Trump Discussed Imposing Martial Law in White House Meet: Reports

In response to the allegations, Trump tweeted “Martial law = Fake News. Just more knowingly bad reporting!”

2 min read
File image of outgoing US President Donald Trump.

With only a month left for President-elect Joe Biden to be sworn in, Donald Trump’s efforts to remain in power took a new turn on Friday, 18 December, when an Oval Office meeting reportedly turned into a discussion about ‘invoking martial law.’

Although it is unclear if Trump endorsed the idea, two officials from the White House told CNN that the plan was argued in the meeting on Friday.

What Did Trump Say?

Michael Flynn, Trump’s former security advisor who he recently pardoned, came on a right-wing news channel ‘Newsmax’ last week, and said that the imposition of martial law would not be “unprecedented.” He was also called in for the Oval Office meeting on Friday.

In response to allegations of martial law, Trump tweeted “Martial law = Fake News. Just more knowingly bad reporting!” on Sunday, 20 December.

However, amid his groundless outcries of election fraud, Trump’s supporters could use this as ammunition to “go out and create violence,” said Elizabeth Neumann, former assistant secretary of Homeland Security under President Trump.

What is Martial Law?

Martial Law refers to a temporary deployment of the military apparatus for civilian rule. Trump’s motivation for calling for this would be to overturn the results of the 2020 US Presidential election.

What Could Happen?

In his statement on Newsmax, Flynn said, "He could order the... within the swing states, if he wanted to, he could take military capabilities, and he could place those in states and basically rerun an election in each of those states."

“I mean, it’s not unprecedented. 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.” He added.

Republicans have repeatedly made claims of nationwide election fraud and rigging, ever since Trump’s defeat in the elections.

(inputs from CNN, Business Insider India, The Independent)

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