The Week (US)

Alarming talk of a coup— in the U.S.


Charlie Sykes

The idea of a military coup in the United States has always been “unthinkabl­e,” said Charlie Sykes. But an alarming number of Americans are thinking—and talking—about it. Michael Flynn, a former threestar Army general who served as national security adviser to President Trump, was asked at a conference of Trump supporters last week why the U.S. military could not overthrow the government, the way Myanmar’s military had. “No reason,” Flynn said to cheers. “It should happen here.” Flynn later claimed his words were twisted, but Flynn has advocated an insurrecti­on to reinstall Trump as president before, saying in November that Trump could declare martial law and use “military capabiliti­es” to “re-run” the election in swing states. Flynn discussed this idea with Trump himself at the White House. Other Trump cronies, including Roger Stone, also advocated invoking martial law. Saner heads prevailed, but a significan­t number of far-right Trump supporters like the Oath Keepers continue to promote violent overthrow of the government. We saw on Jan. 6 where that can lead. It’s tempting to dismiss crackpots like Flynn with an “eye roll,” but a majority of Trump supporters say “we may need force” to “save” America. “The threat is no joke.”

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