Michael Flynn, a former national security adviser, suggested a military coup in the United States was needed during a Memorial Day weekend conference hosted by supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory, drawing criticism from scientists. politicians, veterans, Democrats, and a handful of prominent Republicans.
Appearing at the For God & Country Patriot Roundup conference in Dallas, Mr. Flynn heard an audience member ask: I want to know why what happened in Myanmar cannot happen here, referring to the overthrow of a quasi-democratic government by part of the Myanmar military. And a brutal crackdown on dissent, which some Qune supporters have cited with approval. Mr. Flynn replied: I do not mean to have a reason, the reason should be here without reason.
Many criticized the comment, including Representative Liz Cheney, a Republican who was ousted from her House leadership position this month for criticizing former President Donald J. Trump and saying she would do everything she could to make sure he wasn’t the one. Republican Party presidential candidate in 2024. On Twitter, Ms. Cheney said: No American should defend or support the violent overthrow of the United States.
Flynn, who suggested in December that Trump could invoke martial law to force new elections in swing states, responded to the backlash to his comment by arguing Monday in a post on Telegram, a messaging app, that he meant otherwise.
I am no stranger to the media manipulating my words and therefore let me repeat my answer to a question asked at the conference: there is no reason why (a coup) should occur here (in the United States), he wrote.
Speaking at the same conference over the weekend, Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican from Texas, said right-wing extremists weren’t solely responsible for the Capitol riots. The misconception that left-wing groups were responsible is popular with some conservatives.
Gohmert also downplayed the severity of the riot, in which a mob of American Trump supporters tried violently to prevent Congress from certifying the 2020 election results, citing past attacks by foreigners: Some of us believe Pearl Harbor was the one. worst attack on democracy. Some of us think that 9/11 was the worst attack. Some of us think those things were worse attacks on democracy.
A Gohmert spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
He and Mr. Flynn spoke in front of a logo that featured QAnon’s catchphrase WWG1WGA, short for Where We Go One, We Go All.
A recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Interfaith Youth Core found that 14 percent of Americans, including one in four Republicans, believed in three central tenets of QAnon’s conspiracy theory: that America is being run. by a clique of Satanist Pedophiles, that American patriots may have to resort to violence to get rid of that clique and that a storm will soon restore legitimate leaders.