The Army falsely denied for days that the brother of former national security adviser Michael Flynn was listening in on a key phone call during the Pentagon’s response to the Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, The Washington Post reported.
It was not untoward for Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn to be on the call, given his role as the Army’s deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and training. The Army’s initial denial of his participation, however, raises questions as to the transparency of the Pentagon in revealing the facts surrounding that day.
Charles Flynn told the Post that he was in the room for a portion of a phone call during which the Capitol Police and D.C. officials urged the Pentagon to send more National Guard troops to respond to the violence after a mob of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol Building.
The rioters overwhelmed police, broke into the structure and disrupted lawmakers meeting to certify President BidenJoe BidenNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Clyburn predicts Supreme Court contender J. Michelle Childs would get GOP votes Overnight Defense & National Security — US delivers written response to Russia MORE's Electoral College win. Five people are dead as a result of the chaos, including a Capitol police officer.
Top Army officials, however, were reportedly concerned about the optics of sending the guard to the Capitol.
During the call, which included senior Army officials and the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, the acting D.C. police chief was in disbelief at the Army’s hesitation, according to the Post.
Flynn said he entered the room before the call started and left before it ended as he anticipated that then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthyRyan McCarthyOvernight Defense & National Security — Preparing for the Biden-Putin call Former DC National Guard official accuses generals of lying about Capitol riot Former DC Guard commander calls for retraction of Pentagon watchdog's Jan. 6 report MORE — who was in another meeting and not on the call — would soon order officials to take action and send additional Guardsmen.
“I believed a decision was imminent from the Secretary and I needed to be in my office to assist in executing the decision,” Flynn told the Post.
The three-star general’s involvement during the call comes after Michael Flynn publicly suggested that former President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Kemp leading Perdue in Georgia gubernatorial primary: poll US ranked 27th least corrupt country in the world MORE declare martial law and have the military oversee a redo of the election. Michael Flynn — who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI but was pardoned by Trump in November — has also pushed QAnon conspiracy theories.
There is no evidence that Charles Flynn shares his brother’s extreme views or has acted in any way that was influenced by Michael Flynn.
McCarthy, meanwhile, defended Charles Flynn in an interview last week.
“Charlie Flynn is an officer of an incredibly high integrity,” McCarthy told The Post. “Multiple combat tours. He has buried a lot of people. This guy has given a lot to this country. It is incredibly awkward for this officer every day for what is going on with him and his brother, but he puts his head down in, and he is locked in to serve the Constitution.”
In the days following the violent riot, the Pentagon has denied accusations that it slow-walked the deployment of additional troops to the Capitol even after the mob broke into the building.
Pentagon officials have repeatedly denied such claims, and McCarthy on Monday blamed bureaucracy in the military's seemingly slow response to the siege.
“There's too many people that are involved with the decision, and ultimately no one, one single person responsible," McCarthy told CNN. "It makes it very difficult and slow in the response.”