As former acting Attorney General Sally Yates prepares to publicly testify that she warned the White House of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's vulnerability to "being compromised by Russia", Donald Trump continues to defend Flynn, even after the exposure of Flynn's lies about communications with Russia and receipt of possibly illegal payments from foreign entities.
With Sally Yates’ Senate testimony just hours away, Donald Trump continues to keep up a public defense of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, even after reports that Flynn that was in a potentially compromised position with Russia and that he received payments from foreign entities, despite warnings that to do so could be illegal.
Axios reports that “a source familiar with the President’s thinking” said that despite the desire of some on the Trump team to promote negative stories about Flynn, “he still thinks highly of Flynn and has never authorized any of his staff to undermine the retired general.”
The source also said that Trump believes the unfolding Russia story is “fake news” and that “Flynn did nothing wrong” when he spoke to Russia’s ambassador.
A few hours after that story broke, Trump tweeted, “General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama Administration – but the Fake News seldom likes talking about that.”
While the White House seems to have settled on the narrative that President Barack Obama is somehow responsible for Flynn, Trump conveniently omitted from his tweet that his predecessor fired Flynn.
When Trump chose Flynn as his national security adviser, he was vetted by the Trump transition team led by Mike Pence. Pence’s team was aware that Flynn had received money from foreign governments — including Russia — and had been warned by the Department of Defense that this could be in violation of the law. They gave him the green light to serve anyway.
Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates was reportedly so concerned about Flynn’s lies about being in contact with the Russian ambassador that she believed he was compromised and a security risk. Despite raising those concerns, the Trump administration continued to keep him inside, and even after firing him, they continue to obstruct congressional investigations into his behavior.
Trump once again wears his poor judgment on his sleeve, defending Flynn — who was once considered a possible running mate — despite what is now widely known about him, including his potentially criminal acts and his compromise of American security.