According to The Washington Post, after the Army denied for days that Lt. Gen. Charles A. Flynn, the brother of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, was present during a key meeting as it responded to the Capitol siege, Charles Flynn has admitted that he was there.
Charles Flynn confirmed in a statement issued to The Washington Post on Wednesday that he was in the room for a tense Jan. 6 phone call during which the Capitol Police and D.C. officials pleaded with the Pentagon to dispatch the National Guard urgently, but top Army officials expressed concern about having the Guard at the Capitol.
Flynn left the room before the meeting was over, anticipating that then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, who was in another meeting, would soon take action to deploy more guard members, he said.
“I entered the room after the call began and departed prior to the call ending as I believed a decision was imminent from the Secretary and I needed to be in my office to assist in executing the decision,” Flynn said.
The general’s presence during the call — which has not previously been reported — came weeks after his brother publicly suggested that President Donald Trump declare martial law and have the U.S. military oversee a redo of the election. There is no indication that Charles Flynn shares his brother’s extreme views or discharged his duties at the Pentagon on Jan. 6 in any manner that was influenced by his brother.
The Post reported that Flynn’s presence during the meeting makes sense, given his position as the Army’s deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and training. The newspaper also noted that “Flynn, however, is not in the chain of command.”
The episode highlights the challenge for the Army in having an influential senior officer whose brother has become a central figure in QAnon, the extreme ideology that alleges Trump was waging a battle with Satan-worshiping Democrats who traffic children. Michael Flynn, who previously ran the Defense Intelligence Agency and left the Army as a three-star general, has espoused QAnon messages, and QAnon adherents are among those who have been charged in connection with the attempted insurrection. In November, Trump announced he had pardoned Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
Per the report, Army officials declined to answer questions regarding Flynn’s statement or presence during the call.
The Army also declined to answer why it falsely said for days that Flynn, who already has been confirmed by the Senate for a promotion to four-star general, was not involved.
One official directly familiar with the situation said there was concern in both the Army and National Guard about possible political fallout if it was discovered that Flynn was involved in the Army’s deliberations. That is despite it being commonplace that the person in Flynn’s role would have been involved.
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