Eric Metaxas Flacks for Michael Flynn’s Self-Promoting Propaganda Flick

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn (Image from appearance on The Eric Metaxas Radio Show)

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is promoting “Flynn,” a new film that portrays him as a heroic figure battling persecution by the deep state traitors he claims went after him as a way of bringing down Donald Trump. Flynn, who pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI, then withdrew his plea and was ultimately pardoned by Trump after the 2020 election, touted his movie in an appearance on the radio show of religious-right conspiracy theorist Eric Metaxas this week.

After Trump’s 2020 election defeat, Flynn backed Trump’s lies about the election and urged Trump to declare martial law. He has spent the post-Trump-administration years promoting conspiracy theories, Christian nationalism, and extremist figures as part of the ReAwaken America tour. In 2022, historian and authoritarianism expert Ruth Ben-Ghiat called Flynn “one of the most dangerous individuals in America today.” Last year, Right Wing Watch published “12 Reasons Donald Trump’s Pledge to Hire Michael Flynn is a Five-Alarm Threat to Democracy.”

Flynn told Metaxas and his listeners that what is happening to Trump in the courts is a continuation of a “coup” against Trump and the U.S. that was started by Barack Obama in a January 2017 White House meeting, where he said Obama and his advisers talked about how to get Flynn out of the way so they could go after Trump. It was all designed, he claimed, “to continue to control the levers of power within our government.”

That’s an interesting framing, because the thrust of Project 2025, a massive undertaking by Trump allies across the right-wing movement in the U.S., is to seize the levers of power in government and force civil servants and federal agencies to bend unquestioningly to Trump’s will if he returns to the presidency. Trump and his allies have made clear that he will use that power to seek revenge and retribution against his enemies, something Metaxas and Flynn are clearly looking forward to. Here’s Metaxas:

Trump has to win. The left will do literally anything. They would really love to put a bullet in his head. But they’re not going to be able to do that. But they might try. They’ll do anything. They’ll start World War III. They’ll do anything. Because they do not care whether people die, whether the country goes under, they just want power. That’s all they care about.

They can and will do anything to prevent him getting back in. But if he does get back in by the grace of God, that’s the starting line. We have a lot of work to do.

Metaxas said the “evil” deep state is “at war with we, the people,” and asked Flynn if Trump understands that he needs to put the right people in place to gut the deep state. Yes, Trump realizes it, said Flynn. “He knows what he’s got to do. And he’s fully prepared to do it.” More from Flynn:

I know that he realizes that the people he brings into his inner circle going back into the White House have to be really dedicated patriots who have not only his objectives and what he wants to accomplish, but also people who are prepared and ready to do the necessary functions of government and to hold people accountable. We have to have one standard of justice in this country, and people are going to need to be held accountable.

Flynn portrays Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence as part of the “uniparty establishment” plot against him, and portrays himself as the ultimate honest man, taken down by scheming insiders for being unwilling to lie in the service of power, a mythology that is likely to be swallowed whole by the MAGA faithful. Mother Jones magazine’s Stephanie Mencimer has called Flynn’s new movie “a triumph of revisionist history” and an “example of how good right-wing filmmakers have gotten at making these sorts of propaganda films.” In her review Mencimer wrote, “If Flynn the movie fails to shed much light on the unraveling of Flynn the man, it does succeed as a painful reminder of what the Trump years were like—with all the chaos and corruption—and a foreshadowing of what might happen should he be elected again.”

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