Retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn served up a rambling and incoherent stream of word salads to attendees today at the Q-Anon-sponsored Patriot Roundup for God and Country in Dallas.
But Flynn -- the man who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts before being pardoned by Donald Trump -- did stick clearly to one central point in keynoting the Memorial Day weekend event:
Trump is still president.
Flynn peered into the crowd -- from which mainstream media was banned -- and said this:
"For those in the media, and I will call you out because I know exactly what media places you're from -- and it doesn't bother me -- this is not a conspiracy theory. OK? This is not a conspiracy theory. I am not a conspiracy theorist. I base my life on facts and judgment and what I believe is right for this country. For this country, period. And that's it. I don't care about-- I stand up here--"
At that point Flynn digressed sharply off onto a tangent about how there were a couple of young kids in the room, but mostly older people like him, "and that's not why we're here. I'm beyond the nonsense stage of my life." Eventually, he returned somewhat to the subject by stating that his personal attorney Sidney Powell -- also a headliner and financial beneficiary of the Dallas event -- also was "no conspiracy theorist."
Instead, he said, Powell was a person of passion, drive and most of all -- like he and his family -- committed "to having the truth come out." Which provided the perfect transition, sans evidence, to the perfect foil: Attorney resisting the phony and illegal "election audit" by pro-Trump zealots imported to one Arizona county.
"And they are so afraid of the truth coming out. Why on the one question coming out of Maricopa County, I think it was three weeks ago, we saw 100 lawyers show up to block and tackle and to fight against the truth being exposed in one county, in one state, in our country. That's beyond outrageous. It's despicable. It's anti-American. It's anti-American!
"If their guy, and I'll use (right-wing talk show host) Doug Billings' phrase -- Administrator Biden -- if Administrator Biden won, what's there to hide? What's there to hide? What is there to hide?"
Flynn continued with a diatribe best savored with no editing, so that the full splendor of its mental turbulence can be fully appreciated. Note that this is one continuous and uninterrupted stream of something on the part of Flynn:
"We all believe that this is not about Donald J. Trump. This is about the United States of America. Trump won! He won! He won the popular vote, and he won the Electoral College vote.
"So what happened? I'll use a military term. We were outmaneuvered. On the 2nd of November, there were legions of lawyers on the Democratic side. Legions. Where was the Republican Party at? They were nowhere to be found. They were MIA. On the 4th of November, these legions of lawyers began to deploy-- and many of them were already deployed around the country-- and they didn't have to go to all 3,481 counties in this country. They only had to focus on about six, maybe seven, eight if you throw in what happened out in Nevada. It was really, really smart. I know, watching these characters through all my adult life, we're not dealing with people who believe in either of these things right here -- (pointing to the event's logo) -- in God or country when that country is a constitutional republic called the United States of America.
"So, our Constitution and our Bill of Rights and our Declaration of Independence -- I always like to pull this out because it's really important," Flynn said, holding up a couple of hand-sized books. "For most people, I mean, that's the Constitution of the United States of America, 4500 words, it takes the average reader about 30 minutes to read it. That's the Constitution. And in this little book is the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.
"It's amazing. It's amazing. I mean, that's it. Most people have never taken the time to really sit down and so all of us in our country we have taken for granted far too long that we the people, that this country, this Constitution, it's not based upon government control of our lives or our children's lives. It is based on individual liberties. If you want to continue to breathe the fresh air of liberty, you gotta get involved. You gotta understand what it says in this little thing. The Pledge of Allegiance. This coming June 14 Flag Day. Raise the flag, say the pledge. Raise the flag, say the pledge. One of the things I want you all to do is when you go home and see if you've got an American flag wherever you live. I don't care whether it's a tent or a trailer or a big ole mansion. You get out there and you raise the flag and say the pledge and you be proud of it. Because this document, 4500 words, and the pledge, which is 31 words, it's a pledge, a pledge of allegiance to the United States of America. I used to say it when I was a little kid in a public school. And some of you know what I'm talking about, but we can't even do that anymore."
Flynn wasn't done, not by any means. Several word salads ensued, including one attempting to conflate the Bible, Ten Commandments and the Constitution in a series of unrelated sentences that made the previous paragraph seem concise.
There was one line later in Flynn's "speech' that was a bit more memorable, when he cited --pretty much out of the blue -- one time he spoke to Trump:
"Trump said to me, 'you're the cleanest guy in America.' I said to him, "No Donald, YOU'RE the cleanest guy in America."
Flynn did make one other observation that actually might resonate even with those people not interested in attending a QAnon event:
"We're not in normal times."