A former U.S. national security adviser said over the weekend that a military coup to overthrow the U.S. government “should happen,” but then on social media, he denied calling for any such action.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said at a convention in Dallas that America’s armed forces should follow the lead of those of Myanmar, who seized power after a disputed election.
He was asked during a question-and-answer session at a QAnon conference by a man who said he was a Marine, “I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here?”
The QAnon crowd, some of whom have praised the Myanmar coup, cheered, and Mr. Flynn, who was former President Trump’s first national security adviser, had to pause.
“No reason. I mean, it should happen here,” he said, according to a video posted on social media.
Mr. Flynn took to Parler to deny calling for a coup in the United States.
“For all the fake news ‘journalists’: Let me be VERY CLEAR — There is NO reason whatsoever for any coup in America, and I do not and have not at any time called for any action of that sort. Any reporting of any other belief by me is a boldface fabrication based on twisted reporting at a lively panel at a conference of Patriotic Americans who love this country, just as I do. I am no stranger to media manipulating my words and therefore let me repeat my response to a question asked at the conference: There is no reason it (a coup) should happen here (in America),” he wrote on Parler.
In a February coup, the Myanmar military imprisoned the country’s elected leaders, accusing them of voter fraud, and have since killed hundreds of civilian protesters and arrested thousands more.
Col. Yevgeny “Eugene” Vindman, who was removed as National Security Council deputy legal adviser after he questioned Mr. Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president in 2019, said Mr. Flynn’s remarks were traitorous and called on him to be tried.
“With these seditious remarks Comrade Flynn may have crossed the line for recall to active duty and court-martial. As a JAG I’m qualified and also happy to prosecute this case,” he wrote on Twitter.
The military lawyer emphasized in a later tweet that he was expressing his personal views.