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According to both President Donald Trump and his top U.S. Army officials, martial law is not coming to the United States amid his battle to retain the presidency.
Rumors that the president might impose martial law first emerged after attorney Lin Wood said last week on Newsmax that he thinks “the president should declare some extent of martial law” and “hold off and stay the Electoral College.”
The rumors blew up this week after National Security Advisor Michael Flynn ran with the idea, suggesting to a Newsmax host Thursday night that the president could declare martial law in the five 2020 election battleground states and “rerun” the election.
“He could immediately on his order seize every single one of these machines around the country on his order. He could also 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.
“I mean, these people are out there talking about martial law like it’s something that we’ve never done. Martial law has been instituted 64 times.”
Watch the full Newsmax discussion below:
A day after Flynn made the remarks, Army secretary Ryan McCarthy and Army chief of staff Gen. James McConville published a statement pooh-pooing the idea.
“There is no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of an American election,” the two pithily wrote.
Just in: @SecArmy Ryan McCarthy and @ArmyChiefStaff Gen. McConville respond to former Gen. Flynn’s remarks urging Trump to declare martial law to overturn the election results: “There is no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of an American election.”
— Lara Seligman (@laraseligman) December 18, 2020
This effectively put an end to the rumors up until more rumors emerged the very next day, Saturday, thanks to dubious reporting from The New York Times.
Citing an assortment of anonymous sources, the habitually inaccurate left-wing paper claimed that during an Oval Office meeting Friday, the president humored the notion of imposing martial law on the American people.
“At one point in the meeting on Friday, Mr. Trump asked about that idea,” the Times reported.
The anonymously sourced rumors quickly blew up again and were followed by more ominous reports.
“Senior Trump administration officials are increasingly alarmed that President Trump might unleash — and abuse — the power of government in an effort to overturn the clear result of the election,” Axios’s Jonathan Swan claimed.
“These officials tell me that Trump is spending too much time with people they consider crackpots or conspiracy theorists and flirting with blatant abuses of power.”
Later Saturday evening, former National Security Advisor turned left-wing media darling John Bolton decided to weigh in on the rumors.
Speaking on CNN, he called the martial law suggestion “appalling, unbelievable, and almost certainly completely without a precedent” and further blasted the president for allegedly humoring it, saying it shows Trump’s incompetence.
“There is a difference between incompetence and malevolence, and, in Trump’s case, this is incompetence. He is unfit for the job,” Bolton argued.
“I don’t think he’s ever read the Constitution. If he has, he clearly doesn’t understand it. And if he did understand it at one point, he’s forgotten it.”
The president did not take kindly to this criticism. Shortly after midnight late Saturday and early Sunday morning, he posted a tweet tearing into Bolton.
What would Bolton, one of the dumbest people in Washington, know? Wasn’t he the person who so stupidly said, on television, “Libyan solution”, when describing what the U.S. was going to do for North Korea? I’ve got plenty of other Bolton “stupid stories”.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2020
Two minutes later he posted another tweet confirming that the rumors about him potentially imposing martial law are “fake news.”
Martial law = Fake News. Just more knowingly bad reporting!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2020
In response, some of president’s die-hard supporters expressed agreement with the insinuation that martial law isn’t the right solution.
We don’t need Marshall law.. we have the constitution. In their infinite wisdom from God, our founders put in failsafes in case of coup attempt like we are in now. January 6th State delegation in a vote of 27-24 will vote Trump as POTUS
— Melissa Tate (@TheRightMelissa) December 20, 2020
Conversely, hundreds of the president’s deranged detractors expressed confidence that Trump’s tweet somehow proves that he really IS mulling imposing martial law.
That’s confirmation that the story is true.
Pro Tip: You can’t impose martial law. You can’t overturn the election. You will leave office one way or another on Jan 20 – willingly or escorted out.
— 3️⃣1️⃣ Days Until Trump Is Gone🗽 (@snowmanomics) December 20, 2020
Thank you for confirming the fact the story is true.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) December 20, 2020
Translation: This story is true.
— 😷👑Karen66JAN202021 (@CapiLady) December 20, 2020
Every time trump comes out with “ fake news. “ …….. you can guarantee that the story is true.
— FC1977 (@FC19773) December 20, 2020
All the confirmation needed to know it’s true.
— Joanna (@thesupremekaren) December 20, 2020
It’s not clear what logic — if any — led them to this conclusion.
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