Russian Officials Bragged During Campaign That They Could Exploit Flynn Ties
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 17:53
Flynn, in particular, worked with the Russian ambassador to establish "a back channel for communication between Trump and [Russian President Vladimir Putin] that could bypass the US national security bureaucracy, which both sides considered hostile to improved relations", according to Reuters.
Yet Flynn has remained in the spotlight as the FBI investigates his ties to the Russian government as well as his lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government during Trump's campaign.
The vice president also denied that a request for a security clearance had been made for Flynn's son, apparently unaware that it had in fact been requested.
Few other Trump associates have received this kind of backing. At the time, Flynn was an advisor to Trump's presidential campaign, and Trump later appointed him to serve as National Security Advisor. (Manafort managed the campaign from March to August 2016.) The same week, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway claimed the president didn't know Page, despite the work he did on the presidential campaign.
These calls could gain strength if it turns out Flynn and Trump are still in contact. The romance eventually culminated in Flynn promising Kislyak during the transition that the USA would ease sanctions on Russian Federation applied by the Obama administration for, among other things, Russia's documented election interference.
So why did the president ask his vice president and attorney general to leave the room? However, Flynn wasn't fired until 18 days later.
Trump fired Flynn in February after Flynn gave multiple and conflicting stories regarding his communications with the Russian ambassador to the USA prior to the inauguration. He also described Flynn as a "wonderful man" who was "treated very, very unfairly by the media".
The President has been accused in the leftist press as having asked the recently sacked FBI Director James Comey to end the investigation shortly before showing him the door. "He is a good guy. What are you going to do?"
Earlier today we learned that Trump reached out to Flynn three weeks ago, telling him to "stay strong".
So why would Trump potentially risk his own presidency to defend Flynn?
One more Flynn tidbit has dropped (so far). Flynn was paid more than $500,000. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Flynn led thousands of party faithful in an anti-Clinton chant, "Lock her up!" for the way she handled national security material on her private email server while she was the country's top diplomat from 2009 to 2013. That decision, coming as it did while his campaign is under active investigation, resulted in the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the Trump-Russia shadiness and has sparked calls for Trump's impeachment.
If that's true, it's craven and weird even for Trump.
There's been some speculation that Flynn must have some dirt on the president.
Meanwhile, Flynn still isn't cooperating with the congressional investigations.
The New York Times had reported Flynn's purported disclosure, citing two people familiar with the case. "What's most concerning is that it looks like they just didn't care. There has been zero sign of anything but supreme loyalty". "Mr. Flynn's disclosure, on January 4, was first made to the transition team's chief lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, who is now the White House counsel". When Flynn left, "the real person who probably took it hardest was the president because General Flynn was the person closest to him on national-security matters".
A source stated that Flynn informed Trump that he was under investigation for his work with a Dutch lobbying firm on behalf of the Turkish government, but this revelation did not cause Trump to change his mind about appointing Flynn.
A White House adviser told Politico that even after Trump chose to fire Flynn, the president speculated two days later about the possibility of reversing his decision.