Washington Post Smears Michael Flynn’s Brother For Things He Didn’t Do

Washington Post Smears Michael Flynn’s Brother For Things He Didn’t Do

On Wednesday, the Washington Post ran an innuendo-filled article that relied on a bevy of anonymous sources to invent a new ‘scandal’ for the Flynn family.
Margot Cleveland
By

On Wednesday, the Washington Post ran an innuendo-filled article that relied on a bevy of anonymous sources to invent a new “scandal” for the Flynn family.

“The Army falsely denied for days that Lt. Gen. Charles A. Flynn, the brother of disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn, was involved in a key meeting during its heavily scrutinized response to the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol,” the Post opened.

An independent investigation led by former Missouri U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen exonerated Flynn of the legal charges brought against him to foil his service in the Trump administration. The Post’s pejorative description of Michael Flynn early in this article served as a clear tell that a hit piece would follow.

And follow it did: Over the course of 1,400-plus words, the Post implied there was something questionable about Charles Flynn’s services as the deputy chief of staff of the Army during the D.C. riots—something so nefarious that the Army would lie about it, the Post’s coverage implied.

The telephone meeting at the heart of the article occurred on Jan. 6, 2021, after riots had broken out during a demonstration over election irregularities. During the telephone calls, district officials and the Capitol Police asked the Pentagon to dispatch the National Guard to help quell the riots.

While acknowledging that “it makes sense that Flynn, as the Army’s deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and training, would have been involved in the Pentagon response” to the riots, the Post still went on to sell readers a cover-up scandal.

“The Army’s initial denial of Flynn’s participation in the critical Jan. 6 meeting, despite multiple inquiries on the matter, comes as lawmakers demand transparency from the Defense Department in the aftermath of one of Washington’s gravest national security failures,” the outlet wrote.

However, a close reading of the article reveals that the Army never claimed Flynn had not attended the meeting—rather “anonymous sources” in the military had. Then, citing another unnamed source, the Post took the narrative further.

“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,” the Post article says. The Post then pushed this “political fallout” theme, opining:

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.

As you see, the Post attempts to smear Charles Flynn with his brother’s actions, a completely unfair personal attack. Charles Flynn cannot fairly be held responsible for the actions of Michael Flynn, but the Post baselessly connects them in a patent attempt at tarnishing Charles Flynn’s reputation. This episode merely again highlights the hackery of the Washington Post and other corporate media outlets.

There is no story here, or rather the only story here is that the integrity-challenged “journalists” at the Post, who brought America the Russia collusion hoax, have no problem attempting to ruin Charles Flynn’s career by tying it without any evidence to the choices of his brother, Michael.

Michael Flynn, who stressed that he cannot speak for his brother, was outraged that the media, relying on unnamed sources, would attempt to tarnish their reputations earned through years of difficult public service.

“My brother Charlie and I have fought in every major conflict for the last 40 years. And we served in three of those conflicts at the exact same time. My life, my brother’s life, our families’ lives have been defined by service to our country,” Flynn told The Federalist, also noting “we both have sons who currently serve and who have also served in combat tours.”

None of the Qanon conspiracy smear has anything to do with Charles Flynn, whom former Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy described to the Post as “an officer of an incredibly high integrity,” and as someone who served “multiple combat tours” and “has buried a lot of people.”

While the Post reported McCarthy’s comments, that is not enough to excuse the “journalist” hit executed on Charles Flynn. Whether this article will prove a one-off or will instead lay a foundation for a more sprawling narrative as Congress investigates the D.C. riots is yet to be seen.

But one thing the last five years has proven is that the press has perfected the anatomy of a smear and that no one—no matter his service or his sacrifice to this country—will be spared if it furthers a leftist political purpose.

Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Cleveland served nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk to a federal appellate judge and is a former full-time faculty member and adjunct instructor at the college of business at the University of Notre Dame. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.
Photo U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser / Arlington National Cemetery

Copyright © 2021 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.