President Trump and Army brass are rejecting talk of invoking martial law to overturn the American electoral process amid lobbying from prominent allies of Mr. Trump.
“Martial law = Fake News. Just more knowingly bad reporting!” Mr. Trump tweeted early Sunday morning.
The New York Times reported that Mr. Trump asked about invoking martial law and deploying the military to “rerun” the election in a meeting with top advisers on Friday.
Chris Krebs, who Mr. Trump recently removed as the head of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said Sunday that such talk is “just beyond the pale.”
“This is not the America that I recognize,” Mr. Krebs said on CNN.
Army leaders had already distanced the U.S. military from the American election process Friday.
“There is no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of an American election,” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said in a joint statement.
Mr. Trump lost the election to President-elect Joseph R. Biden, but the president and some fellow Republicans allege the race was rigged against the incumbent.
Several well-known supporters of Mr. Trump, ranging from former presidential advisers to a current Virginia state senator, have suggested he deploy the military to somehow either prove massive voter fraud invalidating Mr. Biden’s victory or perhaps to oversee a do-over of the election.
During a recent TV appearance, Michael Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general and former Trump adviser, recommended the president deploy the military to “basically rerun” the election he lost.
Mr. Flynn was part of the Friday meeting, according to The Times.
That interview Thursday on Newsmax was not the first time Mr. Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and was later pardoned by the president, recommended Mr. Trump deploy the military.
Mr. Flynn shared a press release on social media earlier this month similarly urging Mr. Trump to invoke “limited martial law” and have the military conduct a “revote” of the presidential election.
Virginia state Sen. Amanda F. Chase, a Republican candidate for governor, endorsed that idea last Monday on Facebook in a post: “President Trump should declare martial law as recommended by General Flynn.”
Other politicians who recently suggested Mr. Trump declare martial law and put the military in charge include former Republican congressional hopefuls Omar Navarro of California and Duane Hennen of Ohio.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Illinois Republican and a U.S. Air Force veteran, recently said putting the military in control is “insane.” Former congressman Alan Grayson, Florida Democrat, has called talk of using the military “sedition” and any actual acting upon the request to be “treason.”
Mr. Krebs and other government leaders have said the 2020 U.S. election was secure.