WHAT DID TRUMP KNOW AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT?
GENERAL FLYNN’S RESIGNATION RAISES MORE QUESTIONS
Connections between the Trump Administration and Russia has claimed its first victim — National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has
been fired resigned.
With all the questions about Trump’s inner circle’s behavior and suspicion of collusion with Russia to sway the results of the 2016 presidential elections, there are likely more resignations to come.
Who will be next? President Donald Trump himself or some other lowly member of his inner circle?
This was a long time coming. Flynn resigned after it was revealed that he misled the Vice President Mike Pence about discussing the US sanctions against Russia with the Russian Ambassador to US Sergey Kislyak. He claimed that he did not recall having the conversation about sanctions, an assertion that is hardly believable to any reasonable individual. In other words, if Flynn, then an incoming National Security Adviser choice for the Trump administration, could forget such a significant detail in such a sensitive conversation of national significance, he had no business taking up his post. But nobody is fooled, his excuse is not believable and it should be treated as a self-serving selective amnesia, a legal maneuver geared toward covering his ass from potential and most likely further fallout.
The truth is Trump and his administration have shown a shocking comfort with Russia. Trump has defended Russian President Vladimir Putin even at the expense of American integrity.
The end of the road for Flynn started Dec. 29, when it was reported that he held five phone calls with the Russian Ambassador on the same day President Barack Obama expelled 35 Russians and slapped more sanctions on Russia for interfering in the 2016 presidential elections. Washington Post report states intelligence officials who monitored conversations between Flynn and the Russian ambassador noted the conversations on Dec 29, centered mostly around the sanctions pouring more cold water to Flynn’s convenient selective amnesia.
The curiosity peaked when Russia did not reciprocate as expected by expelling the same number of Americans diplomats from Russia, but instead Putin invited US diplomats’ children to a Christmas and New Year party at the Kremlin.
Putin’s move was met with a lot of glee by Trump who sent out the tweet below in praise of Putin:
Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2016
Did Flynn phone calls and backdoor diplomacy that undermined US policy and a sitting president have the blessing of then President-elect Trump?
In his Feb 13 resignation letter, Flynn admitted to making phone calls to the Russian ambassador, but he did not explicitly admit to discussing Russian sanctions slapped by President Obama.
In the core portion of the letter Flynn states:
Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the president and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology.
There is a curious omission here, Flynn apologizes for misleading the Vice President and not President Trump. Does that imply that he told Trump the whole truth. Many political and intelligence experts have expressed doubt Flynn would have acted without Trump’s knowledge.
The resignation comes after a Washington Post article that revealed that former assistant Attorney General Sally Yates warned The White House that Flynn may have been vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians. The Washington Post report states Yates informed the Trump administration counsel and it’s not clear what White House Counsel Donald McGahn did with the information.
In Flynn, Russia has lost an important ally a view that is apparent from a report for The Hill that noted the euphemism used by Russia Today, (RT) Russia’s state-owned new channel that tweeted that “National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has ‘retired.'”
Retired, fired, resigned, who cares?
The question now is what did President Trump know and when did he know it?