National Enquirer brands Flynn a “Russian spy” — Trump just threw Flynn under the bus. Why?

Before we begin, don’t tell me the National Enquirer isn’t reputable — that is not the point of this story. The National Enquirer has an umbilical cord tethered to Team Trump, and only writes what Trump wants them to write. So the big question this morning is why Team Trump wants to smear Michael Flynn.

Now, the big news: The National Enquirer is accusing former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn of being a “Russian spy.”

This story is huge, and here’s why.

No one should believe anything the National Enquirer writes. The fact that the National Enquirer says Flynn is a Russian spy likely means Flynn isn’t a Russian spy. But this story matters because the man who runs the National Enquirer, David Pecker,  is a huge longtime friend of Trump. The Enquirer only runs stories that help Trump. And there is no way the Enquirer would run this story unless Team Trump thought this story helped Trump.

So the real question is why the White House thinks it’s to Trump’s advantage to suddenly throw Flynn under the bus. More on that after the images below.

Here are the some images of the Enquirer online. The first doesn’t hint at Flynn. The second show him, the third names him.

Then you get this photo suggesting Flynn might be the guy they’re talking about:

Then the Enquirer pulls no punches — Russian spy!

Even better, it’s “top White House officials” telling the Enquirer that Flynn is a Russian agent. Again, the Enquirer is close to Trump, why would they lie about the White House claiming this story is real unless the White House approved it?

Now there is one odd caveat: Note how the Enquirer says Flynn was “in essence” a Russian spy. They’re hedging a bit. Which might mean this is an inflammatory tease made to look like they’re accusing Flynn of being a Russian agent, only to have the story less salacious. The story isn’t online, so we can’t tell. What we can tell is that the Enquirer clearly wanted to damage Flynn’s reputation.

UPDATE: I’ve got a copy of the Enquirer. There are no caveats. They accuse Flynn of being a spy, and quote a White House official, no less!

 

Now, why would Team Trump do this to Flynn? Because they fear Flynn has become a liability, perhaps by turning state’s evidence against them or because they’ve gotten wind of such damaging information about Flynn that they feel the need to distance themselves, as they did with Manafort last week. This is a real turn of events, as up until a few days ago the White House was defending Flynn big time. They threw Manafort under the bus last week, but not Flynn. So something changed to make them turn on Flynn.

Now, if you really want to go all 007, another reason to sacrifice Flynn might be to save someone else. If there’s a bigger fish who’s been compromised by the Russians, throw the world the smaller fish who may not have even been involved, and hope that their appetite is satiated.

One more possibility: It wasn’t Trump, it was someone in the White House who turned on Flynn and asked the Enquirer to do this. We know Trump considers the Enquirer a reputable news source. If you wanted to convince Trump that Flynn is bad news, you’d go throw a disreputable news source that Trump respects, like the Enquirer, Breitbart or Fox. But this story is even too incendiary for Fox. So you go to the Enquirer. What if Bannon or some other senior official decided that Trump’s defense of Flynn was damaging Trump? You hand the Enquirer a story they can’t refuse, and hope that it sways Trump.

Of course, then you tick off Flynn, so that now Flynn is guaranteed to do whatever he can to save his own behind, including turning on Trump.

Also, keep in mind that all of this is happening as Adam Schiff, the lead Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said he’s seen evidence meriting going to a grand jury. Schiff has seen something new, something troubling. What was it? And was it related to Flynn and today’s news?

UPDATE: Then we find out that Trump’s top intelligence ally in the House, Intelligence Committee chair Nunes, just canceled a public hearing about Russia. What is Nunes hiding? Why is he afraid of having a larger public discussion about this issue? And why now? It’s interesting timing that the spam hits the fan this week just as Nunes feels the need to pull all the information in more tightly.

And finally, the “best” spin the White House could come up with is that a Russian mole got inside the White House. What’s the worse spin? What possible story could the White House be trying to hide, protect if they’re using the claim “Trump hired a Russian spy in the White House” as cover?

This is a very strange and very important story. The fact that it’s the Enquirer doesn’t make this story meaningless, it makes this story huge.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in New York City, and is the cofounder of TimeToResign.com. Bio, .

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  • shafawn

    This is about as wacky doo as I’ve ever found

  • shafawn

    If the moon is made of cheese… we’ll do all that

  • I’m saying that the President of the United States of America knew about Flynn’s potential felonies for three weeks and did nothing about it. It took the media too expose the matter before Flynn left/was fired (both sides gave contrary explanations). Is that interesting as well?

    Trump then reacted to this with his “Fake News” accusations. Incidentally, the White House and Devin Nunes is also trying to prevent Former Deputy AG Sally Yates from testifying. Many suspect if she did, she would officially reveal that Trump was briefed on the situation and did nothing – which is an impeachable offence. Is that interesting as well to you?

  • Cynthia DeSoto Buckner

    So, you’re saying at LEAST 9 people in the IC committed a felony by leaking to WaPo, interesting!

  • Nelson Kerr

    The NE is run by a close dried of Trumps and like Brietbart is one of his propaganda arms.

  • My pussy is wet and wants petting :3 ===> http://tinyurl.com/l4x54ve

  • John John

    Very bizarre rumblings in the underground in the past 24 hours.

    I find it REALLY hard to believe what I’m reading, but I’ve now started seeing this trickle out into MSM.

    Keep an eye on Michael Flynn this week.

    Rumored to be a REAL Russian Spy.

    Rumored that Flynn has “struck” a deal with the FBI to “testify” against Trump. (ABOUT WHAT???) All this being done in an attempt to impeach Trump.

    All this supposed to hit the fan this week along with everything else…

  • angryspittle

    David Pecker……. heh, heh, heh……..how appropriate.

  • mgiltz

    I love your analysis of this story and how a piece running in National Enquirer actually is telling us something when put into a political context.

  • Duke Woolworth

    Who’s going to be exposed as the father of the two headed Martian baby? Stay tuned?

  • Renmiri Juliana Dutra

    bingo Seth Abramson is tweeting Flynn flipped on Trump

  • Ellengscott

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  • Elizabethcshores

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  • Matthew B. Tepper

    But — the National Enquirer IS worthless garbage. Any facts that might find their way into its pages will die of loneliness before finding a mate.

  • Di

    And the Reich-wingers see absolutely nothing wrong and claim to be the only “true Americans.” 🇺🇸

  • Di

    Puty is snuffing people all over the globe. They should lock up Flynn to keep him safe.

  • Trump: The Art of the Fail

    Nunes exposed himself as a Trump stooge and lap dog.

  • Trump: The Art of the Fail

    Drümpf’s ties to Russian and FSU countries

    First Paul Manafort, then Carter Page, then Flynn, now Sessions: what is the common denominator? Russia!!

    This all goes back to Trump’s financial ties and network of relationships to Russia, FSU (Former Soviet Union) countries and Russian criminal oligarchs. It has been obvious since the primaries that Russia is the only story that frightens Trump.

    Most of Trump’s post-2000 high-risk real estate and casino ventures failed (after a string of six successive bankruptcies) and he was looking for cash and someone to bail him out. Conventional lenders wanted nothing to do with him.

    Outflows from Russia and oil-rich FSU countries like Azerbaijan and Kazahkstan helped prop up Trump’s failing businesses. Don jr. even admitted in an interview in 2008 that they see a disproportionate amount of money pouring in from Russia and FSU countries and that he’s made many trips there. This and an almost $1B tax loss carry forward has allowed Trump to maintain the illusion of wealth, but it’s all a mirage, a façade. This is how Trump managed to keep financing his business, despite a dismal track record of failure.

    Why do you think Trump refuses to put his business in a true blind trust? He would be exposed.

  • James Tugend

    What stupid nonsense. The Russian oligarchs ‘loaned’ vast millions to Trump’s projects. No American bank would loan anymore because they know all his businesses fall if he tries to run them and investors & loaners lose all their money. Trumps and Ivanka are the thugs. As far as election fraud, it would be at the state, not local level. Russia has been hacking at it since 2014.

  • GodwinsLawyer

    so the russians are spying on the russians?

    there’s not gonna be enough polonium to go around!

  • UncleBucky

    IF the Rump Campaign, from top to bottom, is found to have been complicit in election fraud, voter suppression and downright treason, does that make Pense an illegitimate VP? If so, must we do this?

    Get rid of Pense.
    Unseat Ayn Ryan.

    Get rid of Trump.

    Or is there more that can be done legally and constitutionally?

  • Demosthenes

    Manafort is probably most afraid that Putin would have him killed.

  • Randy Riddle

    One blogger has already come to the conclusion that Flynn may have cut a deal with the FBI:

    http://www.palmerreport.com/opinion/i-think-michael-flynn-has-already-cut-a-deal-with-the-fbi-against-donald-trump/2052/

    Of the four figures known to be under FBI surveillance, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and Roger Stone have all volunteered to testify in front of the House committee run by Trump supporter Devin Nunes. Only Flynn has remained quiet and has basically admitted to crimes by registering as a foreign agent.

    I’d add that the behavior of Nunes, running to Trump in a panic in the past few days, had to be set off by something major that didn’t look good for Trump – that fact he might have discovered was that Flynn had cut a deal with the FBI. If Nunes ran to Trump with this info, that would certainly explain the article in the Enquirer.

  • Lucillelbuxton

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  • It’s important to remember that Trump was briefed on the Flynn situation in early January – and he did nothing. It was only after WaPo ran an exclusive – with nine sources from the IC – that Flynn was booted out.

  • Perhaps Flynn, but not Manafort. He’s a pro, and has been a senior GOP operative since the Ford administration. Since the 80s, he’s been dealing with head of states from many conflict regions around the world (and orchestrated a few conflicts as well). I cannot imagine that he would turn against a client (which in this case, is not Donnie, but Putin).

  • Pat Bandy

    New Trump strategy: Throw Flynn under bus by using Enquirer(owned by Trump supporter who historically only publishes what Trump approved).Flynn ,a Russian spy, front page news.

  • tsk

    It isn’t just that “Trump hired a Russian spy,” but that he gave that supposed Russian spy the position of NSA Director.The same bunch that screamed about how HRC’s careless use of a private server might compromise classified information and put our national security at risk are now using the idea that Trump put a Russian spy in such an incredibly sensitive position as a cover for something even worse!

  • Pat Bandy

    Trump was told by Flynn lawyer he was a foreign agent. It was known and deliberate.yet with Trump track record he will point fingers and blame, claiming ignorance

  • Caril Harris

    I hope they tell it all

  • Pat Bandy

    Meanwhile is Trump planning another 3.3million dollar golfing event in Fla on our dime again??? Everything stinks and filthy with his grimy hands on it.

  • shonangreg

    Well I guess Trump gave a good, swift kick to that domino . . . er, wait, domino?!

  • To be specific, what they were discussing — Flynn as a private citizen, meeting with top Turkish officials — was the extrajudicial kidnapping and forced extradition of a U.S. green card holder, given asylum due to credible evidence he’d be imprisoned and tortured back in Turkey.

    Woolsey apparently walked in on the meeting, which did not go beyond ‘talk’ but nevertheless could be seen as a violation of the Hatch Act, not to mention negotiations to do something patently illegal.

  • Maybe this had something to do with it:
    https://twitter.com/jasonbellini/status/845360329110536194

  • Badgerite

    What this confirms, is that obviously, the whole operation, the whole campaign was corrupt, dirty and compromised by the Russians from day one. Those people in Russian intelligence being arrested shortly after trump won and he and his people started receiving intelligence briefings should have set off alarm bells everywhere in the US. They were obviously western intelligence assets who were arrested. Putin is not our friend.

  • nofauxnews

    What a “fine tuned machine”…

  • nofauxnews

    What’s the big deal? According to Spicey he was just a campaign volunteer. It’s not like TRUMPy the Clown gave him access to top secret security briefings or anything. Oh wait…

  • Badgerite

    :)

  • Badgerite

    Exactly.

  • McMema6

    Follow the petrodollars/rubles.

  • Ant con

    GET ‘EM OUTTA HERE !!!

  • FloriDUH

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHiXADtvzQU

    Let’s not let them off the hook!

  • woodroad34

    There won’t be any honor amongst those thieves.

  • TheGamgubben

    Did the morons remove the pics from the story or?

  • Demosthenes

    President Trump informed the media today that Flynn is “a loser Obama mole, and his half brother. Sad”.

  • Demosthenes

    With Don the Con disavowing Manafort and Flynn, this means both can be “flippped” by the FBI and spill the beans. In short, the main target of the treason investigation could be Trump.

  • Shannon

    What a friggin sh*t show. Trump and his evil sycophants need to be investigated now.

  • goulo

    Perhaps Trump has secret evidence that Flynn is Obama’s secret half-brother, and that Flynn was born in Kenya. ;)

  • Brewster

    Sean Spicer needs to be asked HOW Trump caught this spy?

  • Badgerite

    Oh Myyyyy! “Follow the money”.

  • Badgerite

    Seriously. Flynn was in line to be Director of an expanded NSC role. An ombudsman for all the intelligence with authority over surveillance and intelligence gathering over domestic matters and foreign. No problem putting a “Russian spy” there. Jesus. This is bad. And it just gets worse and more obvious.

  • Badgerite

    I’m guessing something like, “it’s Obama’s fault”.

  • goulo

    That is very bizarre indeed! I’m very curious what Trump or some Trump spokesperson will directly say about this.

  • brel1

    The illegitimate president is putting us through hell. Hope he will soon be the one going through hell. It gets more bizarre by the minute.

  • iamlegion

    Only Trump would imagine a story like this _helps_ Trump… He didn’t “catch” a Russian spy – he HIRED a Russian spy and then gave him the job with one of the highest-grade security clearances the US even has. Trump is every bit as stupid and incompetent as we always thought he was.

  • peter_principle

    So, telling the world the POTUS made a Russian spy his national security advisor — and then giving him credit for finally firing the guy — is supposed to make Trump look good? I shall retire to Bedlam.

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