Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigned at the request of President Trump on Monday, February 13. The official story is that there has been a recent erosion of trust between Trump and Flynn after Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence regarding his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. However, there are many inconsistencies in the resignation that have made members of the media question the Trump administration.
The general picture is that Flynn had a conversation on December 29th with Kislyak, yet he reportedly misled the Vice President about the phone call, leading the VP to publicly announce that the conversation did not discuss sanctions against Russia. In his resignation letter, Flynn claims that he “inadvertently briefed the vice president-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador,” due to the fast pace of his work schedule. A large section of the media believes that there has been some sort of cover up. Some report that Flynn has potentially violated the Logan Act. However, the Logan Act is an infrequently enforced law. There may be over-sensationalized reporting due to the surrounding context of the situation. However, the president has largely called anyone asking about the story “Fake News.”
There has been mass speculation about what is actually happening, but it remains that: speculation. Famous Watergate-era reporter Carl Bernstein has somewhat supported the comparisons between the Trump and Nixon administrations. The big potential scandal is that their was some deal struck with Russia (see Russia Dossier) or that Russian intelligence colluded with the Trump campaign during the election. There is also the question of the hacking of the DNC, which many in the intelligence community believe was of Russian origin. There is a chasm between the intelligence community and President Trump. It is evident in the number of leaks that have been allowed. Michael Flynn’s resignation could be an overblown news story, or the start of something big.
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