On Sunday, Democratic House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff claimed that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was encouraging President Donald Trump to consider a “military coup.”
Schiff made his comments on MSNBC’s “Weekends.”
Host Alex Witt asked Schiff, “Is there any chance, sir, that Joe Biden will not be validated again as the winner of this election?”
Schiff replied, “There’s no chance of that, what there is a chance of is if the president essentially urges his supporters to descend on the Congress on January 6th that it could cause civil disturbances.”
“What’s more, the fact of challenging the result in Congress will fail, but it will do another body blow to our democracy,” Schiff said. “All of this is doing long-term damage to our country.”
Schiff continued, “The president, through his actions, is creating a permanent class of citizens who believe their election was stolen when it wasn’t.”
Then Witt got into some of Michael Flynn’s recent comments.
Witt said, “A number of new reports are detailing the length to which the president was reportedly willing to go to overturn the election results.”
“I want to play for you some advice that Michael Flynn has for him,” she explained. “Let’s take a look.”
Flynn said in a clip from Newsmax, “He could order within the swing states, if he wanted to, he could take military capabilities, and he could place them in those states and basically rerun an election in each of those states.”
“It’s not unprecedented,” Flynn said. “There’s people talking about martial law. Martial law has been instituted 64 times.”
It’s unclear what incidents Flynn is referring to, though many states lived under martial law during Reconstruction.
Schiff responded to Flynn’s comments, “I have to say, I shudder every time I see Michael Flynn to think that that man was the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.”
“What he’s just saying is perfectly normal, perfectly ordinary, done 60-some odd times in history is a military coup,” Schiff continued. “That’s what he’s talking about.”
Schiff then explained why he has not used the word “coup” to describe Trump’s legal efforts regarding the election.
“I’ve resisted using the word coup to describe these efforts by Trump to make these bogus lawsuits and make these bogus claims, but what Flynn’s talking about is a military coup,” Schiff said.
The Democrat added, “That may have been done 60 times in history, but it’s been done by dictators around the world, not in the United States.”
Schiff then explored if President Trump would ever take Flynn’s coup suggestion to heart.
“Could the president do it?” Schiff asked. “I don’t think the people around the president are going to go along with it.”
“It would fail,” Schiff said.
President Trump appeared to answer some of the “martial law” and “coup” rumors on Sunday.
“Martial law = Fake News. Just more knowingly bad reporting!” the President tweeted.
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