Two US officials leaking to a media outlet that’s butt hurt about not being a “friendly” outlet. Internal Gov’t and MSM coup collusion as hinted at in this CNN article?
“Two US officials had told the Post that Flynn had led the Russian ambassador to believe the sanctions would be reevaluated once Trump entered the White House.”
“The questions continued to build over the weekend and, by taking questions from friendly outlets during his press conference with Trudeau on Monday, Trump did nothing to relieve the pressure. Instead, eager for a statement, reporters spent hours camping out outside the office of the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, just to get basic affirmation of Flynn’s status in the administration.”
By: Ben Jacobs
At 4.15pm on Monday afternoon, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to Donald Trump declared that national security adviser Mike Flynn had the full confidence of the president. Seven hours later, Flynn resigned.
So how did that happen?
Mike Flynn was one of the closest Trump allies at the White House but always one of the most vulnerable. The former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency had alienated many in official Washington during his stint in the Obama administration but had become close to Trump throughout the campaign and notably gave fiery speeches on behalf of the New York real estate developer during his campaign. Once Trump took office, Flynn had drawn so much ire in many foreign policy circles that the safest sinecure for him was national security adviser, a job which offered the rare combination of proximity to power without the awkward necessity of Senate confirmation.
Flynn’s perceived friendliness to the Kremlin had long raised eyebrows. Indeed the national security adviser had appeared in Moscow for a special event honoring the 10th anniversary of Russia Today, the Putin regime’s international propaganda outlet in 2015.
But on Friday the Washington Post reported that it had sources vouching Flynn had discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador to the United States while Barack Obama was still president.
Flynn had earlier denied speaking of the sanctions and had been backed up publicly by the vice president, Mike Pence. On Friday Flynn again denied the story but within hours had revised his account, telling the Post through a spokesman that he “couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up”. Two US officials had told the Post that Flynn had led the Russian ambassador to believe the sanctions would be reevaluated once Trump entered the White House.
The revelation was not asked about in two press conferences that Trump held with foreign leaders, first with the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, on Friday and then with the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, on Monday. When the president was asked about them in a brief gaggle on Air Force One on Friday afternoon, he said “I don’t know about that. I haven’t seen it. What report is that? I haven’t seen that. I’ll look into that.”
On the Sunday shows, top policy aide Stephen Miller showed no hesitation about leaving room for Flynn under the bus. When asked by Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet The Press about Flynn’s status in the administration, Miller responded: “It’s not for me to tell you what’s in the president’s mind. That’s a question for the president. Asked and answered.” The Trump policy aide added that the White House hadn’t given him anything to say about Flynn.
The questions continued to build over the weekend and, by taking questions from friendly outlets during his press conference with Trudeau on Monday, Trump did nothing to relieve the pressure. Instead, eager for a statement, reporters spent hours camping out outside the office of the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, just to get basic affirmation of Flynn’s status in the administration.
Just after 4pm on Monday afternoon, Conway appeared on MSNBC to affirm the president’s confidence in Flynn. Afterwards, reporters followed up with her about Flynn’s status. Conway reacted skeptically to questioning about whether Flynn mislead Pence, “why do you say he did?” she asked reporters.
She also noted pointedly that Flynn had worked with Trump all weekend and was “the point person” both for Trump’s meeting with Trudeau earlier in the day as well as his scheduled meeting with the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu later in the week. Conway dismissed speculation over why Trump hadn’t responded personally to any of the reporting. “You should read nothing into that. I mean he’s just not going to respond to every screaming headline,” she said of the president. Less than an hour later he did.
Leaving the Oval Office on his way back to the residence, Trump walked by reporters still waiting for Spicer and told them “we just put out a statement, get it from Reince,” a reference to his chief of staff Reince Priebus. In response to further questions on the topic, the president simply insisted “we just put out a statement”.
Seconds later, Spicer appeared to the scrum of reporters and read out a brief statement. “The president is evaluating the situation,” Spicer said. “He is speaking to Vice President Pence relative to the conversation he had with General Flynn and also speaking to various other people about what he considers the single most important subject there is, our national security.”
Later, after Pence’s chief of staff, Josh Pitcock, and communications director, Jarrod Agen, made brief appearances in Spicer’s office, the White House press secretary briefed reporters and made clear that the statement was simply “what the president wanted to express.” Although Spicer made clear that the statement was attributed to him, it was written “how the president wanted to phrase it”.
Just a few hours later reports came in quick succession from the New York Times and Washington Post claiming the Department of Justice believed Flynn was potentially vulnerable to Russian blackmail and that the army was investigating whether Flynn took money from the Russian government during a trip to Moscow in 2015.
And, shortly afterwards, Flynn submitted his resignation and became the first casualty of an administration that is less than a month old.