Burgess Owens, the Republican running in Utah’s tight 4th Congressional District race, has appeared as a guest on another obscure program tied to the fringe QAnon conspiracy theory.
The liberal Media Matters for America first reported that Owens was a guest on the “Flockop” podcast last week where he asked for support for his campaign. He did not discuss QAnon with the hosts during his appearance. Instead, he spent a majority of the time on the show talking about his run for congress, his Christian faith, and asking listeners to visit his website and donate to his campaign.
The show’s two hosts call themselves “Goose” and "T" and wear masks on the program’s livestream, which is posted to YouTube.
QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory that alleges a cabal of elites and liberals are involved in a worldwide child pedophile ring that President Donald Trump is fighting. At the center of the conspiracy is an anonymous character known as "Q" who posts cryptic messages online. The group has been labeled as a potential domestic terror threat by the FBI.
Media Matters reports “Flockop” is part of the Freedom First Network, a collection of right-wing podcasts that have promoted QAnon. In fact, the “Flockop” show has directly appealed to QAnon followers by referencing the hashtags “WWG1WGA” (“where we go one, we go all”) and the “Great Awakening" on social media.
Owens' campaign did not respond to requests for comment. Previously, Owens’ campaign said he was unfamiliar with QAnon and does not believe in it.
This isn’t the first time Owens intersected with the QAnon universe. In May, he appeared as a guest on the “Common Sense” program, which airs on the Patriot’s Soapbox YouTube channel. Patriot’s Soapbox is dedicated to following and discussing QAnon. During that appearance, Owens once again did not discuss anything related to QAnon, but asked for donations to his campaign.
In July, Owens tweeted his congratulations to Colorado Republican congressional candidate Lauren Boebert after she won an upset victory in her primary election over a longtime incumbent. Boebert has spoken favorably about QAnon in the past but has since worked to distance herself from the group.
Owens was a speaker at the Republican National Convention in August. Former Utah GOP lawmaker Sheryl Allen unsuccessfully called on the party to drop Owens from the program because of his ties to QAnon, even if they may only be tangential.
Owens is a frequent guest in conservative media, mostly appearing on Fox News, though he has also appeared on dozens of podcasts and other forums.
Media Matters has so far identified 26 Republican general election candidates who have either endorsed QAnon or promoted a QAnon comment. Owens is not on that list.
Owens is running against Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, in a highly watched contest. Most recent polls show McAdams with a lead.