The entire world was shocked by the scenes at Washington DC as scores of Trump supporters stormed Capitol Hill while the US Congress was certifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory. Since then, matters have only escalated with Big Tech deplatforming US President Donald Trump and pushing free speech alternative Parler offline. Now, another intriguing character has come to the fore. He is John Sullivan who uses aliases such as “Activist X,” “Activist John,” and “Jayden X.”
There is a lot of intrigue about him as no one appears to be sure who he is exactly. Those on the right-wing believe he is associated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the Antifa, which are known to riot and engage in unlawful activities. As per journalist Max Blumenthal, however, BLM and Antifa activists have strictly disassociated themselves from John Sullivan and considers him to be an extremely problematic individual.
John Sullivan shot to the limelight after he appeared on CNN for a chat with anchor Anderson Cooper regarding the video he had captured of Ashli Babbitt being shot by a law enforcement officer. Babbitt was a pro-Trump veteran who was shot during the protests at Capitol hill. On CNN, he presented himself as a ‘heroic journalist’ who captured the shooting on camera. Anderson Cooper also called him a left-wing activist.
The night of the Capitol riot, Sullivan was welcomed on @andersoncooper to present himself as the heroic journalist who recorded Babbit's shooting. Cooper falsely called him a "left-wing activist" and didn't ask why he was actually in the Capitol. This was fodder for the Right. pic.twitter.com/LPezi5Hv09— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) January 14, 2021
There is also videos of him participating in the riots, celebrating it and instigating the mob. John Sullivan says, “Let’s go! This sh*t’s ours. F*ck yeah… We accomplished this sh*t. We did this sh*t together!.. We’re all part of this history.”
I studied video shot by Sullivan (Jayden X) in the Capitol and compiled some moments of him zealously celebrating the invasion & instigating the mob all the way up to Ashli Babbit's shooting. Watch with audio on.— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) January 14, 2021
No committed BLM activist would say or do this – and he isn't one pic.twitter.com/uE5VmUf6mU
In another video, he can be seen telling Jade sacker, who accompanied him on CNN, “We did it.” He tells her, “Is this not gonna be the best film you’ve ever made in your life?” Sacker apparently has a documentary project up her sleeve.
Seated w/Sullivan on CNN is Jade Sacker, a photojournalist who followed him into the Capitol to film his exploits as part of a documentary project. Here she's heard congratulating him – "We did it!" – and he says, "Is this not gonna be the best film you've ever made in yr life?" pic.twitter.com/KWLVfgKPA7— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) January 14, 2021
Max Blumenthal is an editor at The Grayzone, an independent left-wing media outlet. He has published a detailed report on John Sullivan where he has documented the perception of him among BLM activists and Antifa. According to the journalist, John Sullivan is best known among the left-wing crowd “for his propensity for inspiring chaos, engaging in counterproductive tactics that often trigger arrests, and consistently undermining BLM objectives.”
“If there’s violence to instigate, he will raise it to another level. But he’s not the one that does it. And that’s a dangerous type of person. That’s one of the most dangerous types of people to me,” one BLM activist is quoted as saying.
On the 23rd of November 2020, Antifa in Portland is said to have issued an ‘anonymous tip’ demanding that John Sullivan be “locked out” of their circles. “While it’s easier, and generally more fair, to believe he is a naive narcissist, clout chaser and inept organizer, it might not be an accurate analysis. A narc for the feds might not be an accurate assessment either. It’s more likely that John is an agent provocateur, putting activist communities in danger.”
Sean Michael Love, a BLM activist, said of Sullivan, “He always gets released and usually much quicker than everybody else. And that’s just, you know, when you see that pattern, you wonder if there’s something else going on.”
What James Sullivan thinks of his brother
James Sullivan, the brother of John Sullivan, does not appear to be too fond of his brother and holds him responsible for the Capitol Hill riots. “I know that John [Sullivan] was one of the people that led [the riot], and helped organize it,” James told Blumenthal.
“And, again, what I said is that Antifa goes off of basic psychological warfare, and they’re seeing that the Trump supporters are very, very emotional – kind of on a knife’s edge… [Antifa is] organized. You know, they’re a well oiled machine. So like, they planned this, to change the public opinion against Trump supporters, and to create anarchy in the country.”
According to James, John Sullivan has mental health issues as well. “What we [his family] have found out is that he is addicted to Adderall. He does not need to take it because he doesn’t have ADHD. And what happens is that he becomes a little bit paranoid. It’s very easy for him to to act cool, calm, and collected, but he flips on a dime.”
According to James, John Sullivan radicalized by the death of George Floyd. Prior to that, John was on the Republican side of things as well. James said that John had defamed his family, called their father a White supremacist and accused James of being a wife-beater and abusing his children. James was referring to their adoptive father, retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Kevin J. Sullivan. He is White.
James, who is a member of a right-wing organization, confirms that BLM activists were trying to get John out of their circles. James says that he had received calls from them asking for his help in the matter. “They reached out to me, and they said, ‘Hey, this is what John’s doing. We’re trying to get this stuff done and he’s getting people hurt and arrested. You know, and they don’t need to be arrested. These are good people that are going to prison because John would incite violence.’”
James recounted further, “John coming back to disrupt that is something that even [elected] representatives have come out against. And the Democrats do not want him here. Like, we have a unique political climate here in Utah. There’s no real chance of violence or anything like that here – unless John comes back and starts igniting his group.”
‘John Sullivan knew people were considering storming the Capitol’
According to Jade Sacker, who had appeared on CNN with John Sullivan, he knew that people were going to storm the Capitol. She told Blumenthal, “John knew somehow that people were considering storming the Capitol. He had had intelligence days before, and I didn’t believe him. I never thought that something like that would happen. And then when we showed up at the Capitol, there were thousands and thousands of people there. I didn’t think that we would be able to document what was going on. So when I said we did it, I was just shocked that we like got in there at all, and that we were on the front lines of being able to tell the story.”
Sacker also conceded that his ultimate agenda is inciting as much chaos as possible. “He’s just angry. And he says it in a lot of his videos – ‘Fuck the system, burn it down.’ He doesn’t think it can be reformed. Like he kind of wants his civil war. He’s a bit of a provocateur and he wants to dismantle the system, and he believes in the value of civil disobedience. And because he is apolitical, I think he feels more a sense of allegiance to anyone who shares that the values of, I guess, chaos.”
John Sullivan: An FBI asset?
Blumenthal also says that there are ‘conspiracy theories’ floating around that John Sullivan is actually a law enforcement asset. BLM activists certainly appear to believe so. Love said, “I definitely think that mentally, he has some things he has to work out. But as far as him cooperating with the law enforcement, that has been our belief.”
Sacker also told Blumenthal that right-wing circles believe that he is working with the FBI. John, however, denied the allegations. He also maintains that he is “more on the BLM (Black Lives Matter) side, ending the police brutality, the racial discrimination” but could not offer a coherent ideology according to Blumenthal.
The dominant narrative among the right-wing, however, is that John Sullivan is a left-wing activist. Fox News reported that the ‘left-wing activist’ was charged in Washington and remains in custody in Toeele County, Utah.
John, however, maintains that it was an act to build rapport with the protesters. “I had to relate to these people, and build trust in the short amount of time I had there to get where I need to go,” he told Rolling Stone. “To the front of the crowd to see the dynamic between the police and the protesters, because nobody wants to see the backs of people’s heads from a far-off distance.”
Meanwhile, Jack Posobiec of OAN reports that Donald Trump is being briefed that John Sullivan did not act alone.