Trump’s lament over “wonderful” Flynn undercuts White House line that Trump fired him
During a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump complained that it's "very, very unfair what's happened to General Flynn." Apparently, no one has filled Trump in on the current story that Flynn was fired — by Trump. It seems that if Trump had his way, Flynn would still be on the job, despite lying to the American people.
Following the resignation of former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, which came after new reporting showed that Flynn had lied about his discussions with a Russian ambassador during the presidential campaign, the Trump team has been struggling to keep their stories on the subject straight.
As my Shareblue colleague Tommy Christopher reported, the accounts coming from White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and Donald Trump himself have seemed to contradict or undercut each other:
In announcing the resignation, Donald Trump did not address the circumstances of Flynn’s resignation at all. And in multiple interviews, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway repeatedly stated that the decision to resign was Flynn’s, while asserting that it would be “inappropriate” to comment on whether Trump had been told of the Department of Justice’s warning, given weeks ago, that Flynn might be vulnerable to blackmail over his lies.
But not long after, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer opened his daily briefing by directly contradicting Conway, stating that Trump had asked Flynn to resign, and that Trump had been notified immediately of the Justice Department’s warning on January 26.
And in a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump offered yet another take that does not seem to line up with the administration’s most recent line — and one that, in true Trump fashion, includes snipes at the “fake media” and a wholly random jab at the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton:
— Tommy Christopher (@tommyxtopher) February 15, 2017
Michael Flynn, General Flynn, is a wonderful man. I think he’s been treated very, very unfairly by the media — as I call it, the ‘fake media,’ in many cases. And I think it’s really a sad thing that he was treated so badly. I think, in addition to that, from intelligence, papers are being leaked, things are being leaked — it’s a criminal action, criminal act — and it’s been going on for a long time, before me. But now it’s really going on. And people are trying to cover up for a terrible loss that the Democrats had under Hillary Clinton. I think it’s very, very unfair what’s happened to General Flynn, the way he was treated, and the documents and papers that were illegally— I stress that, illegally leaked. Very, very unfair.
If Trump truly thinks that Flynn was treated in a “very, very unfair” way, it would seem to imply that Trump believes Flynn, despite lying to the public, should still be holding his position as National Security Advisor — the position from which Trump himself, according to his own staff, fired Flynn.
Whether this newest contravening statement on Flynn’s resignation was the result of ignorance, mendacity, or forgetfulness on the part of Trump, it is one more example of the chaos going on in the White House — and a sign of why the American people have so little confidence in their new government.