“We are aware of the statements LTG (R) Flynn made May 30 and June 1. The Army is not investigating these statements further at this time,” an Army spokesperson said in a statement.
Given the fact that Flynn is retired, the Army’s decision is in line with the US military’s typical approach to similar situations, when potential misconduct carried out by retired members who are out of uniform does not prompt an investigation by the armed services.
Flynn is facing bipartisan criticism after appearing to endorse a Myanmar-style coup in the US during an event in Dallas on Sunday in which an audience member raised the idea.
“I want to know why what happened in Minamar (sic)can’t happen here?” the audience member, who identified himself as a Marine, asked Flynn.
“No reason, I mean, it should happen here. No reason. That’s right,” Flynn responded.
A message posted to a Parler account used by Flynn on Monday, however, claimed Flynn’s words had been twisted.
“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,” the message said.
Some QAnon followers are obsessed with the idea that the US military will somehow put former President Donald Trump back into office. Some believed and hoped Trump would declare martial law on Inauguration Day to stop Joe Biden from entering the White House.
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Tuesday that “the department is not going to have an official comment one way on this.”
Flynn’s comments have prompted criticism from some lawmakers, including Rep. Elaine Luria, a Virginia Democrat serving as vice-chair of the House Armed Services Committee, who said on Monday that Flynn’s comments were “dangerous” and “incredibly concerning,” adding that she thinks official action against him should be considered.
“Flynn’s remarks border on sedition. There’s certainly conduct unbecoming an officer. Those are both things that can be tried under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and I think that as a retiree of the military, it should certainly be a path that we consider to have consequences for these types of words,” Luria, a retired Navy commander, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “AC360.”
GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, whom House Republicans recently voted to remove from her leadership position after she publicly and repeatedly rejected Trump’s election claims, tweeted on Monday afternoon: “No American should advocate or support the violent overthrow of the United States.” A link to an article with the news of Flynn’s Sunday remarks accompanied the tweet.
Flynn, who is seen as a hero in the QAnon movement, pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI over his conversations with Russia’s ambassador and for a time cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. But as his case swerved toward a possible brief prison sentence, Flynn fired his lawyers, replacing them with a defense team that worked to unravel his plea in court, and publicly campaigned for a pardon, which he ultimately received from Trump in November.
CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan contributed to this report.