Mike Flynn: I wasn't calling for a Myanmar-style military coup

Sure he was. Watch the clip, recorded this weekend.

Flynn wants people to believe that, when the questioner asked why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here, he replied, “There’s no reason it should happen here” and that the dreaded mainstream media purposely distorted his words. When, as you can see and as the audience plainly understood, he said, “No reason. I mean, it should happen here. No reason.”

It’s not like this was the first time Flynn has called for getting the U.S. military involved in deciding who runs the government either. Last December he was pushing “limited martial law” to re-run the vote in several states if necessary:

A few weeks later he was on TV defending the point:

A Myanmar-style military takeover has been a popular idea among the more fascist segments of QAnon for months. Coincidentally, Flynn posted a video last year showing him taking a Q “pledge” and reciting the group’s slogan, “Where we go one, we go all.” In April of this year, he was at a far-right event when one questioner stood up and recited the slogan to him. To which he replied, “Now that’s a great phrase, isn’t it? And they’ll tell you you’re a conspiracy [theorist], you’re all kinds of crazy. I mean…wow it’s incredible.” This is his audience now.

So he knew exactly what the guy in the clip above meant by “Minnimar” and he knew exactly what the audience wanted to hear, so that’s what he told them. He’s trying to spin it as a big misunderstanding because at least one member of Congress has called for “action” over what he said. Flynn can’t be prosecuted under U.S. civilian law for his comments — yes, there’s a statute that criminalizes sedition although it’s likely unconstitutional as applied in this case — but the UCMJ is a different story.

Someone may have pulled him aside and warned him that he can be court-martialed, even in retirement. Hence today’s unpersuasive attempt at clean-up.

Charlie Sykes has a nice round-up this morning of just how many coup-curious people were whispering in Trump’s ear last November and December after the election about martial law or the Insurrection Act. There was Flynn, of course, and Roger Stone. Mike Lindell was seen leaving the Oval Office in January with notes detailing a plan for Trump to hold onto power less than a week before Biden’s inauguration. Sykes notes that Ret. Col. Douglas MacGregor, whom Trump appointed as a senior advisor to the Pentagon, recently published a piece in a MAGA outlet calling for the French military to stage a coup in that country and wondering how soon one might be needed in the United States. Christopher Miller, Trump’s last secretary of defense, reportedly told friends that he had three goals during the final month of Trump’s administration, per Axios: “#1: No major war. #2: No military coup. #3: No troops fighting citizens on the streets.” Even the very top of the military food chain was worried about what the president might do.

And then of course there was Sidney Powell, possibly the biggest crank in Trump’s orbit. She was at the same event as Flynn this weekend and said this:

The idea of Trump being “reinstated” in the presidency is comically preposterous, the sort of thing only someone whose brain has been eaten by QAnon could believe. And yet, if you believe Times reporter Maggie Haberman, Trump himself has been heard chattering about it to allies:

If that’s true, it’s a reminder of how far gone he is. It’s tempting to believe that the election conspiracy theories he pushed last November and December were just a ploy, a face-saving exercise to convince his fans to believe a lie when Trump himself knew the truth. But the bulk of the reporting contradicts that. By all accounts, he entertains theories of election-rigging in private too. There’s no reason for him to still be churning out statements about the Arizona Senate’s election audit at this stage unless he believes on some level that they might vindicate him.

Which makes me wonder: Now that Trump is reportedly set to start holding rallies again, is he going to start saying publicly that he expects to be “reinstated” in office before 2025? Byron York thinks that might cross a line that even some MAGA fans consider crazy, pushing more Republicans towards the belief that it’s time to seek new leadership for the party. I’ll take that action. Stay tuned.