Bannon Tells Gun Loving Trumpers “The Left Wants to Steal Your Votes”

Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former adviser, made a virtual appearance earlier this month at the fringe Rod of Iron Freedom Festival​ in Pennsylvania. Organized by two sons of the late Sun Myung Moon (a messianic Korean religious leader) who founded and bankrolled the right-wing Washington Times newspaper, as well as the company that owns Newsweek, the Rod of Iron Festival caters to right-wing gun-toting conspiracy theorists who “worship” their weapons. Bannon delivered a message seemingly meant to incite the several thousand attendees, claiming that “radical leftist Democrats” are coming for them and their votes.

“What the left intends to do — and you’re seeing it in Pennsylvania right now,” Bannon told the audience. “Use the courts, use social media, use the mainstream media to try to make sure Trump is not declared the winner that night.” He said falsely that “uncertifiable” mail-in ballots would be used to “steal the presidency” away from Trump. “Look we’re going to win this thing,” he said. “Pennsylvania is the key that picks the lock for a second Trump term.”

Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Rod of Iron has a shady past of spreading false information about Democrats, dating back to even before the 2016 election. Pastor Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon, who once said the 9/11 attacks were a “false flag” and co-owns a gun manufacturing factory along with his brother, claimed that a passage in the New Testament book of Revelations referring to the returning Christ ruling the Earth with “a rod of iron” was a reference to an AR-15. Pastor Sean’s sermons often denounce the Democratic Party, George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Pope Francis—who he called “a socialist, communist devil.” The “ministry” also offers training to “equip 2nd Amendment Christians with the tools and training that enable Patriots to grow closer to God while defending America’s founding principles.”

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