Opinion: Mike Flynn says a lot about Trump, none of it good

As we now know, the Trump White House hired an unstable man of poor judgment as its national security adviser, which is merely the most important post in the entire national security/intelligence apparatus.

That man, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, had earlier taken $34,000 from the Russian government in violation of U.S. law, Pentagon regulations and the Constitution. He had appeared beside Vladimir Putin in Moscow, had secretly taken more than $500,000 to act as an agent of the Turkish government, had secretly plotted the kidnapping of a legal American resident for delivery to Turkey and eventually made himself so vulnerable to blackmail by Russian officials that he had to be removed from his highly sensitive post after 24 days in office. In addition, he is now under criminal investigation by the FBI and the Defense Department.

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (AP)

So how does the Trump administration justify putting such a dangerous man in such an important position?

Barack Obama made them do it. Seriously, that’s their story.

As press secretary Sean Spicer explained Monday, the Obama administration had allowed Flynn to keep the  standard security clearance that comes with his retired rank; therefore it was Obama’s fault that Trump hired him.

“That was something adjudicated by the Obama administration in April of 2016,” Spicer told the press on Monday. “They took no steps to suspend that, so that’s not really a question for us. It’s a question for them at that time.”¹

There are many, many problems with that narrative. It’s a well-known fact that Obama had fired Flynn from a top intelligence post back in 2014 because of incompetence and poor judgment. It’s a fact that Flynn had since confirmed that poor judgment with a series of bizarre public statements, so that anyone paying attention should have known he was a loose cannon. Finally, in a post-election meeting with Trump, Obama had pointedly and personally warned the president-elect against hiring Flynn.

Despite all that, it was still Obama’s fault.

In testimony to a Senate subcommittee Monday, James Clapper made an additional critical point. Like Flynn, Clapper is a retired lieutenant general who served in top intelligence posts under President George W. Bush and President Obama, and as he revealed, neither administration relied on a standard security clearance to vet top job candidates.

“I know what I went through as a political appointee twice in two — in a Republican and a Democratic administration,” Clapper said. “And the vetting process for either a political appointee or someone working in the White House is far, far more invasive and far, far more thorough than a standard TS/SCI clearance process.”

But not in the Trump administration, which is somehow Obama’s fault.

In that same Senate hearing, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates explained her own role in the events leading up to Flynn’s eventual ouster. On Jan. 26, she and a top aide went to the White House to explain that Flynn had been lying to the Trump administration, including to Vice President Pence. Contrary to Flynn’s statements, he had secretly discussed the lifting of sanctions against Russia with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, and FBI counterintelligence experts were worried that the discrepancy made Flynn vulnerable to Russian blackmail.

“Not only did we believe that the Russians knew this, but that they likely had proof of this information,” Yates told Congress. “That created a compromise situation, a situation where the national security adviser essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians.”

Yet after Yates repeated her warnings, including warning of potential criminal prosecution, nothing happened.  For another 18 days, Flynn remained as national security adviser. He participated in high-level meetings, hired staff, made decisions and offered counsel to Trump. Basically, the Trump White House was prepared to ignore the FBI warnings until news of the situation leaked to the Washington Post.

Then, and only then, was Flynn removed.

Trump and his Republican defenders have attempted to focus public attention and outrage on the unknown person who committed that leak to the Post. In fact, Trump has his suspicions about who the perpetrator might be, as he revealed just hours before the Senate hearing:

Senators did ask Yates, under oath, whether she had leaked that information or had authorized someone else to do so.

“Absolutely not,” she replied.

The truth is that the leak could have come from the FBI or Justice Department. It also could have come from within the Trump White House, from a rival of Flynn who wanted him gone or from some patriot who recognized the danger that he posed. Whoever that person was, he or she did the country and the Trump administration a great favor.

Maybe that was Obama too?

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¹ “At that time,” in April of 2016, Flynn had already become an integral and high-profile part of the Trump campaign operation, featured prominently in Trump rallies. Try to imagine the reaction if the Obama administration had announced back then that Flynn’s security clearance had been yanked.

Reader Comments 0

1526 comments
xze90048
xze90048

Grayson recently got a stunning metallic Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan by 

working part time online  w­w­w.j­o­i­n­m­a­t­e­2­.c­o­m

Bolt From The Blue
Bolt From The Blue

Tell me IR Guy: Does your opinion more accurately reflect the thoughts of President Putin...or the KGB? 

TBS
TBS

"Dems love love love them some Comey" sheets

gotalife
gotalife

How long did nixon last after he did the same thing?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@gotalife

Well I looked it up--if you're talking about Archie Cox's firing, that was Oct. 20, 1973. 

Nixon resigned about nine and a half months later.

Starik
Starik

@gotalife Nixon, like Trump, had die hard supporters who simply couldn't or wouldn't believe what Nixon was. When the FAA guy disclosed the existence of the oval office tapes things started getting serious. Think about the power the President holds. Nobody wanted to believe Nixon was a crook, or Clinton's sex in the oval office, or how stupid Bush the younger really was until it couldn't reasonably be denied by rational people. Irrational people still disbelieve how bad these Presidents were.

Kamchak
Kamchak

Anyone have a good recipe for egg foo young?

td1234
td1234

Libs on Oct 28: Fire Comey!

Libs on Nov 6: Fire Comey!

Trump fires Comey

Libs on May 9: We Love Comey!

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

@td1234 Typical Liberal logic, gore the other guys horse, don't gore mine. they can't have it both ways even if they want to. hypocrites  LOL 

Brosephus
Brosephus

@td1234

"If you have to lie to make a point, then you really don't have a point to make."--Thomas "Bosch" Jefferson

gotalife
gotalife

The Circus just got better.

Bruno2
Bruno2

http://jaybookman.blog.myajc.com/2016/10/31/comeys-bungling-should-end-in-his-resignation/

honested: "comey may be on [the Russian's] payroll now as well. 

Eye Wonder: "Comey won't resign. Instead, President Clinton will have him terminated and replaced."

SNC: "The entire reason for the FBI announcement on Friday was to help out with Trump's failing presidential bid because of how incompetent  that Trump has shown himself to be, which is entirely on topic.   Basically Trump is getting stomped by a girl, which we know that he hates on all levels."

MES: " As usual, you are right on target, Jay Bookman."

UpInCleveland: " All of this garbage, which I strongly suspect is going to turn out to be nothing, isn't going to affect the outcome of the Presidential election. What it might do is allow the Republicans to maintain their majority in the Senate, which is what you cons should be excited about. If the Senate stays in Republican hands there aren't going to be any Supreme court nominees seeing the light of day. Even if the Dems get the Senate there isn't going to be any legislation Clinton wants passed due to the House."

Kamchak
Kamchak

Looks like Comey should have indeed resigned effective immediately back on October 31st 2016.

Certainly would've saved Trumpty Dumpty the egg foo young on his face

LOL!

YouLibs
YouLibs

Gosh, I'd argue with you Bruno, but even the National Academy of Sciences is no match for you. Your brain might be as good or better than Trump's.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

The America people elected a man with the capability to become a dictator.  Imo, Donald Trump does not want anyone to look seriously into his possible collusion with Russia to become the 45th President of the United States.  He could be guilty of treason against the United States because of his unstable ego, imho.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

I remember when Bruno told me 2+2=.

Bruno2
Bruno2

Looks like we're going to have to get in the Way-Back machine once again, all the way back to October 31, 2016 to have a good laugh at the Libs here:

http://jaybookman.blog.myajc.com/2016/10/31/comeys-bungling-should-end-in-his-resignation/

Jay: "He ought to resign, effective before the next president takes office."

Kamchak: "Effective immediately."

ByteMe: "All it takes is one seriously bungled decision to kill a career.  If, you know, you actually have a career that matters to other people."

STHornet: "Comey may yet be defined as a moron. You are correct."

Scuba Steve: "Oof that's a weighty opinion. I don't necessarily disagree, but dang."

honested: "Will disgraced FBI Director comey be releasing the information linking the chump campaign to the russian FSB this week?"

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Oh, I get it's supposed to be about hypocrisy, but given what everyone's actually talking about since the news broke, it makes very little sense.

honested
honested

@Bruno2 

And isn't comey still 'disgraced' (although he won't have a chance to release all the russian info any more).

Brosephus
Brosephus

@Bruno2

You realize firing is not the same as resigning.  Firing while your administration is being investigated is definitely not the same as resigning.


I personally felt that Comey damaged his reputation over the Clinton investigation.  Trump should have let him go in January when he released all the AGs.  He didn't however, and now the perception that Trump will fight now is that he's Nixon 2.0.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@Visual_Cortex

Librul hypocrisy.  Geez, after reading people for so long, I can almost predict what they will post.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@YouLibs 

Only 1 or 2 people here has what it takes to even keep up with him.

I am awestruck, I am.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Bruno2


The beginning of Jay Bookman's opinion in this link by Bruno which I complimented as being on target:  (And, I still agree that Bookman's judgment in the Comey case was correct.)


"In his handling of the Clinton email case, FBI Director James Comey has demonstrated both poor judgment and a startling inability to handle the political heat that comes with his job. Under pressure, he has made a series of significant blunders that have placed the FBI in a position in which it must never ever be, which is right in the middle of a presidential campaign coming into its final days.


The fact that Comey made these errors in a badly botched effort to protect his own political reputation and that of his agency just compounds the gravity of his mistake. His concern for those matters is understandable; his decision to give them a higher priority than the fair running of a presidential election is not.


He ought to resign, effective before the next president takes office."

honested
honested

@JeffreyEav 

This is nothing.

Just give it another 6 months and if we aren't already armed in the streets, we will be to un-flipping believable!

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

This is in the dismissal letter that the twit signed:


"While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau."


Think about that for a second, folks. Digest it. Consider that this is coming from the man who now leads the nation and who is clearly guilty of something very, very nefarious. Sick.


http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/09/politics/fbi-james-comey-fired-letter/index.html

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@TBS Its bizarre for sure.


Trump has lied on so many occasions who the hell knows ?

TBS
TBS

Great point

gapeach101
gapeach101

@Eye wonder Jeez, even in a dismissal letter, it's all about the  Donald "on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation:

TBS
TBS

If Comey was fired for the HC email issue why the need to mention the investigation as it relates to the Trump campaign?