Friday’s Oval Office meeting with Trump “must be condemned,” a critic says.
December 20, 2020, 1:58 AM
• 7 min read
Trump and Powell met in the Oval Office Friday night, ABC News has confirmed, and were joined by Trump’s former national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who has been publicly prodding Trump to take unprecedented steps to seize a second term — including declaring martial law and ordering the military to oversee new elections in the battleground states that Trump lost.
“[Trump] could take military capabilities and he could place them in those states and basically rerun an election in each of those states,” Flynn said earlier this week on the conservative news outlet Newsmax.
Critics expressed alarm at Friday’s meeting, which was first reported by The New York Times. Noah Bookbinder, who heads the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told ABC News that the ideas raised in the Oval Office discussions would represent an “abuse of power” and were “wrong and must be condemned.””
“President Trump’s continued attempts to overturn the results of the election have done immeasurable damage to the stability of our democracy and to the American people’s faith in it,” Bookbinder said. “The president welcoming Michael Flynn to the White House right after Flynn suggested Trump impose martial law to overturn the election by force takes the threat to a new level.”
Critics contend that Powell’s return could usher in a dark final chapter to the Trump presidency,