Flynn resigns

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    Flynn resigns amid controversy over Russia contacts

    Washington (CNN)Embattled White House national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned Monday night, an abrupt end to a brief tenure.

    His departure came just after reports surfaced the Justice Department warned the Trump administration last month that Flynn misled administration officials regarding his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States and was potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians.
    “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,” Flynn wrote, according to a copy of his resignation letter obtained by CNN.

    “I am tendering my resignation, honored to have served our nation and the American people in such a distinguished way,” he wrote. “I know with the strong leadership of President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and the superb team they are assembling, this team will go down in history as one of the greatest presidencies in US history.”
    The move comes less than a month into the job, making him one of the shortest-serving senior presidential advisers in modern history.
    Gen. Keith Kellogg will be the interim national security adviser, multiple sources tell CNN. He most recently served as National Security Council chief of staff.
    A senior administration official said Kellogg, retired Gen. David Petraeus and former Vice Admiral Bob Harward are possible replacements for Flynn.
    Petraeus is going to the White House Tuesday, according to sources inside and close to the administration.

    The sudden exit marks the most public display yet of disarray at the highest levels of the new administration, which has faced repeated questions over a slew of controversies and reports of infighting among senior aides during its first three weeks.
    The resolution had been heading this way for three days, an administration source told CNN.
    More than whether he really had a conversation with the Russians about sanctions, the key issue internally was whether he told the truth to Pence, the source said.
    The White House concluded at the very least, Flynn didn’t mean to mislead the vice president, but may have because he couldn’t remember what he said to the Russians.
    “Not remembering is not a quality we can have for the national security adviser,” the source said.
    An administration source said that Trump “hung in there” when it came to Flynn, but there was a “flood of information” that finally made it clear he had to resign.
    Asked if Trump is disappointed, another administration official said: “He’s moving on.”
    ‘Full classified briefing’
    A pair of Democratic lawmakers — Reps. John Conyers, Jr., top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, and Elijah Cummings, top Democrat on the House oversight Committee — sent a request for a “full classified briefing” on the circumstances surrounding Flynn to the Justice Department and FBI Monday night following Flynn’s resignation.
    “We in Congress need to know who authorized his actions, permitted them and continued to let him have access to our most sensitive national security information despite knowing these risks. We need to know who else within the White House is a current and ongoing risk to our national security,” they wrote in a statement.
    They added: “This new disclosure warrants a full classified briefing by all relevant agencies, including the Department of Justice and the FBI, as soon as possible and certainly before Thursday, February 16. We are communicating this request to the Department of Justice and FBI this evening.”
    The shakeup now leaves Trump without one of his closest and longest-serving advisers. Flynn had counseled Trump on foreign policy and national security matters since early in the 2016 presidential race.
    Flynn was not able to definitively refute a Washington Post story late last week that his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak included communication about the sanctions. It is illegal for unauthorized private citizens to negotiate with foreign governments on behalf of the US.
    The controversy intensified after the report put Vice President Mike Pence and several senior White House advisers in an uncomfortable position, as they had denied in TV interviews weeks earlier that Flynn discussed sanctions with the ambassador. Some administration officials said Flynn must have misled Pence and others.
    “The knives are out,” a White House official told CNN on Friday, noting that “there’s a lot of unhappiness about this.”


    Trump’s White House Has No Idea How to Handle This Mess
    The Russia story does not end with Michael Flynn.

    Remember bombshells? Not the blonde WWII variety, or the actual explosive devices, but rather, the big newspaper stories that would explode, seemingly out of nowhere, initially sounding so preposterous that more than a few people wondered if the reporting was unsound or even fictitious. As it happens these days, we’re all living downrange from freaking artillery practice and one bombshell sounds pretty much like all the others when you’re a civilian looking for some foxhole into which you can dive to get out of the relentless torrent of crazy that’s detonating on top of us every news cycle.

    This, for example, from The Washington Post, is a legitimate bombshell.

    The acting attorney general informed the Trump White House late last month that she believed Michael Flynn had misled senior administration officials about the nature of his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States, and warned that the national security adviser was potentially vulnerable to Russian blackmail, current and former U.S. officials said. The message, delivered by Sally Q. Yates and a senior career national security official to the White House counsel, was prompted by concerns that ­Flynn, when asked about his calls and texts with the Russian diplomat, had told Vice ­President-elect Mike Pence and others that he had not discussed the Obama administration sanctions on Russia for its interference in the 2016 election, the officials said. It is unclear what the White House counsel, Donald McGahn, did with the information. In the waning days of the Obama administration, James R. Clapper Jr., who was the director of national intelligence, and John Brennan, the CIA director at the time, shared Yates’s concerns and concurred with her recommendation to inform the Trump White House. They feared that “Flynn had put himself in a compromising position” and thought that Pence had a right to know that he had been misled, according to one of the officials, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.


    And, by 11 o’clock Monday night, Michael Flynn had resigned. What that means about his ongoing relationship with the president*, of course, is anybody’s guess.

    A couple of things. First, Sally Yates turns out to be an even bigger hero than we thought she was when she made the stand that got her fired on the immigration order. (And, one wonders what else was up with that now, too.) Second, I know it’s hard to believe either Clapper or Brennan as far as you can throw a federal courthouse, but they had absolutely no reason to align themselves with Yates’ concerns except out of a legitimate concern for the national security. Third, anyone fantasizing about what it would take to get the president* out of the White House and back on NBC where he belongs now has to factor in that Mike Pence is tainted by this dangerous nonsense, too.

    At the very least, as people from Indiana warned us, the man is a dolt. Per the Post:

    For Yates and other officials, concerns about the communications peaked in the days after the Obama administration on Dec. 29 announced measures to punish Russia for what it said was the Kremlin’s interference in the election to help Trump. After the sanctions were rolled out, the Obama administration braced itself for the Russian retaliation. To the surprise of many U.S. officials, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Dec. 30 that there would be no response. Trump praised the decision on Twitter. Intelligence analysts began to search for clues that could help explain Putin’s move. The search turned up Kislyak’s communications, which the FBI routinely monitors, and the phone call in question with Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general with years of intelligence experience. From that call and subsequent intercepts, FBI agents wrote a secret report summarizing ­Flynn’s discussions with Kislyak. Yates, then the deputy attorney general, considered Flynn’s comments in the intercepted call to be “highly significant” and “potentially illegal,” according to an official familiar with her thinking.

    OK, so nobody’s ever been prosecuted under the Logan Act. Still, the idea that this walking hunk of kompromat was the National Security Advisor for as long as he was beggars belief. (Maybe populist champion Jill Stein can shed some light on what they talked about at that gala dinner in Moscow?) There are still a number of huge, festering problems with this situation; Flynn’s lack of credibility and obvious crackpottery were only the most glaring of them.

    (By all accounts, Flynn was a good soldier until Radical Islamic Terrorism™ sent him off the deep end. I recall Sherlock Holmes’ assessment of the career of Colonel Sebastian Moran, an honorable soldier who became Moriarty’s second-in-command—that there are some trees “which grow to a certain height and then suddenly develop some unsightly eccentricity.”)

    There is the simple fact that nobody in this White House seemed to know fck-all about how to handle this situation. It is also a problem for democracy to have the unelected bureaucrats of the intelligence community at war with an elected president, no matter what you think of the president* or how he got elected. Sooner or later, I fear, the military’s going to get dragged into this fiasco and that will make things immeasurably worse.

    It was more than simply time for Flynn to go. It’s time for the country to know everything about the involvement of Russia in the 2016 presidential election, if only to clear the air so somebody can govern the country. It’s time for a halt to the bombardment so we can all get the lay of the land again, if and when the smoke ever clears.


    Run Donald run! See Donald run!

    They let one of their shells fall off the table.

    nittany ram
    nittany ram

    The irony is that Flynn led the “Lock her up!” chants from the stage at the Republican convention…

    Wouldn’t it be poetic if Flynn and Clinton ended up inmates at the same Federal prison? 😉


    The irony is

    We will not lack for that in the news, I think….


    Rand Paul on Flynn: ‘Makes no sense’ to investigate fellow Republicans

    CNN)Republican Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday an investigation into the resignation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn would be excessive and it would not make sense to investigate other Republicans.

    “I think that might be excessive. It looks like the President has handled the situation, and unless there’s some kind of other evidence of malfeasance, this sounds like something that was internal White House politics and it looks like the President’s handled it,” Paul told the “Kilmeade and Friends” radio show.

    Flynn resigned Monday evening amid revelations that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about conversations he had in December with Russia’s ambassador to the US about sanctions placed on Russia. Pence had defended Flynn on television and denied he discussed sanctions after initial reports of the conversations.

    And while several other Republican senators have called for investigation of the incident, Paul said it would not make sense to have more investigations, especially of fellow Republicans.

    “I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party. We’ll never even get started with doing the things we need to do, like repealing Obamacare, if we’re spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense.”


    “I think that might be excessive. It looks like the President has handled the situation, and unless there’s some kind of other evidence of malfeasance, this sounds like something that was internal White House politics and it looks like the President’s handled it,” Paul told the “Kilmeade and Friends” radio show.

    Personally, I’m so relieved that it’s not something as serious as emails or pneumonia or a foundation to help aids victims in Africa – ya know.



    NBC Just Implicated Mike Pence In The Flynn-Russia Cover-Up


    The firestorm of controversy engulfing former National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn and President Trump over Flynn’s secret communications with Russian officials isn’t sparing Vice-President Mike Pence.

    Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and White House Counsel Dan McGahn warned the White House that Flynn had lied about discussing sanctions in his calls with the Russian ambassador and was potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians in late January.

    But NBC News is reporting that Trump decided not to share that information with Vice-President Pence until February 9th – six days ago.

    Pence had spent the previous week on the media circuit defending Flynn before the world, making this revelation extremely embarrassing for him. It shows that Pence isn’t trusted or respected in the White House – or that this story is being leaked by Republican officials to insulate Pence from the fallout of this scandal so that he can smoothly take over when Trump is impeached or resigns in disgrace.

    But once Pence was informed about the potentially treasonous communications by Gen. Flynn, he felt no need to actually do something about it. Rather than publically condemn him for misleading the White House or for attempting to conspire with representatives of a foreign power as a private citizen, Pence did nothing. The Washington Post reports that:

    But even as Flynn flailed, Pence did not urge Trump to fire him, or lash out against him. Instead, said two officials familiar with the situation, Pence was disappointed and suggested that Flynn could publicly apologize. Others within the White House, however, thought what Flynn had done was egregious and unacceptable.

    “The vice president is a very forgiving man,” said one White House official.
    It just goes to show that the avowed anti-LGBT religious extremist is just as much of a hypocrite as the rest of the false patriots in the Republican Party. If they cared about the security of this nation as much as they claim to – or held the Trump administration to the same standards they held President Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton – they’d be demanding for congressional investigations for the whole Trump team.

    Once again, it falls to the Democrats to make sure justice is served in this nation.

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