Flynn talked to Russians about lifting sanctions before Trump took office. Now, he's out. (Image Credit: Flickr/Jim Mattis)
Hello. Good morning. Good afternoon. Hi.
You are not losing your grip on reality.
I’m stating that right up front because you may have read the news today or checked Twitter or seen Matt Lauer interview Kellyanne Conway, and all of that is enough to make anyone think, “Is all of this bizarre? Or is it me?”
It is not you.
What’s going on is that Gen. Michael Flynn, one-time general, disgraced former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Trump campaign advisor and - very briefly - Trump National Security Advisor resigned last night. Why did he resign?
I’ll tell you why and I am being honest and using real facts. Fact-based facts. Non-alternative facts. Flynn quit because there is a recording of him calling the Russian Ambassador to the United States back in December. In that recording, Flynn promised the Russians a reversal of Obama-issued sanctions. He was a private citizen at the time and that constitutes negotiating policy with a foreign government. That’s improper, if not flat-out illegal.
Now, Flynn said he never said that. Even told VP Mike Pence he never said that. Mike Pence told everyone else Flynn never said that. But in January, the U.S. Department of Justice presented the White House with the tapes that demonstrate that Flynn lied to Pence. Not only that, the DOJ told the President that Flynn could be susceptible to Russian blackmail.
So now Flynn is out and White House spokespeople are all over TV trying to make it seem like THE real problem is not that Flynn was making improper promises to the Russian government. They’re trying to make this about Flynn lying to Mike Pence. They want you to believe that. They want you to think that lying to Pence is a fireable offense, but breaching foreign policy protocols and working to undermine a sitting President while still a private citizen wasn’t a problem.
It’s a classic “It’s not the affair that we mind. It’s the lying!” gambit. But you’re probably thinking “Wait. THE AFFAIR WAS WITH THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT. WTF?”
I know. I had the same thought. And you’re not wrong.
Oh, and also? If the lying to Pence were such a problem, then Flynn should have been out on his ass back in January when the DOJ first handed over the tapes. But it clearly didn’t bother the White House at the time. It only started to bother them when reporters found out.
So really? It isn’t the illegal call OR the lying. It’s the fact that the media found out and told all of us. Flynn is fired because he got caught.
That is what’s weird and f*cked up. It’s not you. It’s not me. We are all sitting here living through a total shitshow together, and it is exactly as weird and f*cked up as it sounds. The White House spin is exactly as disingenuous as you think. The Trump administration is exactly as chaotic and deceptive as they seem. They are the problem.
So, to recap. You are just fine. You are not misunderstanding anything. You’re smart and strong and sensible. Do not let current events make you doubt your own eyes or ears or mind. You’re fine. You really, really are.