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Michael Flynn and the 6 Big Questions


#1

Michael Flynn and the 6 Big Questions

Robert Reich

The American public deserves to know the answers to at least the first five of these questions, and will then make a judgment on the sixth:

1. Why didn’t Trump act sooner to fire Flynn? He knew about Flynn’s contact with the Russian ambassador at least since January, when then-acting attorney general Sally Yates notified the White House that Flynn had “put himself in a compromising position” with his phone call to the Russian ambassador.

2. What, if anything, did Trump authorize Michael Flynn to tell the Russians before the inauguration?


#2

How will impeaching Trump solve the problem of GOP control over all our lives? Pence will be nicer to our so called enemies? and so called allies? Pence will rule with a religious zealots appeal and solidify all of the GOP destruction.

His backers have not been given enough of a narrative by media and the dems to change their minds. The dems and media do a very poor job and have for the last 30 years to allow all the lies that layed the ground work for Trump. The worst of his backers hate government and believed every word of Reagan that "government was the problem" and they have trained in remote areas toting their rifles and guns and have trained for this moment.

Where are the dem strategists exposing the lies as liars. Too polite to do that on national TV or too much in the pockets of the polluters and banksters. Same with the politicans elitists of the dem party. They need to be repeating and repeating and exposing these lies giving proof of the lies. How many years of digital tapes, studies exist to prove the lies? But then GOP have done an excellent job of defunding government institutions to become inefficient and intelligence and scientists are the problem.

Why did Obama hired Wall Street and Industry executives in his administration. So they have ammunition also. It is a big hypocrisy circle jerk from DC politicians,media, pundits et al.


#3

Um, the Democratic House leaders are on national TV right now, and were when you wrote, exposing the lies and demanding investigation.

To Reich's list I would add "Why did Comey stop DepAG Yates, before the inauguration (including of Flynn himself), from informing the incoming administration of what they'd all heard Flynn say to the Russian Ambassador?"


#4

CIA's Comey? How about FBI.


#5

The Russian connection looks like it will hang like a dark cloud over the Trump administration for as long as it lasts (it has already lasted too long and appears to be largely a money making operation for Trump and his family). We must keep demanding answers to the questions listed by Reich and other questions that surface. Questions about Trump's connection to Russia have been raised almost ever since he started campaigning in 2015. His refusal to release his tax returns only added more questions. Foreign countries apparently are afraid to share intelligence information with the US fearing it will be subsequently shared with Russia. And apparently the US nationals security agencies have a similar concern about information they give to Trump. This concern is unprecedented in US history and Congress needs to get to the bottom of it.


#6

Sorry. Fixed.


#7

jujudahl -

You made good points, that did not need anyone to divert by blunting them.


#8

And the US Left, sadly, played its role too. Anyone with half a brain knows why Putin invited Stein to the RT dinner with Flynn, and knows why he invited her to meet with Kazakhstani dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2014. That many European Greens, let alone Russian dissident Greens, have no affinity for Stein and her antics is obvious to everyone except Counterpunch nonsense peddlers. It truly is amazing to me how defensive (why?) some progressives in this country have become when it comes to defending the ambitions of a very intelligent, very ruthless, autocrat. And that is what Putin is.

That America has its own sins in no way means we should accept the autocratic, white power influences of Putin and his far right European acolytes. Yet, that's the biggest excuse I hear--along with neoliberalism! Ahhhh!--from "progressive" defenders of Trump's questionable foreign policy proclivities with the guy.


#9

I think the view of Stein and others in that camp is that the US is an aggressive imperialist empire that is trying to dominate the world and make weapons manufactures as rich as possible and that Russia is a victim of this imperialist aggression. So I think at least their view is logical. The question is whether the US is actually an aggressive imperialist empire or is its main role protecting democracies around the world? Is the purpose of a thousand or so military bases in foreign countries to extend the empire or protect sovereign democracies? Are the wars to dominate markets or protect allies? Are wars carried out to fight tyranny or sell weapons? Is the glass half full or half empty?


#10

I don't particularly want Trump to be impeached for the reason you state. However I do want the impeachment process to move forward. My feeling is that having congress concentrate on impeachment for a couple of years - and as many other diversions as we can throw their way - is time that they won't be concentrating on screwing us over. Perhaps we can make it to the next election with a little less damage than is currently on tap.


#11

I get the grander arguments, philosophically speaking. We do sell a lot of weapons, do have bases around the world, and have engaged in some crappy wars. But the dirty non-secret is the Russians sell a lot of weapons and have done some awful things too. As you know, those questions you list can be answered in many ways, at different times, in different contexts.

That in no way means European and Russian dissident Greens criticisms of Stein are wrong or off base. They see Putin as a real threat to freedom, the environment, and democratic institutions. They generally don't see America as that threat, even with our faults, except when rightwing fools control our country. That's why Stein's attempt to burnish her credentials on the world stage by associating with Putin was seen as ugly opportunism; they knew she was being a clueless tool, only fooling her American domestic audience. That's why guys like Reinhard Bütikofer from the German Green Party called her out on her antics also.


#12

Hey, just want to add, while we are discussing Trump's interests in Russia, here's the first public law he signed:

http://new.www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-energy-bill_us_58a36487e4b03df370daf959?

Good news for disclosure!


#13

What if these conversations had been with Israeli or Saudi ambassadors?
Would any of the Dems & neocons & neoliberals be upset at all?
Or is this just one more episode of Russia bashing?

I get that Flynn's lying about the contacts is reason to dismiss him.
What I don't get is the hyperventilation about the contacts being with Russia.

Can anyone explain, without resorting to "Putin is evil" as their rationale?


#14

Putin is now reportedly in the process of purging his intelligence tech guys. He's not doing this for fun. It seems apparent our intelligence agencies suspect Putin supported Trump, interferred in our election, and thinks the White House may have compromised their sources. If you are comfortable with this, okay. But i think they were listening to Flynn for a reason. It may be that progressives in this country are wrong about Putin, that he's not a peaceful guy, and that the Russian dissident Greens who left the country under duress have a much more accurate picture of him and his ambitions. Call me crazy though.


#15

This is a good idea to pursue. The right-wing religious ideologues need to be brought into the light. ...right after the return of you-know-who!


#16

None of this explains the hyperventilation by the Dems, media, etal over Flynn's contacts with the Russian ambassador. What law was broken?


#17

The Logan Act is the specific law under discussion. I think the "hyperventilating" has much more to do with what I stated above though than any potential Logan Act violation. Losing intelligence assets in Russia is something I assume even Putin supporting progressives wouldn't want.


#18

Robert Wrong is just trying to protect his Globalization SuperCapitalism baby NAFTA that he used as Bill Clinton's Secretary of Labor to off-shore American Jobs.

Robert knows Trump is going to kill NAFTA in an effort to bring back American Jobs.

So Robert is claiming that Trump won by using the Russians to hack Hillary's unguarded computers and the DNC computers which they admitted didn't have good security (the DNC said they couldn't afford it.)

So, this theory goes, Trump knew of Hillary's "I'm with Her" and "Stronger Together" slogans ahead of time.

Big Deal. Hillary Clinton lost because Americans are tired of Clinton Labor Lies. They want their jobs back. Clinton wasn't going to bring them back, instead, she was going to off-shore more and destroy the Constitution with the Treasonous TPP that she helped negotiate as Secretary of State to 12 Pacific/Asian Countries.

So if we are going to investigate Trump's ties to Russia, we must also investigate the Clinton Foundation's billions of dollars from foreign governments including China.

We need to also investigate Al Gore, since he took campaign money from China.

Fair is Fair, and I'm guessing at the end of the day their isn't a clean politician in the house. Including this author, who holds SuperCapitalism stocks.

Isn't that true, Robert?


#19

Found the answer in this Guardian article:
What did the White House counsel tell Trump about Flynn – and why does it matter?
Bolding mine.

The resignation of Michael Flynn as national security adviser has shone a light on the White House counsel, Donald McGahn, who late last month carried concerns from the justice department to the president about Flynn’s links to Russia.

“The White House counsel informed the president immediately” of a 26 January conversation with the then acting attorney general, Sally Yates, in which Yates “flagged” intelligence reports on Flynn’s communications with the Russian ambassador, Sergei Kislyak, the White House spokesman said on Tuesday.

On the day in late December when Barack Obama imposed new sanctions on Russia in retaliation for alleged tampering in the 2016 election, Flynn talked with Kislyak about the sanctions, the Washington Post reported last Thursday. ..

“The president was immediately informed of the information” passed by the justice department to McGahn, Spicer said. “His view was that this was not a violation. He was instinctively correct.”

The White House has depicted the national security adviser’s resignation as a result of Flynn either lying internally about or forgetting about things he said to the Russian ambassador. That is the version that Flynn himself advanced in his resignation letter.

A White House investigation concluded that Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak did not present “a legal issue”, Spicer said. Yates reportedly had warned McGahn that Flynn may have violated the Logan Act, which bars private US citizens from dealing with foreign countries that are in diplomatic disputes with the United States. At the time of the calls, Flynn was still a private citizen.

McGahn’s job is to help administration officials stay on the right side of the law. He joined the Donald Trump campaign as an adviser specifically on matters of election law, an expertise he developed as a George W Bush appointee to the Federal Elections Commission.


#20

You've got a great point dpearl as it is working well for DT with all his tweets.