Jun 1, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Flynn denies endorsing Myanmar-style coup in U.S., despite comments on video

Former Gen. Michael Flynn speaking at a protest in Washington, D.C., in December 2020.
Former Gen. Michael Flynn speaking at a protest in Washington, D.C., in December 2020. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn denied having suggested that a coup should occur in the U.S., despite appearing to endorse the idea at a conference hosted by supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory on Sunday.

Why it matters: The comments, recorded on video, went viral and prompted widespread outrage. Flynn is a prominent supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory, whose supporters have for months used the deadly Myanmar coup as an example of how Trump could be reinstated as president after losing the 2020 election.

Context: During a question and answer portion of the For God & Country Patriot Roundup conference on Sunday, an audience member asked, “I want to know why what happened in Minamar [sic] can’t happen here?”

  • As the rest of the audience cheered, Flynn responded: "No reason. I mean, it should happen here."
  • Myanmar's military junta overthrew the country's democratically elected government in February and has since killed hundreds and arrested thousands of civilians protesting its rule.
  • Flynn was pardoned by Trump in November 2020 after he pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with the former Russian ambassador.

Between the lines: Flynn was part of a group of Trump associates who sought to overturn the results of the election in November and December, including by suspending normal laws and mobilizing the U.S. government to seize voting machines around the country, as Axios has extensively reported.

What they're saying: "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," Flynn claimed in a Telegram post on Monday.

  • "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)," Flynn wrote.

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