Michael T. Flynn, a former national security adviser, suggested a military coup was needed in the United States during a Memorial Day weekend conference hosted by supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which received criticism from political scientists. veterans, Democrats and a handful of prominent Republicans.
Appearing at the “For God & Country Patriot Roundup” conference in Dallas, Flynn overheard a member of the public ask, “I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here,” in reference to the overthrow of Myanmar’s army almost democratic government and brutal repression against dissent, which some supporters of QAnon have cited with approval. Flynn replied, “There is no reason. I mean, it should happen here. No reason. “
Many criticized the comment, including Rep. Liz Cheney, a Republican who was fired from her House leadership position this month for criticizing former President Donald J. Trump and saying she would do everything possible to ensure she was not. 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 reaction to his claim by arguing Monday in a post on Telegram, a messaging app, that meant the opposite.
“I am no stranger to the media manipulating my words and therefore let me repeat my answer to a question that was asked at the conference: there is no reason for (a coup) to occur here (in America), ”he wrote.
Representing the weekend at the same conference, Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican from Texas, said right-wing extremists were not solely responsible for the Capitol riot. The misconception that leftist groups were responsible is popular among some conservatives.
Gohmert also downplayed the seriousness of the riot – in which a crowd of Mr Trump’s US supporters tried to violently prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 election – citing past attacks by foreigners: “Some of us think that Pearl Harbor was the worst attack on democracy. Some think 9/11 was the worst attack. Some think these things were the worst attacks on democracy. “(President Biden has called the riot the” worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War “).
A spokeswoman for Mr. Gohmert did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
He and Mr. Flynn spoke in front of a logo that included the QAnon slogan “WWG1WGA,” short for “Where we go one, we all go.”
A recent survey by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Interfaith Youth Core found that 14% of Americans, including about one in four Republicans, believed in three central principles of QAnon’s conspiracy theory: that states United are being led by a cabal of Satanist pedophiles, that “American patriots may have to resort to violence” to get rid of this cabal and that a “storm” will soon “restore legitimate leaders.”