Retired LTG Michael Flynn, who was pardoned by President Trump for lying to the FBI, appeared on Newsmax, a conservative television show this week. There, he recommended that the president invoke martial law and “basically rerun” the election.
Military leaders, both current and former, weren’t having any of that talk. In fact, while some current leaders sidestepped mentioning Flynn, others, such as the former head of the U.S. Special Operations Command, called him out and demanded that he stop.
Some lawmakers called Flynn’s comments seditious or even treasonous.
In a joint statement, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Army Chief of Staff General James McConville didn’t mention Flynn by name but said, “There is no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of an American election.”
That sentiment was reiterated earlier by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Mark Milley. “We have established a very long 240-year tradition of an apolitical military that does not get involved in domestic politics,” Milley said.
Retired U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Commander General Tony Thomas called out Flynn and urged him to cease the talk of martial law.
“You know that leveraging the military to ‘rerun elections’ is a totally inappropriate role for the profession,” Thomas tweeted to Flynn. “Stop!”
“Mike, stop. Just stop. You are a former soldier. You know that leveraging the military to ‘rerun elections’ is a totally inappropriate role for the profession. You are also undercutting the extraordinary trust and confidence America has in their military. Stop!”
On his Newsmax appearance, Flynn was asked how President Trump could undo the results in several key election states. He replied that the use of the military in situations such as this was “not unprecedented” and not “like something that we’ve never done.” But then added, “I’m not calling for that.” He then continued by saying that martial law has been instituted 64 times in our history.
Flynn’s comments from the Greg Kelly show on Newsmax can be seen here:
U.S. Air Force veteran, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, (R-IL), said that Flynn’s comments about putting the military in control were “insane.”
Former Trump administration National Security Adviser John Bolton called Flynn’s comments “appalling.” He added that “there is no other way to describe this.” Appearing on CNN, Bolton said, “at least some of the administration’s staff read the Constitution.”
Bolton added that, “This would be a good time for Republicans in Congress to talk about the Constitution and explain why the President can’t invoke martial law. “
However, at least one Republican, Amanda Chase, a candidate for the governorship of Virginia, agreed with Flynn’s comments. She posted on Facebook, “Make no mistake. We are at war. The Democratic Party hijacked our 2020 Presidential Election and have committed treason. Where the hell are the Republicans? Did Dominion Voting Systems buy you out too? I hear nothing but crickets. If we don’t address voter fraud right here and right now how can you even think about 2021?”
“I agree with General Flynn. President Trump should invoke limited Martial law to allow the U.S. Military to oversee a new free and fair federal election if legislators, courts, and the Congress do not follow the Constitution.”