John McAfee, the antivirus software company founder and cryptocurrency proponent, will be continuing his previously announced presidential campaign in exile according to a series of videos McAfee released on Twitter yesterday, CNET reports. McAfee cited unspecific felony tax charges as the reason for taking the campaign on the lam, recording messages on his boat from an undisclosed location.
“Today a grand jury was convened by the IRS to indict Janice [McAfee] and myself and four as-yet-unnamed campaign workers, for various tax fraud issues,” he said.
McAfee intends, according to his videos, to continue his presidential campaign from his so-called “freedom boat.” He will ostensibly direct a small army of surrogates to appear around the country — attending conferences and participating in campaign events.
“[Surrogates] are creating masks of my face which are going to be given to thousands of people in two different groups,” the candidate claims. “First, our road warriors, who once a month are going to appear in parks, street corners, restaurants all around America while I speak through loud speakers through them.”
McAfee suggested an additional layer of technology for those attending campaign events or conferences in his stead.
“I will be going to conferences as a surrogate. I will be looking at people through a camera, answering questions, shaking hands as I tell my surrogate to shake hands, and speaking,” he says.
McAfee attracting the attention of the IRS is perhaps unsurprising, given his history of colorful opposition to taxation in general — opposition broadcast by the purported millionaire on Twitter and elsewhere. McAfee has indicated that he continues to live on money made from founding and later departing McAfee Inc., the company responsible for McAfee AntiVirus.
The "Freedom Boat" survived a stormy night at sea and lost an engine. We reached safety, and brought with us a symbol of freedom recognized around the world. I want to restore that symbol to a position of reality once again. pic.twitter.com/LqMJr9H7PN— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) January 23, 2019
“I have not filed a tax return for 8 years,” he once wrote on Twitter, calling taxation as a concept one which was “illegal” in principle, and claiming no income other than that left over from his tech industry days. He has previously likened the IRS to Nazis, and characterized the agency as an intimidation arm of the government — one held over from the prohibition era.
When asked if his high-profile status and vocal criticism of the U.S government increased the chances of the IRS seeking to make an example of him, McAfee replied simply “That they do, and here I am.”
McAfee’s presidential campaign was announced in June of 2018, founded on a platform of serving the cryptocurrency community and of “telling the truth.” Campaign updates and platform specifics have continued to be communicated largely through McAfee’s Twitter feed, one which is frequently controversial and is mature in theme.