Trump, Bannon Said To Weigh Firing Flynn
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Feb 12 2017
Top White House aide and policy adviser Stephen Miller sidestepped repeated chances during Sunday news shows to publicly defend General Flynn following reports that he engaged in conversations with Russian diplomat or diplomats about sanctions before Trump’s inauguration. Pressed repeatedly, Stephen Miller said it wasn’t up to him to say whether the president retains confidence in Flynn. He said on NBC:
It’s not for me to tell you what’s in the president’s mind. That’s a question for the president.
While Trump has yet to comment on the allegations against Flynn, the White House said in an anonymous statement Friday the president had full confidence in Flynn. But officials have been mum since then amid fallout from reports that Flynn addressed the question of sanctions against Russia in a phone call late last year. The report, which first appeared in the WaPo, contradicted both Flynn’s previous denials, as well as those made by VP Pence in a televised interview. Now we know why the administration has been so quiet about the fate of Flynn. As the WSJ reports that an administration official said Sunday that the White House is reviewing whether to retain Flynn amid a furor over his contacts with Russian officials before Trump took office. Flynn has apologized to White House colleagues over the episode, which has created a rift with VP Pence and diverted attention from the administration’s message to his own dealings, said ther official. Still, the WSJ concedes that Trump’s views toward the matter aren’t clear. In recent days, he has privately told people the controversy surrounding Flynn is unwelcome, after he told reporters on Friday he would “look into” the disclosures. At the same time, Trump also has said he has confidence in Flynn and wants to “keep moving forward,” a person familiar with his thinking said. Bannon had dinner with Flynn over the weekend, according to another senior administration official, and Bannon’s view is to keep him in the position but “be ready” to let him go, the first administration official said. The paper added that as of Sunday evening, Jared Kushner hadn’t yet weighed in on Flynn’s future yet.
For those who may not have followed the story, Flynn initially said that in a conversation Dec 29 with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak, he didn’t discuss sanctions imposed that day by the outgoing Obama administration, which were levied in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Flynn now concedes that he did, after transcripts of his phone calls show as much. He also admits he spoke with the ambassador more than once on Dec. 29, despite weeks of the Trump team’s insisting it was just one phone call.
If Flynn had promised any easing of sanctions once Trump took office, he may have violated a law that prohibits private citizens from engaging in foreign policy, legal experts have said. That would mark the first instance of a person close to Trump found to have inappropriate links to Russia, a subject that Pondo boxtops have supposedly been ‘investigating’ for months.
The cunts routinely intercept and monitor conversations with Russian diplomats, as they have have said. While the transcripts of the conversations don’t show Flynn made any sort of promise to lift the sanctions once Trump took office, they show Flynn making more general comments about relations between the two countries improving under Trump, people familiar with them said. Flynn’s alleged lies have angered VP Pence, who in television interviews vouched for Flynn. Pence and Flynn spoke twice on Friday. Reince Priebus is leading the Trump administration’s review of Flynn.
Some administration officials are hopeful Flynn would resign on his own, a person familiar with the matter said. Some people close to Trump already are speculating on possible successors, including retired Lt-Gen K Kellogg, who advised Trump during the campaign and who is CoS of the NSC. Jettisoning Flynn might end one controversy, but would potentially feed perceptions of a disorganized White House, some people close to Trump said. That’s one reason the White House might be hesitant to cut ties to Flynn.
Meanwhile, Demagogs smell blood and want Flynn out immediately.
As pressure built on White House officials, Demagogs on Sunday pressed for an independent investigation into Flynn’s conversations with Russia’s ambassador. Al Franken said Sunday on CNN: “Either he was lying about discussing it or he forgot. You don’t want a guy in either of those scenarios to be in that position.”
Franken has also called for an independent investigation into the Trump campaign’s and the administration’s ties to Russia, citing allegations of Kremlin interference in the 2016 election and Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, as candidates have done since the 1970s. Franken said:
We don’t know what he owes Russia. We don’t know how many Russian oligarchs have invested in his business.
At the same time Lindsey Graham and Sheldon Whitehouse, who lead the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subpanel on crime and terrorism, already have launched an investigation of Russia’s efforts to influence the election. While the situation remains liquid, two things are certain: Trump will have a “kneejerk response,” he will tweet momentarily, and the market will interpret this latest tremor inside the White House as even more bullish.