Scott O’Grady, Donald Trump’s nominee for the post of assistant secretary of defence for international security affairs, has reportedly retweeted a series of potentially damaging messages related to the US election, including the allegation that Democratic Joe Biden stole the November 3 from Trump in an electoral “coup.”
The tweets in question, protected so that only O’Grady’s followers can read them, were reportedly seen by CNN, which says that the official retweeted a November 25 tweet by attorney Lin Wood accusing the “mainstream and socialist media” of serving as the “propaganda arms of 3rd party bad actors who want to overthrow [a] duly-elected president,” and saying that “Trump won and Biden and his Comrades will now attempt a coup.”
The controversial tweet features a photoshopped photograph of Biden kneeling on one knee, wearing a protective mask, with a leash around his neck held by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
They claim @realDonaldTrump
— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) November 25, 2020
O’Grady also reportedly retweeted a tweet by Trump supporter and former National Guardsman Mark Lutchman, who suggested on December 2 that “calling for martial law is not a bad idea when there is an attempted coup against the president and this country happening right now.”
I don’t know who needs to hear this,
But calling for martial law is not a bad idea when there is an attempted coup against the president and this country happening right now.
— Mark Lutchman 🇺🇸 (@marklutchman) December 2, 2020
The latter tweet is said to be a reference to a petition referenced by former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who on Wednesday tweeted a petition calling on the president to “invoke limited martial law to hold a new election” if “legislators, courts and Congress do not follow the Constitution” and overturn the “illegal election fraud” allegedly carried out during the November 3 vote.
On November 25, O’Grady was said to have retweeted an allegation that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger may have deliberately covered up information about the election results in their state. Two days earlier, he reportedly retweeted Lebanese-American conservative author Brigitte Gabriel’s post accusing election authorities of halting the counting of votes upon realizing that Trump “was winning in landslide fashion.” Before that, he reportedly retweeted a claim that former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and billionaire financier George Soros were involved in a plot to allow foreign actors to interfere in the election.
And the ‘controversial’ tweets don’t stop at the election, either, according to CNN. In February 2020, O’Grady was said to have retweeted a message with a hashtag in support of QAnon, the pro-Trump conspiracy movement which believes Trump has been fighting a cabal of Satan-worshiping deep-state elites who are operating a massive child sex-trafficking ring and cannibalistic cult.
Earlier this year, O’Grady also alleged that there was “open-source unclassified material” to indicate that the coronavirus was created in a Chinese lab, a claim which has been debunked both by Chinese scientists and experts worldwide.
The Trump nominee is a former captain in the US Air Force fighter pilot, and co-chair of the Veterans for Trump political advocacy group. The fighter pilot took part in NATO’s operations during the Bosnian War, was shot down by Serbian militias and rescued after spending six days in enemy territory. The 2001 film ‘Behind Enemy Lines’ is said to be based loosely on his story.
O’Grady has not commented to CNN about the veracity of its reporting about his tweets.
His nomination was sent to the Senate on Monday, and is one of a series of Trump appointments which came following the president’s dismissal of Pentagon chief Mark Esper on November 9. Esper’s departure and replacement by Christopher Miller has led other senior officials, including Acting Under Secretary of Defence for Policy James Anderson, Under Secretary for Intelligence and Security Joseph Kernan and chief of staff to the secretary of defence Jen Stewart, to tender their resignations.
According to media reports, Trump’s Pentagon shakeup has been aimed at pulling through with his 2016 campaign pledge to take the US out of some of its “forever wars” in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. On November 17, Miller announced that US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan would be cut back substantially to 2,500 troops each by January 15, 2021. The same week, Reuters reported that Trump was looking at carrying out a near-total withdrawal of the estimated 700 troops stationed in Somalia.
The shakeup came as Jim Jeffrey, Trump’s outgoing special representative for Syria, openly bragged that he and members of his staff deliberately covered up the true size of the US military footprint in Syria from the president.
Biden has pledged to ‘restore faith in US alliances’ and “restore stability” at the Pentagon, and has reportedly made plans to pack his cabinet with supporters of US regime change wars in Iraq, Libya and Syria.