words out of that I want you to stop and pause on. And they are ‘is usually considered.'”
Dow then tried to claim that the 2020 election presented some kind of exceptional circumstance, in which Pence could hand the election to Trump — something he believed Pence would do.
During Kent’s appearance on Digital Soldier Network, Dow asked questions suggested by viewers.
One question revolved around QAnon, a pro-Trump conspiracy theory about an elite cabal of Satanic, blood-drinking pedophiles. The conspiracy has motivated multiple acts of violence and is considered a domestic terrorist threat by the FBI.
And according to his now-suspended Twitter account, Jeff Dow himself was once an enthusiastic supporter of QAnon, although that enthusiasm appears to have waned.
On Jan. 11, 2020, using the Twitter handle @Upincomin, Dow tweeted a photo of himself and Jeremy Brown — a QAnon-supporting congressional candidate from Florida — at an event called the Red Pill Roadshow. Dow called Brown a “Patriot” and included the hashtag #qanon:
In another tweet from the same day, Dow used the hashtags #redpill, #qanon, and #WWG1WGA — an abbreviation for the QAnon slogan “Where we go one, we go all.” It is unclear if the name of Dow’s own show is a reference to QAnon, as adherents often refer to themselves as “digital soldiers.”
Dow asked Kent what he thought of the QAnon conspiracy, and whether he believed it “hurt or helped conservatives.”
Before Kent answered Dow said that, in his experience, he “saw more things that were correct” than incorrect from Q — the anonymous individual who started the conspiracy — and endorsed the movement. “As of now, who knows? I’m on the fence,” he added.
Kent told Dow that he “didn’t get too deep” into the conspiracy, but said that, in his opinion, the “U.S. government is nowhere near that nefarious or deliberate.” While he didn’t denounce QAnon, he suggested that people instead focus on FBI, CIA, and DOJ officials who are “weaponizing intelligence against law-abiding Americans.”
Kent also predicted that the Jan. 6 Commission will be “weaponized against anybody who opposes what Biden is trying to do,” and said it would not end with “Trump supporters.”
Later in the show Dow and Kent complained about the push to vaccinate Americans against COVID-19.
“But really it’s just been a religion and a movement now that says if you follow the authority blindly, you’re a good person,” Kent complained. “And if you question it you’re a crazy conspiracy theorist and you’re probably dangerous and you’re dumb.”
“I don’t know how we flip-flopped from like the people that never question anything, they’re the smart ones, and the ones that are like ‘Are you sure about that? I’m gonna do my own research,’ like we’re the crazy dumb ones,” he said.
Dow said that he “totally agree[d]” with Kent, and claimed that he “just lost a friend” who died “within five days of him getting the shot.”
“We have no idea what the long-term effects are,” Dow told Kent. “We’re seeing some of the short-term effects.” Dow then cited a false claim made by Joseph Mercola on Steve Bannon’s War Room: Pandemic podcast, that spike proteins created by the vaccine damage the body.
Mercola, an osteopathic physician, has been dubbed the “most influential spreader of coronavirus misinformation online.”
When asked about whether or not he believed COVID-19 was a “bioweapon” as many conspiracy theorists have suggested, Kent replied that there is “more evidence right now that COVID was manufactured by the Chinese Communist Party in the Wuhan lab.”
He also stated that he would support an investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
“So I think just like we need to fully adjudicate the election of 2020, we have to figure out as much as we can about the origins of COVID, to make sure something like this never happens again,” he said.