General Michael Flynn has brought Donald Trump a lot of trouble. The man who Trump appointed as his first National Security Adviser has been a lightning rod for a good number of the scandals haunting the Oval Office:
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 16, 2017
Yet according to a number of reports, Donald Trump still openly pines for Flynn:
Trump has strange affection/loyalty to Flynn even after scandal & asked staff to stop “piling on him” in press https://t.co/IoJPtgkQpe
— Tara Palmeri (@tarapalmeri) May 17, 2017
Serving as a campaign surrogate, Flynn was an early supporter in Trump’s bid for the White House. The President has rewarded that loyalty with a devotion to Flynn that is leading a growing group of people to question Trump’s judgement. Speaking to Politico, former George W. Bush spokesperson Alex Conant summarized the situation this way “Trump’s loyalty to his friends and family is admirable. His loyalty to someone he fired for lying is harder to appreciate.”
Now information is coming out that Flynn was appointed by Trump as National Security Advisor despite knowledge that the general was being investigated. This is a serious allegation, as the position gave Flynn access to some of the most sensitive secrets of the United States:
Breaking News: Trump aides knew Michael Flynn was under investigation before he became national security adviser https://t.co/qSYhjjJ2rj
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 18, 2017
The toxic situation surrounding Flynn has now escalated even further. Word has gotten out that General Flynn used his position to stop a joint assault on the ISIS capital of Raqqa w/ Syrian Kurdish forces which had been planned for months. This perplexing change in policy was done after Flynn had accepted $500,000 in compensation from the Turkish government to lobby on their behalf. The move by Flynn was in line with that Turkey’s longstanding priority to undermine Syria’s Kurdish forces. Even worse, Flynn had not notified anyone in the government about this conflict of interest when he pulled the plug on the Raqqa attack, and wouldn’t do so until weeks after he was fired:
WaPo reported in Feb. Flynn said to hold off on Raqqa.
A month later he retroactively registered as a foreign agent https://t.co/FX25gPQWyq
— Vera Bergengruen (@VeraMBergen) May 18, 2017
McClatchy: Flynn held up attack on ISIS capital, consistent with wishes of Turkey, for which he was secret lobbyist. https://t.co/svToMhq3Yz
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) May 18, 2017
The outlook has never looked more dire for Flynn. As the Miami Herald reported, “Now members of Congress, musing about the tangle of legal difficulties Flynn faces, cite that exchange with Rice as perhaps the most serious: acting on behalf of a foreign nation – from which he had received considerable cash – when making a military decision. Some members of Congress, in private conversations, have even used the word “treason” to describe Flynn’s intervention, though experts doubt that his actions qualify.”
This is stunning. Flynn 1/4 tells Trump team FBI investigating him for pro-Turkey lobbying. Trump allows him to make Turkey-related policy.
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) May 18, 2017
As new details emerge which cast further shade on General Flynn’s conduct, it’s yet to be seen if Trump continues to stand by Flynn’s side. If he does, there are sure to me more questioning Trump’s motivation in doing so, with some voices sure to speculate that there might be a less than scrupulous hidden motive explaining this perplexing behavior.