Trump’s Latest Twitter Storm on Flynn and Comey Delves Into Conspiracy Nut Territory
Trump attacks Comey in latest tweet
President Trump’s latest Twitter tirade focused on the recent development in the Russiagate scandal: Michael Flynn’s cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Though the Senate’s late-night passing of their disturbing tax reform plan has scored Republican’s a dangerous victory, Flynn’s collaboration with Mueller could significantly hurt the GOP as it affects their leadership in the executive branch.
Trump no doubt recognizes that, explaining his behavior Sunday afternoon wherein he dropped two tweets that not only defended his real reasons for firing Flynn, but also falsely attacked the “fake news” media for lying about him:
I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2017
I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn. Just more Fake News covering another Comey lie!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2017
Trump’s tweet from Sunday has many flaws to it. For starters, Flynn was technically not fired in the same way “The Mooch” Scaramuchi was, as Flynn resigned of his own accord, though of course the White House likely asked for his resignation, ostensibly about by his lying to Vice President Mike Pence. But Trump’s tweet ignores, or even denies the larger reality.
First of all, The Obama administration became concerned about Flynn while he was working as Director of the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency). The Obama administration came to see him as a national security concern, and fired him. Later then President Obama personally warned then President-elect Trump against hiring Flynn. Not only that, but Flynn’s interactions with Russian officials were being investigated, yet apparently Trump had no problem with that. None of which prevented Trump from appointing Flynn as the National Security Advisor.
All of which means that regardless of why Trump might have “fired” or accepted the resignation of Flynn, he should have known better than to employ him at all, in the first place. By the time Flynn allegedly lied to Pence about his communications with Russia, Trump should already have been well aware that Flynn was a national security risk. But he didn’t seem to care until the press was shining a light on it.
And then there’s the fact that the President seems, in his Saturday Tweet, to admit having known at the time he fired Flynn that Flynn had lied to the FBI. Which, coupled with his subsequent action of putting pressure on Comey to go easy on Flynn, and to back off on investigating Russia’s involvement in the election, adds up to a clear-cut case of Obstruction of Justice.
Trump’s tweet from Sunday, on the other hand, falls directly in line with Trump’s typical behavior of lying. The tweet seems designed to brush off critics who called out Trump’s apparent admission of obstruction of justice. But it clearly fails in that regard.
It was made clear back in May 2017, through Comey’s personal memos written at the time, that the President had requested that then FBI Director Comey drop the probe into Michael Flynn. This was prior to Trump “firing” him, which Comey confirmed in his sworn testimony before Congress. Trump himself, in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, admitted that the Russia investigation was the predominate factor in Trump’s decision to fire Comey.
In addition, Trump also bragged to the Russian Foreign Prime Minister that firing Comey had relieved a “great pressure” off of him, which obviously related to the then-brewing allegations of his campaign collaborating with Russia. Plus, as we reported in early May, Trump very quickly developed a pattern, once in office, of terminating any member of the government, such as Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who was seen to harbor suspicions over Trump campaign, transition, or administration collaboration with Russia.
At this point it is an irrefutable, proven fact that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, and that they did so with the clear intention of helping Trump win. Whether Trump was asking for help from Russia or not is also not up for debate, as Trump himself, personally, stood before the TV cameras and directly asked Russia for help.
And so in order to believe what Trump is saying now, that he didn’t tell Comey to stop investigating Flynn, would require ignoring Trump’s own admission that he fired Comey for investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 election, of which the Flynn investigation was part. It would also mean ignoring Trump personally asking Russia for help on TV. It would mean ignoring him inviting the Russian Ambassador into the Oval Office and telling him there that firing Comey had taken the pressure off. It would mean ignoring that his son-in-law sought to build a secret back channel with the Russians, which would circumvent our own country’s surveillance. It would mean ignoring that his son Don Jr., along with his then Campaign Manager Paul Manafort met with Russians at Trump Tower after exchanging emails about getting dirt on his Father’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. It would mean ignoring the connections to Russia for which Paul Manafort has now been indicted. It would mean believing in a wide spread conspiracy throughout Trump’s own administration to frame him for either collusion with Russia, attempting to impede or obstruct the investigation into Russia’s involvement, or both. And one which somehow put words in Trump’s own mouth.
In short, it would mean believing something so outlandish that only a truly paranoid, mentally unstable conspiracy nut could really believe such a thing. Which means, based on all outward signs, that Trump could truly believe all this.
Regardless of the lies, it is clear that Trump is once again trying to discredit Mueller’s case, indicating he is genuinely afraid of how things will turn out. With Flynn actively working against him, we can only hope the Special Counsel finds something that will bring down the entire Trump Administration before they hurt the American people more.
Featured image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images
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