Opinion: If Mike Flynn lied, he has to go

National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, left, with President Trump. (AP)

National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, left, with President Trump. (AP)

It’s a pretty simple question:

Did he, or didn’t he?

Did National Security Adviser Mike Flynn lie to the vice president of the United States about a critically important national-security matter, or didn’t he? Whatever the answer, important consequences ought to flow.

We already know that Flynn lied to the American public. Understanding how controversial and maybe even criminal such an act might be, the former general denied undercutting the Obama administration by secretly discussing sanctions with the Russian ambassador while Barack Obama was still president and still responsible for carrying out U.S. foreign policy. According to the Washington Post, nine current and former intelligence officials say that transcripts of Flynn’s intercepted phone calls prove that he did discuss sanctions with the ambassador.  Notably, Flynn himself has dropped his previous denial. (He now claims not to remember clearly.)

We also know that as vice president-elect, Mike Pence had echoed Flynn’s initial denial, going on news programs to publicly and emphatically repeat the claim that sanctions had never been discussed. By doing so, Pence put his own public credibility on the line for Flynn. The question is why.

If Flynn lied to Pence about his conversations, thus making the vice president an unwitting partner in his deception, it’s impossible to see how such a breach of faith over a matter of national security could be tolerated by any competent management.

On the other hand, if Flynn did not lie to Pence, if Pence, Sean Spicer and others in the Trump team knowingly joined him in concealing the truth about those conversations, then we no longer have a case of a rogue official undermining U.S. foreign policy. The entire Trump administration is then implicated, adding substantially to very serious questions about the nature of Trump’s relationship with Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Aides to Pence have quietly told reporters that the vice president had been deceived, that Flynn lied to him, but no such statement has yet been made on the record.  That version would contain the political damage; it would also jibe with Flynn’s previous record as an erratic leader with questionable judgment and a flexible attitude toward the truth. That reputation had led many to question Flynn’s appointment to such a sensitive position in the first place.

It has taken all of three weeks in office to prove that criticism valid.

 

Reader Comments 0

1521 comments
BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

Get the dangerous criminals first

ICE Agents Arrest Men Leaving Alexandria Church Shelter

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

44 /s?

How many of jay's crew have read Flynn's book, "The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies"?

https://www.amazon.com/Field-Fight-Global-Against-Radical/dp/1250106222/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483644794&sr=8-1&keywords=field+of+flight

Pgs 174-75.

When it is said that Russia would make an ideal partner for fighting Radical Islam, it behooves us to remember that the Russians…are in cahoots with the Iranians. In Syria, the two allies have proudly proclaimed they are waging war against ISIS, but in reality the great bulk of their efforts are aimed at the opponents of the Assad regime. They are certainly not “fighting terrorists” in the Middle East; theirs is a battle to rescue an embattled ally in Damascus.

Although I believe America and Russia could find mutual ground fighting radical Islamists, there is no reason to believe Putin would welcome cooperation with us; quite the contrary, in fact.

In mid-January 2016, the Kremlin announced its intention to create new military bases on their western border, and to step up the readiness of their nuclear forces. These are not the actions of a country seeking détente with the West. They are, rather, indications that Putin fully intends to do the same thing as, and in tandem with, the Iranians: pursue the war against us.

Does ^^^ that sound like a man who is unquestionably aligned with Russia?

I don't THINK so.

More like a military strategist workin' the phones.


AlternateUniverse
AlternateUniverse

@FIGMO2 Forgive me - when did anyone here say Flynn had never done anything good in his life?  


Doesn't change the fact that he negotiated with Russia as a private citizen then lied about it to at least the Vice President.  And in the process damaged the President's credibility to an as yet to be determined degree.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@FIGMO2 

Sooooooooooooooooo, secretly informing Russia that sanctions will be lifted is strategy.

Got it.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Donald Trump, I believe, knew what was going on. I do not believe Flynn made this deal with Russian leadership on his own.

Kamchak
Kamchak

More has-been Flynn, SHEETZ

KUTGF
KUTGF

Now we need to know why Trump lied earlier this week about not knowing about Flynn's lies when he knew about it for weeks. 

What did he know and when did he know it, amiright?

Here's_to_Blue
Here's_to_Blue

C'mon, you usual cons.  Do only Figgy and SurelyYouJest have enough guts to comment on the subject now?

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Paul Ryan and Republicans are now trying to sell their healthcare plan to the American people (as well as their retirement security plans for Americans) on television right now.

Sorry, Republican leaders, but I do not believe your words any longer, and I am tired of your constant effort to take credit for Democratic efforts especially since the American people gave you no mandate.

Besides, I well remember that you started the rude and incivility that now exists in Congress with your arrogance which has crippled our government.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Oops! Make that 43 /s?

The requests are coming so fast and furious it's hard to keep tabs.

schnirt 

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@FIGMO2

Like I said down below - your schnirting skills are better than your math skills.

AlternateUniverse
AlternateUniverse

Don't forget...  Deep Throat was the bad guy in the Watergate scandal.  Not Richard Nixon.

TBS
TBS

Is this all part of the MAGA initiative?

KUTGF
KUTGF

@TBS Remember he will hire the bestiest people and we will be tired of "winning". 

HDB0329
HDB0329

@KUTGF @TBS ....if these are the best, I'd hate to see the worst.......

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

“When we play this sort of bully game against each other, between the United States and ????, that’s going to achieve nothing. It’s going to achieve actually more conflict, so we really have to figure out a way to work together.”

Could have easily been a comment made by Obama in 2009 but, because it was said by Flynn, and about Russia, jay's crew will have none of it.

I knew you leftists when.... 

war and conflict was not the answer.

It's fascinating to watch the dems' supernatural shapeshifters.  

Kamchak
Kamchak

@FIGMO2 

 Could have easily been a comment made by Obama in 2009

Sooooooooooooooooooo, Obama really didn't say that.

Got it.

Here's_to_Blue
Here's_to_Blue

@FIGMO2 Keep digging yourself in deeper in that hole to China, Figgy.  You're sounding screechingly more and more desperate.

goatdiddler
goatdiddler

@FIGMO2 "Could have easily been a comment made by Obama in 2009"

I knew you alt rightists when.... 

war and conflict was always the answer.

It's fascinating to watch the wingnuts' supernatural shapeshifters.  

Paul42
Paul42

Man oh man, something concrete like this happens, leading to even more questioning of the president's judgment and when he knew of the events, and the conservative regulars are nowhere to be found.

That pretty much tells you all you need to know about how serious support for Trump is, even among arch-conservatives.

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

@Paul42 Evidently you are not a lawyer or you would not be assuming facts that have not been introduced into the evidence, as in "That pretty much tells you all you need to know about how serious support for Trump is, even among arch-conservatives."....maybe we are just taking a wait and see approach rather than rushing to judgment, either way.  DUH!

Here's_to_Blue
Here's_to_Blue

@Paul42 Yeah, either they're speechless about this turn of events or they're digging around their usual haunts for talking points.

AlternateUniverse
AlternateUniverse

@Surelyyoujest @Paul42 Please don't mention facts and Trump in the same sentence again unless Trump himself has approved of any evidence you choose to introduce.  Fact, alternate facts, lies - they are all the same in the Alternate Universe.

goatdiddler
goatdiddler

Golden showers, treasonous cabinet, collusion with enemies, weakness towards adversaries...

Worst Prezzy ever.

Embarrassing...

Scott Pike
Scott Pike

I agree with you Jay on this. I think Trump's was trying to be loyal to a man who was first on his train. Trump may have given Flynn the benefit of the doubt. Jay Trump is a business man at heart. In Business you reward the Loyal to stay successful. Trump learned hard yesterday what that will cost him.

AlternateUniverse
AlternateUniverse

@Scott Pike Perhaps.  But maybe Trump knew about the conversations all along, and just hoped they would never be made public.


That would explain why Flynn wasn't worried about the recorded line.  

And why they did nothing after being warned by the Justice Dept. 4 weeks ago.  

And why they hung Pence out to dry with his TV appearance.  

And why Trump continued to tweet positively about Russia.


I think he's making Flynn the fall guy in hopes this thing will now go away.

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve

@Scott Pike Screw what it costs him, what about what it costs us? THIS ISN'T A BUSINESS. Rewarding loyalty at the expense of security (not that it did happen in this case, but it could) is unacceptable. 

goatdiddler
goatdiddler

I'm mean yeah, sure it was "technically illegal"...

That one will not ever get old.

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

@goatdiddler Kind of like "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky"  or "if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor" or "the FBI says I have fully complied with their requests"....

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Surelyyoujest 

 "if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor"

I neither like, nor dislike my doctor, but for better or worse, I'm still seeing him. 

Just sayin'.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@FIGMO2 

 I understand that, but negotiating with Russia shouldn't be verboten.

Sooooooooooooo, secretly informing Russia of US sanctions is "negotiating".


Got it.

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

@Kamchak  "Secretly informing Russia of sanctions..." - hadn't Obuma already put the sanctions in place?

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Kamchak @FIGMO2

Let's see...

Rockefeller gave Assad a head-up on our Iraq invasion. Assad used chemical weapons against his own people, as did Hussein.

hmmmmmmmmm

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

"Better yet, what did the 'so-called president' authorize flynn to say? "  Please clarify as to when you are questioning this.

AlternateUniverse
AlternateUniverse

@Surelyyoujest Here's the part I don't get.  Flynn is an experienced security professional.  He knew very well his conversation with the Russian ambassador was being recorded.  Yet he did it anyway.  Why?


Either he is really stupid.  Or President Trump already knew the conversation was taking place.


Perhaps you have a third option, but I can't think of one.

HDB0329
HDB0329

......the first shot in the circular firing squad got Michael Flynn.....wonder who will be next to fall??