Michael Flynn has backtracked on comments he made at a QAnon conference this weekend where he said a military coup similar to the one that occurred in Myanmar earlier this year ‘should happen’ in the United States.
The retired general, who briefly served as national security adviser under President Donald Trump, made the comments in response to a question from an audience member at a conference organized by supporters of the QAnon conspiracy in Dallas, Texas.
The man said he was a ‘simple Marine’ and asked ‘why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here?’
‘There’s no reason’, Flynn responded as the audience cheered. ‘I mean, it should happen — that’s right.’
Response to the exchange was furious, with some calling for his court martial.
On Monday Flynn issued a frantic backtrack in a post on messaging app Telegram.
He wrote: ‘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.
He said his comments had been misconstrued, adding, ‘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).’
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national adviser walked back comments he made over the weekend in which he supported the idea of a military coup similar to Myanmar’s happening in the U.S.
Flynn made the comments at a conference organized by supporters of the QAnon conspiracy in Dallas, Texas
On Monday Army Col. Yevgeny ‘Eugene’ Vindman tweeted, ‘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.’
Vindman is the twin brother of Alexander Vindman, who was a key witness in Trump’s impeachment over comments he made to the Ukrainian President.
Both sat on the National Security Council before being fired shortly after the trial.
Steve Vladeck, a professor in federal law at the University of Texas also wrote on Twitter that even retired Flynn was subject to the Army’s Uniform Code of Military Justice.
‘The constitutionality of jurisdiction over retirees for post-retirement offenses is something we’re currently challenging in the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces & the D.C. Circuit,’ he tweeted.
Army Col. Yevgeny ‘Eugene’ Vindman said that Flynn’s comments could lead to a court martial. He is the twin brother of Alexander Vindman, who served as a key witness in Trump’s Ukraine impeachment trial
Federal law professor Steve Vladeck said that even retired, Flynn was subject to the Army’s Code of Military Justice
Myanmar’s military-led coup saw the country’s democratically-elected government overturned.
Military chief Min Aung Hlaing was installed as the country’s leader with the junta killing hundreds of civilians.
Others also took to social media to blast Flynn’s remarks.
A number of Twitter users heard the comments and demanded that he be court-martialed
‘Hello SecDef! Can we get a Court Martial? Call him back to duty and then dishonorably discharge him. My tax payer dollars shouldn’t be paying for his benefits,’ wrote one.
‘Wow. It don’t get much more traitory than this,’ added another.
‘Why isn’t Michael Flynn behind bars of fomenting a treasonous insurrection against the United States? Surely treasonous words are not covered by Trump’s pardon,’ asked Muriel Burrows.
‘Recall General Michael Flynn to active duty immediately for purposes of court-martial. This must be done ASAP.’ tweeted Jeannette Stone.
‘I think now might be a good time to call retired officer Michael Flynn back to active duty, court martial and strip him of his rank and benefits for conspiracy and committing seditious acts against the United States,’ said another.
‘Michael Flynn is clearly an enemy of the USA. Let’s honor our veterans this Memorial Day by arresting this unamerican traitor.’
‘Minimar? sounds like dude has been spending too much time at the minibar,’ joked one Twitter user who noticed Flynn’s mispronunciation.
‘We now return you to the Republican coup, already in progress . . . THIS is why the GOP wants to block every investigation into the January 6th attack on the Capital: Because it starts and ends with them,’ said DC Lascelle.
As of April more than 700 civilians have been killed by military and police forces in Mayanmar since the coup
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol in Washington D.C.
‘Flynn hopefully will be prosecuted under 18 U.S. Code § 2385 Astonishing if someone holding the rank of General in the United States Army who was also a National Security Advisor can get away with calling for a Myanmar-style coup,’ wrote another user.
‘FBI please arrest this man. He is asking Americans to turn against their government!’, demanded another Twitter follower.
In the past, QAnon supporters have aired their support for a coup to take place that would see Trump be placed back at the White House.
One interview aired on CNN showed Trump supporters advocating for a military coup to take over and ‘redo’ the election, remove ‘puppet president’ Joe Biden and hold a new inauguration for Trump.
President Trump pardoned Flynn last Thanksgiving. Flynn’s conviction for lying to the FBI during the Russia investigation was wiped following the presidential pardon.
In 2017, Trump fired Flynn after just weeks on the job after it was revealed he did not disclose his contacts with Russia’s former ambassador to the US to Vice President Mike Pence.
President Trump pardoned Flynn last Thanksgiving. Flynn’s conviction for lying to the FBI during the Russia investigation was wiped following the presidential pardon. Pictured in 2016