bureaucracybusters

TURNING THE WHITE HOUSE INTO THE RED HOUSE: PART THREE (END)

In Bureaucracy, History, Military, Politics, Social commentary on April 5, 2017 at 12:08 am

“We do not need a reckless President who believes she is above the law.”  

As chants of “Lock her up!” spread across the floor of the Republican National Convention, Michael T. Flynn voiced his agreement. “Lock her up–that’s right.”  

Movie-star handsome, the former United States Army lieutenant general and director of the Defense Intelligence Agency was clearly enjoying his moment as a keynote speaker.

Clapping his hands, he continued: “I’m gonna tell you what. It’s unbelievable–unbelievable.  

“I have called on Hillary Clinton to drop out of the race, because she–she–put our nation’s security at extremely high risk for their careless use of a private email server.

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Michael Flynn at the Republican convention

“Lock her up–lock her up. You guys [the audience] are good. Damn right–that’s exactly right. There’s nothing wrong with that.

“You know why we’re saying that? We’re saying that because if I–a guy who knows this business–if I did a tenth of what she did, I would be in jail today.”

That was July 18, 2016.

Six months and two days later, he was riding even higher: On January 20–the day Donald J. Trump became President–Flynn took office as the nation’s 25th National Security Adviser.

Two days later, The Wall Street Journal reported that Flynn was under investigation by U.S. counterintelligence agents for his communications with Russian officials. 

On February 8, Flynn flatly denied having spoken to Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December, 2016, about removing the sanctions placed on Russia by the outgoing Obama administration.

The sanctions had been placed in retaliation for Russia’s efforts to manipulate the 2016 Presidential election.

On February 13, The Washington Post reported that Acting Attorney General Sally Yates had warned Trump in late January that Flynn had lied about his contacts with Kislyak–and that he could be blackmailed by Russian Intelligence. 

Image result for Image of Attorney General Sally Yates

Sally Yates

Flynn was forced to resign that same day–after only 24 days as National Security Adviser.

Officially, the reason given was that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence. But Flynn’s deception had already been known–via the warning to Trump by Yates.

Only after Yates’ warning became known to the media was Flynn forced to resign.  

Even worse for Flynn: The same Washington Post story reported that, in December, 2015, he had appeared on Russia Today, the news network that American Intelligence agencies consider “the Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet.” 

He had also received more than $45,000 as a “speaking fee” from the network for a talk on world affairs. At the gala where Flynn received the fee, he sat next to Vladimir Putin for dinner.

Flynn did not file the required paperwork for the trip. Nor did he report the “fee” to the Pentagon.  

On March 30, The Wall Street Journal reported that Flynn had offered to testify to the FBI or the Senate and House Intelligence committees in exchange for immunity from prosecution. So far, neither the FBI nor the Congressional Intelligence committees has agreed to such a deal.

Meanwhile, as a Presidential candidate and President, Donald Trump has steadfastly denied the revelations about collaboration between members of his 2016 Presidential campaign and Russian Intelligence agents. 

Donald Trump

He has repeatedly attacked the “fake news” media reporting these revelations. Chief among his targets: CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post

He has also derided the Intelligence agencies responsible for America’s security.

On October 7, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement blaming the Russian government for the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails. Its motive: “To interfere with the US election process.”

Two days later, Trump publicly stated: “But I notice, anytime anything wrong happens, they like to say the Russians are– Maybe there is no hacking. But they always blame Russia.”

On March 4, Trump unleashed a series of tweets accusing former President Barack Obama of tapping his Trump Tower phones prior to the election: “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”

One month later, Trump has offered no evidence to support that accusation. Nor have the FBI and Justice Department provided any. Yet Trump has refused to apologize or retract the libel.  

Former Obama White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest has his own take on Trump’s motivation. Appearing on the March 5 edition of ABC’s This Week, he said:

“We know exactly why President Trump tweeted what he tweeted.

“Because there is one page in the Trump White House crisis management playbook. And that is simply to tweet or say something outrageous to distract from the scandal, and the bigger the scandal, the more outrageous the tweet.”  

In time, the epitaph for the Trump administration may prove to be a bitter parody of The Muppet Movie song, “The Rainbow Connection”:  

Why are there so many
Tales about Russians
And Right-wingers taking bribes?

Russians are Commies
And have lots of rubles
For traitors with something to hide.

So I’ve been told
And some choose to believe it.
It’s clear as the old KGB.

Someday we’ll find it
The Russian Connection–
The bribers, the traitors–you’ll see.

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