Head of NYPD union is spotted with QAnon mug in background during interview - but says he has 'no idea' what the conspiracy theory group is

  • NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association union president Ed Mullins gave two TV interviews in which a QAnon mug could be seen in the background
  • QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory alleging a 'deep state' plot against Trump
  • Mullins claimed neither the mug nor the interview office belonged to him

PUBLISHED: 14:44 EDT, 18 July 2020 | UPDATED: 18:45 EDT, 18 July 2020

The head of the NYPD's second-biggest union has been spotted giving interviews with a QAnon mug placed prominently in the background.

NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association president Ed Mullins was spotted at least twice in one week giving on-air interviews with a QAnon-emblazoned mug over his shoulder.

QAnon is known for advocating a far-right conspiracy theory alleging a secret, 'deep state' plot against President Trump and his supporters. There has yet to be any conclusive proof of these claims, initially made by an anonymous poster called Q on the 4chan website.


NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association union president Ed Mullins gave two TV interviews in which a QAnon mug could be seen in the background over his left shoulder

The Qanon mug's interview appearance was spotted and shared online by a Twitter user Friday

The QAnon mug could be seen most recently in an interview Mullins did with Fox News' Neil Cavuto on Friday.

During the interview, the mug can be seen sitting on top of a printer over Mullins' left shoulder.

The black mug - made more obvious because its sitting in front of a white-background framed document - bears a 'Q' logo designed out of an American flag logo. It also reads 'QANON' and includes the group's popular slogan hashtag 'WWG1WGA,' which means 'Where we go one, we go all.'

When news of the mug's interview presence made the rounds on social media, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's press secretary, Bill Neidhardt, replied to a tweet with a screengrab from the interview, writing simply: 'Delusional.'

Mullins and de Blasio have been going head-to-head lately, due to de Blasio's current commitment to shifting $1billion out of the NYPD's budget and signing bills that make it crime for city police to apply pressure on the necks, chests or backs that could obstruct breathing while taking them into custody.

Eagle-eyed social media users noted that the QAnon mug also appeared in an earlier interview Mullins did on July 13, although it was slightly less prominently-placed back then


Ed Mullins claimed that neither the office the interviews were taped in nor the mug were his


The prominently-placed mug from the interview appears to have the same design as this mug, bearing the group's slogan 'WWG1WGA,' which means 'Where we go one, we go all'

Officers caught engaging in those acts could face misdemeanor charges, the New York Daily News reported.

In response, several New York State police departments - including Westchester an Suffolk counties - issued orders banned their officers from pursuing or participating in arrests in New York City to avoid legal trouble, according to SBA tweets.

It has been argued that police officers may need to apply at least some, fleeting pressure to those specified areas while making arrests.

Eagle-eyed social media users noted that Mullins' July 17 interview wasn't the first time that a QAnon mug got screentime.

The same mug was seen in the background of a Fox News interview Mullins did on July 13.

During that interview, the mug also sat on the printer over his left shoulder, but the mug was closer to the wall and not quite so prominent.

'No one noticed when he did the same thing a few days ago, so he made the mug a bit more prominent today,' one tweeter wrote of the mug's new position in the more recent interview.

It's unclear if Mullins was aware of the mug's presence in the background of his interviews or who might have placed it there.

When asked about the mug, Mullins told HuffPost that neither the mug nor the office he did the interviews from belonged to him. He also claimed that he had 'no idea' what QAnon was.

Mullins declined to reveal whether the office belonged to someone in the SBA, but noted that it 'wasn't even in New York.'

Mullins does not appear to have any previous connections to QAnon, but HuffPost noted that the SBA has linked to articles from a far-right police news site called Law Enforcement Today, which has endorsed congressional candidates who support the conspiracy theory.

There are at least 50 Republican candidates running for public office who have either 'endorsed or given credence' to QAnon, including 11 who will be up for election in November,

Mullins is just the latest prominent political figures to have been tied to QAnon, a conspiracy theory that falsely claims — among many other fantastical allegations — that Democratic officials are secretly operating a worldwide pedophilia ring.

President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn recently posted a video in which he uses QAnon phrases and slogans.

And a report from the liberal watchdog group Media Matters found that there are 59 Republican candidates for public office who have either “endorsed or given credence” to QAnon. At least 13 of those candidates will appear on ballots in November.

Over July 4 weekend, Trump's disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn was seen in a video alongside relatives reciting the QAnon oath and slogans.

Trump himself has been known to retweet QAnon-related tweets.

The concept that someone like Mullins, who has such obvious law enforcement ties, supports QAnon is 'frightening' because the group 'is dedicated to the illegal and unconstitutional use of the military as a police force to hold tribunals and execute America's enemies,' Mike Rothschild, author of The World's Worst Conspiracies, told CNN.

The SBA currently has about 13,000 active and retired NYPD sergeants among its membership.

The FBI issued an official statement declaring that 'conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists,' including QAnon, is a growing threat in May 2019.


Origins: Q Anon started on fringe website 4chan, where a poster calling themselves Q left messages claiming to be a senior federal official and purporting to reveal a 'deep state' cabal intent on bringing down Donald Trump. Q grew out of the discredited Pizzagate conspiracy that top Democrats were involved in pedophilia and cannibalism from the basement of a Washington D.C. restaurant, but quickly picked up steam with 'Q' leaving 'clues' and claims that Trump was going to bring down the deep state. Whenever the conspiracies turn out to not be true, followers rationalize that the inaccuracies are part of Q’s larger plan.

Who is Q?: There may now be multiple people posing as Q on the anonymous 4chan boards


A QAnon believer blocked the bridge near Hoover Dam with a homemade armored tank in the name of the movement, and later pleaded guilty to terrorism

Hoover Dam: In June 2019, 32-year-old Matthew Wright, a QAnon supporter, blocked the bridge near Hoover Dam in Arizona with a homemade armored vehicle in a 90-minute stand-off. He pleaded guilty to terrorism charges and has written two letters to Donald Trump from jail, which include the sign-off, which has become the QAnon motto: “For where we go one, we go all.”

Michael Flynn: Trump’s former national security adviser became a martyr figure for QAnon believers after he took a plea deal from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, admitting he lied about his Russia contacts.

QAnon conspiracy have spun Flynn pleading guilty into him being a persecuted victim of the deep state – and some even claim he is ‘Q.’

Many believers put three star emojis next to their Twitter handles. But the retired three-star general has denounced any connections to the group and pulled out of participating in an event after finding out it was hosted by a QAnon believer.


QAnon believers make former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn out to be a martyr after taking a plea deal with Robert Mueller

QAnon Political Candidates: Jo Rae Perkins, 64, won the Republican primary in Oregon in May to run for a Senate seat against incumbent Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley. “I stand with Q and the team,” she said when asked about her interest in the group. She insisted she goes to QAnon message boards as a “source of information” and claims media focuses too much on the group. Perkins won 49 per cent of the vote against three other Republicans.

Marjorie Taylor Greene came in first place in the Republican primary in a deep-red Georgia district, and will enter an August runoff. She has admitted to believing in several QAnon conspiracy theories.