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Michael Flynn Resigns as National Security Adviser (New York Times link): Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser, resigned on Monday night after it was revealed that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other top White House officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
Mr. Flynn, who served in the job for less than a month, said he had given “incomplete information” to about a telephone call he had with the ambassador in late December about American sanctions against Russia, weeks before Mr. Trump’s inauguration. Mr. Flynn previously had denied that he had any substantive conversations with Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak, and Mr. Pence repeated that claim in television as recently as earlier this month.
But on Monday, a former administration official said the Justice Department last month warned the White House that Mr. Flynn had not been fully forthright about his conversations with the ambassador. As a result, the Justice Department feared that Mr. Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.
In his resignation letter, which the White House emailed to reporters, Mr. Flynn said he had held numerous calls with foreign officials during the transition. “Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador,” he wrote. “I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology.”
Mike Flynn might be done – but Trump’s nightmare has just begun (Irish Times link): Cast your mind back to four months ago, when Donald Trump was just a long-shot candidate with a hot-headed adviser by the name of Michael Flynn.
It was the homestretch of the presidential election and national security wasn’t some side issue, mentioned in passing. Trump promised he would be a tough national security president with the toughest national security team.
In fact his closing argument was that Hillary Clinton couldn’t be trusted with the country’s national security because, he claimed, she couldn’t be trusted with her private email server. It sounded ridiculous at the time. But after a month of this gonzo president, our memories are already fading. Propaganda will do that to you, as George Orwell warned us all in 1984. Sometimes two and two are four. Sometimes they are five.
Still, it’s true that the Trump campaign seized on the preposterous FBI investigation into Clinton’s emails to issue this press release: “Clinton’s Careless Use of a Secret Server Put National Security At Risk.”
Less than a week later, at their second presidential debate, Trump took the attack one step further, threatening to jail Clinton if he ever took power: “She didn’t know the word – the letter C on a document. Right? She didn’t even know what that word – what that letter meant.”
Let’s just pretend that Trump knew that C means Confidential, not Classified, as he was suggesting. Let’s even play along with the notion that Clinton’s server was a security risk to the country. What do Michael Flynn and Mar-a-Lago mean for national security?
BREAKING: Russia Scandal EXPLODES In Trump Admin.; Top Russian Stooge Is OUT (Addicting Info.org link): Donald Trump and his entire administration seem to be nothing more than Russian stooges. And no, this is not merely rumor; after all, even the intelligence community is so sure that the Kremlin has infiltrated Team Trump that they are withholding key intelligence from the White House. Now, it seems that things have gotten so hot that Trump’s loyal and treasured national security adviser, Retired General Michael Flynn, has resigned.
This move comes after a flurry of reports concerning Flynn’s pre-inauguration contacts with Russian officials. At first, the Trump team – including Mike Pence – went on national television and gave the whole “nothing to see here” speech regarding the phone calls. Flynn even flat-out denied speaking about important matters, such as sanctions, with the Russians.
Then, within the last few days, it was revealed that there were transcripts of the calls, and indeed, they reveal that Flynn discussed the sanctions that the United States had leveled against Russia in retaliation for interfering in the presidential race in order to help elect Trump. Apparently, Flynn lied to Pence about this, thus forcing Pence to lie to the American people. All of this seems to be too hot to handle for the Trump White House, so late Monday night, the news that Flynn was gone broke via CNN.
This administration is clearly compromised by Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin. There needs to be a thorough vetting of everyone in the Trump White House, and if there is evidence of criminal activity of any kind, those people need to prosecuted – and yes, that includes the president, Donald Trump. Our very security and lives and the survival of the republic depends on it.
It’s Official: The CIA and DOJ Believe Trump’s Team Is Under Russian Blackmail (Occupy Democrats link): Before being fired last month by President Trump, then acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the White House that national security adviser Michael Flynn was potentially vulnerable to Russian blackmail.
It is now believed that Flynn communicated with not only Russia’s Ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, but other Russian officials inside the Kremlin including President Vladimir Putin to discuss the possibly lifting sanctions against Russia imposed by former president Barack Obama.
When questioned, Flynn told Vice President Mike Pence that they did not discuss the Obama administration’s sanctions against Russia. This is now confirmed by multiple sources to be untrue as evidence suggests that Flynn likely made promises that Trump would quickly review the sanctions. It was later discovered that Flynn even used encryption technology for some of his communications.
Troublingly, there is no evidence to suggest that Pence – or anyone in the Trump administration – was ever unaware of Flynn’s actions. Given the nature of Trump’s relationship with Putin, it is not hard to believe that Flynn could have been acting under Trump’s direct orders.
US Spies Withholding Intel from White House Because they Know Russia Is Listening (Alternet.org link): U.S. intelligence operatives are withholding sensitive information from the White House for the first time in history because they believe that Russia will find out anything they tell Pres. Donald Trump and his aides.
The New York Observer — which is owned by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner — reported Sunday that the intelligence community (IC) is “pushing back” against an administration it believes is incompetent, dishonest, leaky and “penetrated by the Kremlin.”
“Our Intelligence Community is so worried by the unprecedented problems of the Trump administration — not only do senior officials possess troubling ties to the Kremlin, there are nagging questions about basic competence regarding Team Trump — that it is beginning to withhold intelligence from a White House which our spies do not trust,” wrote former analyst for the National Security Agency Jack R. Schindler.
‘What did he know and when did he know it’: David Gergen asks when Trump knew about Flynn blackmail risk (Raw Story link): Saying “This is very serious,” former White House adviser David Gergen invoked the ghost of the Watergate cover-up after it was reported that President Donald Trump was warned Gen. Michael Flynn was a possible security risk subject to blackmail by the Russians.
Late Monday night, the Washington Post reported that the Trump White House had been warned that Flynn was a risk by acting Attorney General Sally Yates — an opinion seconded by former CIA director John Brennan and former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper.
Yates was famously fired by Trump for failing to back his immigration ban on Muslims and refugees.
Discussing the bombshell report, Gergen, who wrote former President Richard Nixon’s resignation letter, said the report is a major development and could impact more than Flynn.
“David,” a stunned CNN host Anderson Cooper said to Gergen, “It doesn’t stop. We don’t have the reporting on this, it comes from the Washington Post.”
“What is missing from the story so far is the president of the United States. When did he know and when did he know it,” Gergen said, invoking former Sen Howard Baker’s comment that opened the gates for Nixon’s resignation in the face of impeachment.
“If they had a report to the legal counsel, the general counsel would have presumably reported to the president, why is Flynn still there?” Gergen continued. “It’s unimaginable that the White House general counsel would sit on it, not tell anybody else in the White House. In every White House I’ve ever been in, this would go to the president like that,” he said as he snapped his fingers.
“This is very serious stuff. If you’re told that your national security adviser is potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians, that is extremely serious,” he concluded.