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Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Why did Trump wait 18 days to fire Flynn?

Last night I watched the testimony of Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general, and of James Clapper, former director of national intelligence, before a Senate subcommittee investigating the Russian involvement in our elections ....

One depressing thing was that the Republicans on the Senate subcommittee spent all their time dwelling on how the information about Flynn became public (the "leaks") instead of on the import of the information itself.

Yates had told the White House that their national security advisor, Michael Flynn, was lying about his relations with the Russians and that he could be compromised by them. But the White House did nothing about this information (nor about Obama's advice to Trump against Flynn 10 days after the election), allowing Flynn to continue with his sensitive duties. In fact, the White House didn't fire Flynn until 18 days later and then only after the information about him was made public through the press.

One can only speculate on why the White House didn't immediately fire Flynn but the word "cover-up" looms large .... if the information hadn't been made public, would Flynn still be national security advisor?

Here's the beginning of an article about this from the New York Times ... How the White House Explains Waiting 18 Days to Fire Michael Flynn

The question has lingered for weeks: Once President Trump knew that Michael T. Flynn, his national security adviser, had lied to his colleagues and was vulnerable to blackmail by Russians, why didn’t he fire him immediately?

Monday’s dramatic testimony by Sally Q. Yates, the acting attorney general at the time, only added to the mystery.

Like an episode from “House of Cards,” she described rushing on Jan. 26 to warn the new White House counsel that Mr. Flynn could be compromised because Moscow knew he was lying, publicly and privately, about his contacts with Russian officials.

Mr. Trump waited 18 days, until Feb. 13, to fire Mr. Flynn — after The Washington Post reported the warnings the White House had received.

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, refused to “re-litigate” the delay during his daily briefing on Monday. But here are the various explanations he and other administration officials have given in the past ....


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