Late in the evening on February 13th, National Security Advisor, retired General Michael Flynn resigned in connection with the failure to fully disclose the nature of a conversation that he had with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislvak to Vice President Mike Pence, and others in the White House.
Flynn’s phone conversation with the Russian Ambassador occurred in late December of last year, during the presidential transition period, and allegedly included comments related to sanctions imposed by President Obama for Russian hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s e-mail system.
So what really happened? General Flynn, did indeed speak with the Russian Ambassador during the transition period, as a matter of diplomatic courtesy, a reasonable activity associated with doing his job as the incoming National Security Advisor to the President. In this context, Flynn denied that he had made any statements about the lifting of U.S. sanctions on Russia. However, after it was revealed to elements of the media that U.S. intelligence possessed classified transcripts indicating that Flynn did discuss sanctions, Flynn ultimately modified his position, and said that he made comments related to the expulsion of Russian diplomats, arguably a matter connected with sanctions imposed on Russia. He did not, whether intentionally or negligently, inform the Vice President of these particular remarks regarding the expulsion of the diplomats. Notwithstanding, General Flynn in speaking with the Daily Caller, stated that he “crossed no lines.”
President Trump, according to the Administration, upon being informed about this matter by the White House Counsel, who was informed by the U.S. Justice Department, immediately ordered an internal investigation by the White House Counsel. The investigation determined that there was no legal issue connected with this situation; but rather an issue concerning Flynn’s failure to share comments he made about the expulsion of Russian diplomats with the Vice President.
President Trump, according to Press Secretary Sean Spicer, upon learning that Flynn had not informed the Vice President about the expulsion comments, had no choice other than to request Flynn’s resignation, given the modification of his position and the erosion of the bond of trust in the relationship between the president and his national security advisor. General Flynn likely did not believe his comments to the Russian ambassador about the expulsion of Russian diplomats, was of any consequence. Nonetheless, he had an obligation to fully inform the Vice President, and others, in the administration about those comments.
Now it is very important to observe that the liberal establishment, and elements of the Republican establishment, will use this as an opportunity to attack and delegitimize the president, and slow down the momentum of implementing his policy priorities on the economy and trade, immigration, taxes, and foreign policy, particularly with regard to Russia. The president and his supporters cannot allow this to happen.
In addition, it must be observed that the disclosure of tapes and/or transcripts of Flynn’s phone conversation with the Russian ambassador, means that someone in the intelligence community, who had access to this information, illegally shared this classified information with the media. This is an egregious development, because it compromises the government’s ability to conduct foreign affairs, and presents a serious threat to U.S. national security. This situation compels an investigation by the FBI, to determine and hold accountable whoever in the government disclosed the classified information to the media.
In view of General Flynn’s departure, the president must, and will move quickly to replace him, with someone highly qualified. The frontrunner seems to be retired Vice Admiral Robert Harwood, an individual with an impeccable national security background.
From the standpoint, of “We the People,” Flynn’s severance is a regrettable incident; and the intelligence component poses a dangerous security situation. Main Street Americans must never forget that the establishment will use every opportunity to undermine Trump’s legitimacy, and stop his agenda. Accordingly, the people must not be deterred by these political attacks against him, and his “America first” policies and agenda. President Trump is standing up against the entire corrupt political system on behalf of the American people, and heralding policies that will make America great again.
By Allen Sutton