Flynn suggested earlier this week that Trump might resort to martial law as part of his effort to nullify the election he lost to President-elect Joe Biden – an idea that surfaced again during the Oval Office meeting, one person said. . It was unclear if Trump supported the idea, but others in the room strongly rejected it and shot it.
White House aides who participated in the meeting, including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Counselor Pat Cipolloni, also strongly opposed the proposal to designate Powell as special counsel to investigate allegations of voter fraud rejected by the Trump administration (or seem more feasible, and to employ it in the administration for some kind of investigative role. ). Powell focused her plots on voting machines and floated the idea of having a special advisor check the machines for defects.
Another idea that was brought up at the meeting is an executive order that allows the government access to voting machines for inspection.
One person described the meeting as “ugly” as Powell and Flynn accused others of abandoning the president while working to reverse the election results.
One source said, “It was hot – people were really fighting it in Oval, and they were really violent about it.”
One source described a heightened sense of anxiety among Trump aides, even those who have transcended his past disagreements, about steps he might take after his term ends.
The memo, which CNN has seen, refers to a letter Dominion sent to Powell this week asking her to publicly retract her accusations and instructing campaign staff not to alter, destroy, or ignore potentially relevant records.
A dangerous internal split within the Trump campaign arose after the election with tensions at their peak between the campaign’s general counsel, Matt Morgan, who sent the memo on Saturday, and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. Although the campaign distanced itself from Powell once, Trump urged other people to fight as it did, according to several people familiar with his remarks. He has asked more people to present her arguments, which are often baseless and full of conspiracy theories, on television.
This story has been updated with additional reports.
Caitlan Collins contributed to this report.