Flynn had advised earlier this week that Trump might invoke martial legislation as a part of his efforts to overturn the election that he misplaced to President-elect Joe Biden — an concept that arose once more throughout the assembly within the Oval Workplace, one of many folks mentioned. It wasn’t clear whether or not Trump endorsed the concept, however others within the room forcefully pushed again and shot it down.
White Home aides who participated within the assembly, together with White Home chief of employees Mark Meadows and counsel Pat Cipollone, additionally pushed again intensely on the suggestion of naming Powell as a particular counsel to research voter fraud allegations Trump’s personal administration has dismissed (or, as appears extra possible, hiring her within the administration for some form of investigatory position). Powell has centered her conspiracies on voting machines and has floated the notion of getting a particular counsel examine the machines for flaws.
One other concept floated within the assembly was an government order that may allow the federal government to entry voting machines to examine them.
One particular person described the assembly as “ugly” as Powell and Flynn accused others of abandoning the President as he works to overturn the outcomes of the election.
“It was heated — folks had been actually combating it out within the Oval, actually forceful about it,” one of many sources mentioned.
One of many sources described an escalating sense of concern amongst Trump’s aides, even those that have weathered his earlier controversies, about what steps he may take subsequent as his time period involves an finish.
The memo, seen by CNN, references a letter Dominion despatched to Powell this week demanding she publicly retract her accusations and instructs marketing campaign employees to not alter, destroy or discard data that might be related.
A severe inside divide has fashioned inside Trump’s marketing campaign following the election with tensions at their highest between the marketing campaign’s common counsel, Matt Morgan, who despatched the memo Saturday, and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Giuliani had referred to as the Division of Homeland Safety’s Ken Cuccinelli and requested if it was potential for DHS to grab voting machines, in line with two sources acquainted with the decision. Cuccinelli, the senior official performing the duties of the DHS deputy secretary, instructed Giuliani it wasn’t inside the authority of the division’s cybersecurity company to grab voting machines, in line with one of many sources, who mentioned the decision came about Thursday. The decision was first reported by the New York Occasions.
Although the marketing campaign as soon as distanced itself from Powell, Trump has been urging different folks to combat like she has, in line with a number of folks acquainted with his remarks. He has requested for extra folks making her arguments, which are sometimes baseless and full of conspiracy theories, on tv.
CNN noticed Powell leaving the residence facet of the White Home shortly earlier than 9 p.m. ET Sunday.
Powell denied that she was assembly with Trump, however when pressed once more as as to whether she met with the President or different White Home officers, Powell retorted: “It might be none of your online business.”
This story has been Sunday up to date with extra reporting.
Kaitlan Collins, Geneva Sands, Jeremy Diamond & Khalil Abdallah contributed to this report.