Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Michael Flynn listens to President Trump during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room the White House in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, January 31, 2017.

Michael Flynn listens to President Trump during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room the White House in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, January 31, 2017. (Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Trump Reportedly Floated Michael Flynn's "Martial Law" Suggestion During White House Meeting

"A week ago 126 of my Republican colleagues violated the Constitution by supporting Trump's attempt to steal the election. How many support Trump's discussion of military dictatorship?" asked Rep. Bill Pascrell.

Jake Johnson

During a meeting at the White House on Friday, President Donald Trump reportedly asked his advisers about retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn's recent suggestion that the administration impose martial law and use the military to conduct a "rerun" of the November presidential election.

According to the New York Times, which first reported the discussion Saturday, Trump's advisers pushed back against Flynn's proposal and other ideas the president floated during the meeting, including his suggestion that notorious right-wing attorney Sidney Powell be named special counsel for an investigation into baseless allegations of widespread "voter fraud." Flynn, who Trump pardoned last month, was reportedly present at the White House meeting.

In a tweet early Sunday morning, Trump—who is set to leave office in a month—denied that he raised Flynn's call for martial law, dismissing the Times story as "fake news" and "knowingly bad reporting."

The Associated Press reported that during the Friday meeting, the president's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani "pushed Trump to seize voting machines in his hunt for evidence of fraud."

While Trump is unlikely to do anything resembling what Flynn and Giuliani suggested, observers warned that the lame-duck president's willingness to entertain such proposals highlights the threat he still poses to democracy on his way out the door.

"A week ago 126 of my Republican colleagues violated the Constitution by supporting Trump's attempt to steal the election," tweeted Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.), referring to GOP support for a Texas-led lawsuit that the Supreme Court rejected earlier this month. "How many support Trump's discussion of military dictatorship?"

Axios reported Saturday that senior Trump administration officials, whom the outlet did not name, are growing "increasingly alarmed that President Trump might unleash—and abuse—the power of government in an effort to overturn the clear result of the election."

"Their fears include Trump's interest in former national security adviser Michael Flynn's wild talk of martial law; an idea floated of an executive order to commandeer voting machines; and the specter of Sidney Powell, the conspiracy-spewing election lawyer, obtaining governmental power and a top-level security clearance," according to Axios.

In response to the Axios story, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) dismissed the Trump advisers' supposed alarm as "all for show," given that they've repeatedly enabled the president's past abuses.

"They have empowered him as he destroys democratic institutions and embarrasses the U.S. globally," Omar tweeted. "They are shameless."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Hopes Rise for Return to Iran Nuclear Deal Destroyed by Trump

"We stand five minutes or five seconds from the finish line," said one negotiator, who added that "three or four issues" that are "sensitive for Iranians and Americans" remain to be resolved.

Brett Wilkins ·


Sinema Received Over $500K From Private Equity Before Shielding Industry From Tax Hikes

"Remember the days when taking half a million bucks from an industry, and then passing legislation that only benefits that industry, while passing the costs onto everyone else, would be called corruption?" asked one critic. "Today it's just lobbying as usual."

Kenny Stancil ·


Wildlife Defenders Slam Senate Dems' Bill for Not Protecting Refuge in Alaska

"We will never stop fighting to protect these sacred lands, the Porcupine caribou, and our communities," vowed the Gwich'in Steering Committee's executive director.

Jessica Corbett ·


Fears of Hate-Inspired Serial Killer Grow as 4th Muslim Man Murdered in Albuquerque

"We're scared for our families, we're scared for our children," said one local Muslim leader. "And we are incredibly confused about why this is happening."

Jake Johnson ·


'Let Those Numbers Sink In': At Least 45 Palestinians Killed During Israeli Attacks on Gaza

The dead include 16 children and four women, according to Palestinian officials, who said that at least 360 others were injured.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo