Trump Made Extremely Suspicious Promise Right After Flynn Secretly Spoke to Russia
Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s sentencing memo for disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn went off like a bomb in Washington on Tuesday, perhaps nowhere more so than in Donald Trump‘s drawers. Mueller’s recommendation of no jail time and praise for Flynn’s “substantial assistance” in the Russia investigation [as well as two other matters] and the six pages of redacted details tell the tale of a three-star general who is now a five-star canary.
The words to Flynn’s song are still a mystery to thousands of frustrated journalists, but the endless possibilities bring to mind a bizarre episode from before Flynn was outed as a criminal.
On New Year’s Eve of 2016, Trump took a few minutes off from partying at his Mar-a-lago resort to speak with reporters, and was asked about his even-then consistent dismissal of the intelligence community assessment that Russia interfered in the election.
True to form, Trump crapped on the intelligence community, and leapt to Russia’s defense.
“Well, I just want them to be sure,” Trump said. “Because it’s a pretty serious charge and I want them to be sure. And if you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster. And they were awful. And so I want them to be sure. I think it’s unfair if they don’t know. And I know a lot about hacking and hacking is a very hard thing to prove. So it could be somebody else.”
Then, he added this strange claim: “And I also know things that other people don’t know and so, they cannot be sure of this situation.”
“What do you know that other people don’t know?” the reporter asked.
“You’ll find out on Tuesday or Wednesday,” Trump said. See the clip above.
At the time, it just seemed like another example of Trump pulling something out of the air, but as the world would eventually find out, Trump’s claim of secret knowledge on Russia’s innocence came just two days after Michael Flynn secretly spoke with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Lying about his contact with Kislyak was one of the crimes to which Flynn pleaded guilty.
On January 3, just a few days after Trump made his strange promise, Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway was specifically asked if Flynn was the source of Trump’s mysterious intel, and she wouldn’t rule it out. Then-Today Show host Katie Couric asked Conway if Trump was “getting that information from General Michael Flynn, his pick to be National Security Advisor? Because he does have close ties with Vladimir Putin. In” fact, we have this photo from December of 2015 that shows him at a dinner with Putin. Is that where he is getting this information, Kellyanne, that other people don’t know?
“He is getting information from a number of sources,” Conway replied, and rushed to change the subject.
Trump never did get around to revealing the secret Rusia-exonerating intel, but the question of where he got the idea it existed remains.
Trump and other White House officials have pleaded varying degrees of ignorance about the content of Flynn’s contacts with Russia, but Flynn’s sentencing memo makes it pretty clear that whatever there is to tell will be told, with receipts.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.