Michael Flynn, the short-tenured national security adviser hired, fired, then pardoned by former President Donald Trump, appeared at a rally in South Carolina on Sunday to support pro-Trump attorney Lin Wood's bid to oust South Carolina GOP Chairman Drew McKissick on May 15. Flynn led the Wood supporters, gathered at the Honkytonk Saloon in Ladson, in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, after urging everyone to take off their hats and place their hands over their hearts. Then Flynn botched the pledge.
Wood attacked not only McKissick, a longtime conservative activist who led the state GOP to gains in November's election, but also Sens. Lindsey Graham (R) and Tim Scott (R) and former Gov. Nikki Haley, Trump's United Nations ambassador and a potential 2024 presidential candidate, The Post and Courier reports. His main complaint was that they did not publicly back Trump's false claim that he actually won the November election, not Biden. While McKissick "went around celebrating how the elite establishment had done so well in South Carolina," Wood said, he fought to overturn Biden's victory in court.
"We are not going to accept this RINO [Republicans in Name Only] crowd, these Republicans that have been stabbing — they've been stabbing Trump in the back, they've been stabbing you in the back," Flynn said.
McKissick does not seem particularly worried about the challenge from Wood, who said he legally moved to South Carolina from Georgia earlier this year. Wood is a "carpetbagging RINO" who is "so far up in bizarro land, he couldn't find his way out with a flashlight and a map," McKissick said.
But Wood's fealty to the lie that Trump won the election appears to put him the Republican mainstream. In fact, rejecting the 2020 results "has increasingly become an unofficial litmus test for acceptance in the Republican Party," The Washington Post reports. Since the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol, "Republicans from Congress to statehouses to local party organizations have fervently embraced the falsehood." A CNN poll on Friday found that 70 percent of Republicans say Biden did not legitimately win enough votes to become president, while only 23 percent of Republicans acknowledge that he won legitimately.