During his interview with the Jan. 6 Committee, Gen. Mark Milley bashed Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, for his comments in the lead-up to the Capitol riot, calling his statements “unnerving” and “highly wrong.”
On Dec. 18, 2020, Flynn appeared on Newsmax, stating that former President Donald Trump had the authority to use “military capabilities” in swing states to “rerun an election in each of those states.”
“People out there talk about martial law like it’s something that we’ve never done. Martial law has been instituted 64 times,” he said at the time.
The latest transcripts released by the Jan. 6 Committee reveal that Milley, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, thought Flynn’s comments were “unnerving to people, right, to the American people.”
“I think it’s incumbent upon me as a senior leader of the United States military to assure people — through media is a vehicle of doing it; through Congress is another vehicle of doing it — to assure people that the United States military was not going to be involved,” he told the committee on Nov. 17, 2021. “It’s highly wrong, and it’s against the very ethic of this country, in my view,” he added.
He then mourned “the Michael Flynn that I knew,” who “was a high-quality intelligence officer who served his country honorably and served it well in peace and war.”
The general said he’ll reserve any comment on the version of Flynn who appeared on Newsmax, but went as far as to say, “I think those comments are absolutely fundamentally wrong, and they run at cross-purposes to the oath of office about protecting and defending the Constitution.”
Asked about his fears following Flynn’s comments, he said, “Well, I mean, worst case would be — well, frankly, you saw close to the worst case on the 6th, which is the usurpation of the Constitution of the United States, the overthrow of the Constitution of the United States, and the illegal extension of power, the failure to conduct a peaceful transfer of power, a long-standing U.S. tradition. Those sorts of things, in my mind, were all in the realm of the possible, I suppose, because of things that we saw happening.”
Despite his opposition, Milley did not choose to take the “giant step” of bringing Flynn “back on active duty to court-martial him and subject him to crimes based on the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”
He compared the comments to times when Trump wanted him to do similar things to retired officers who wrote critical op-eds. Milley did not do it in any of these cases to protect the military from politicization.