June 13, 2021

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Michael Flynn denies suggesting a Myanmar-style military coup should happen in the US – Business Insider

3 min read
  • Michael Flynn appeared to say there “should” be a Myanmar-style coup in the US.
  • The former national security adviser backtracked the statement on Monday. 
  • In February, Myanmar’s military overthrew its elected government and arrested its leaders.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who worked briefly under former President Donald Trump, said Monday that there was “NO reason” for a military coup in the United States — one day after he appeared to suggest the opposite at a QAnon-themed convention over the weekend.

“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 said in a post on Telegram, a social-media app that has been favored by far-right groups.

“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,” Flynn added to his 227,000 subscribers.

But Flynn’s comments Monday were at odds with those he made a day earlier at the For God & Country Patriot Roundup conference in Dallas. Attendees included Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, George Papadopoulos, and other prominent peddlers of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which baselessly alleges the existence of a “deep state” cabal of pedophiles. 

“I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here,” an audience member asked Flynn, who is seen as something of a celebrity in the QAnon universe, during a panel.

“No reason, I mean, it should happen here. No reason. That’s right,” Flynn responded.

Video of the interaction circulated across social media immediately following Flynn’s remarks Sunday. In his Telegram post on Monday, Flynn claimed the “media” was “manipulating” his words. 

In February, the Myanmar military overthrew the nation’s democratically elected government and arrested its leaders. More than 4,400 political prisoners have been arrested since the coup began and 840 have been killed by the military junta as it attempts to silence dissent, according to research from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a non-profit organization that has been tracking and uploading the data.

“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 Monday.

Flynn served as national security adviser under Trump for 22 days before resigning. In 2017, he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with a Russian ambassador, though he later retracted his plea and was pardoned by the former president last November.

As Insider’s Rachel E. Greenspan previously reported, Flynn has previously echoed the rhetoric of QAnon supporters, including last year the baseless theory that Dominion Voting Systems, which sells electronic voting hardware, rigged the 2020 election in President Joe Biden’s favor. There is no evidence to support that claim.

In July last year, he shared a video to Twitter espousing QAnon’s main slogan.

As CNN reported Monday, Flynn continued to repeat false claims about the 2020 election during last weekend’s convention, saying, “Trump won. He won the popular vote, and he won the Electoral College vote.” Trump won neither the popular vote nor the Electoral College vote.

Many followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which centered on the false narrative that Trump was fighting a fictional cabal of human traffickers, have refused to accept last year’s election results in the wake of Biden’s ascension to the presidency. QAnon followers and their theories were directly linked to the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol that led to five deaths.

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