The White House responded to the breaking news that Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned last night, by doing what they do best: lying.
Last night, General Flynn resigned after a slew of news stories raised serious questions about what Trump and his team knew about Flynn’s secret backroom-dealings with top-level Russians before Trump was sworn in, and when they knew it.
This morning, top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway claimed to NBC’s Matt Lauer (video below) that Flynn resigned in spite of Trump wanting him to stay on. Kellyanne repeatedly made this point: Trump wanted Flynn to stay, and would have kept him, but Flynn decided to leave.
But then, the NYT reports, and GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan confirms, that Donald Trump “asked” Flynn to resign.
Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, asked for Mr. Flynn’s resignation — a move that he has been pushing for since Friday, when it became clear that the national security adviser had misled Mr. Pence.
In other words, Flynn was fired, and Trump most certainly didn’t want to keep him on staff. Of course, this already makes no sense, as the White House knew Flynn lied a month ago, when senior FBI and DOJ officials informed them that they had wiretaps detailing Flynn’s conversations with the Russians. What’s worse, FBI and DOJ warned that Flynn was vulnerable to Russian blackmail as a result of his lies. Still, Trump kept him on.
Also, the wiretaps contradicted Flynn’s public statements via Pence, and otherwise, that he did not discuss the Obama cybersanctions put in place as retaliation for Russia hacking our election. So why was Flynn asked to go in the past few days, when Trump knew he misled the VP last month?
Next up: Kellyanne Conway. Kellyanne said that Flynn “resigned” because he had misled the vice president Pence. Again, that doesn’t make sense — they knew last month that Flynn had misled the VP, and Lauer said just that. So why was the situation “untenable,” as Kellyanne put it, last night, when in fact the White House found out Flynn was lying a month ago?
The most likely assumption is that Flynn wasn’t going rogue, in multiple calls with the Russian ambassador, somehow finagling a Russian promise not to retaliate against the US for the new sanctions, possibly in exchange for some as-of-yet-unnamed quid pro quo. The most likely assumption is that Flynn was acting under Trump’s orders. And that this scandal is far bigger, and reaches far deeper, than we know.
Please join us in emailing your members of Congress, and urging them to create an independent bipartisan commission to investigate Russia’s hacking our election and penetration of our government.
Here’s Kellyanne’s lie-filled performance on the Today Show:
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 14, 2017
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