BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn endorsed Alabama Representative Mo Brooks on Friday at a Republican fundraiser in Birmingham.
CBS 42 Political Analyst Steve Flowers says both candidates Katie Britt and Lynda Blanchard were in attendance. Flynn spoke at the Salute Their Service fundraiser held at the Sheraton, honoring the service of Alabama Justice Mike Bolin and Representative Jim Carns.
A banner sponsored the groups MoveOn and Vets for the People, stating “Sedition is Un-American.” “#TRAITORFLYNN” flew over downtown for several hours. Flynn has drawn a lot of controversy in recent weeks after comments he made at a Q’Anon event saying there is no reason a military coup shouldn’t happen in the United States. Some people were out taking photos of the banner and sharing them on social media.
The news of Flynn’s appearance got a lot of attention in the Birmingham area. Republicans were excited about the news and one man told CBS 42 he believes Flynn will bring an energy to the party, but Democrats were shocked to see the Jefferson County Republican Party invite Flynn.
“It’s a shame. He ought to be in a federal prison right now,” Local attorney Bill Smith said.
Smith says having a person like Flynn in town shows the political divide in the state and throughout the country.
“It’s a demonstration of where we are in the state right now. Or where the Republican party is,” Smith said.
Jefferson County Republican Chairman Paul DeMarco says despite the controversy surrounding Flynn, he says tickets sold out.
“Because it’s made it a sold out event, this is going to be one of the biggest events the Jefferson County Republican Party has ever had,” DeMarco said.
Flowers believes it was their intention from the get-go.
“The controversy surrounding it has made it a high profile event. They’re trying to sell tickets, basically,” Flowers said.
Despite the controversy surrounding the political spectrum, both people in Alabama and across the country want the divide to end.
“We kind of need to get back to our basic principles of what is right and wrong and decent,” Smith said.
“It was actually encouraged that people would disagree, talk and debate. And, that doesn’t happen now,” Visitor Chuck Williams said.
During his endorsement of Brooks, General Flynn stated Brooks and current Senator Tommy Tuberville will be a force to be reckoned with.