The Resistance News
February 15, 2017
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) on Monday joined other California Democrats who have called for President Trump to fire his national security advisor, retired Gen. Michael T. Flynn. Flynn has been in hot water since the Washington Post reported he misled Vice President Mike Pence and others in the administration about conversations he had with Russia’s ambassador about U.S. sanctions prior to the inauguration. (Up-Date) Flynn resigned and WSJ reports this unlikely to quell congressional calls—especially from Democrats—for further investigations into ties between Russia and Mr. Trump’s team, while other are questioning Trump’s ties to Russia.
By SHANE HARRIS, The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON—Michael Flynn’s resignation Monday as Donald Trump’s national security adviser is unlikely to quell congressional calls—especially from Democrats—for further investigations into ties between Russia and Mr. Trump’s team.
“Gen. Flynn’s decision to step down…was all but ordained the day he misled the country about his secret talks with the Russian ambassador,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said Monday in a statement.
Mr. Flynn held a series of phone conversations in December with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., administration officials now say. The two men discussed U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia, and Mr. Flynn indicated to him that the U.S.-Russia relationship would improve during a Trump administration, according to current and former officials familiar with transcripts of the intercepted phone calls.
“But Flynn’s departure does not end questions over his contacts with the Russians, which have been alleged to have begun well before Dec. 29,” when the two men are known to have spoken, Mr. Schiff said. Dec. 29 also is the date then-President Barack Obama imposed new sanctions against Moscow for interfering in the 2016 U.S. election.
The House Intelligence Committee is conducting one of three congressional probes, and more are possible. Mr. Schiff and others said a key question is whether Mr. Flynn “was acting on the instructions of the president or any other officials, or with their knowledge.”
The White House has said Mr. Trump had no knowledge of the subject of Mr. Flynn’s calls to Mr. Kislyak. He denied the two discussed the issue of U.S. sanctions against Russia, but U.S. officials later disclosed they had.
House Committees Related to Intelligence Reacts
Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee — which is investigating the Trump campaign’s alleged contacts with Russia — said Flynn’s resignation was “all but ordained the day he misled the country about his secret talks with the Russian ambassador.””In fact, Flynn was always a poor choice for National Security Adviser, a role in which you need to be a consensus builder, and possess sobriety and steady judgment,” Schiff said in a statement. “It is certainly no role for someone who plays fast and loose with the truth.”
However, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, thanked Flynn for his “many years of distinguished service.” “Michael Flynn served in the U.S. military for more than three decades. Washington, D.C. can be a rough town for honorable people, and Flynn — who has always been a soldier, not a politician — deserves America’s gratitude and respect for dedicating so much of his life to strengthening our national security,” Nunes said in a statement.
Retired Army Gen. Keith Kellogg, a top policy adviser for Trump’s campaign, was appointed acting national security adviser, the White House said.
The following are
excerpts from Cosmopolitan about Flynn (source)
President-elect Donald Trump relied heavily on Flynn, a three-star general with 33 years of experience in the military, during his campaign, and had considered Flynn for the running mate job before selecting Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana. Flynn, 58, remained extremely loyal to Trump and has been rewarded for it.
NPR reported that Flynn texted and called Sergey Kislyak in December, actions that were confirmed by Trump’s incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer. According to Spicer, Kislyak texted Flynn to set up a call. Once they were on the phone, “the call centered around the logistics of setting up a call with the president of Russia and the president-elect after he was sworn in.” Even though the communications occurred around the time that the Obama administration expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the U.S. in response to Russia’s alleged interference in the election, Spicer said that Flynn and Kislyak did not talk about that.
According to the Washington Post, Flynn and Kislyak also discussed the United States’ sanctions against Russia in the month before Trump took office, contrary to the White House’s claims they never brought it up. Some senior officials believe this is a sign the Trump administration will loosen the sanctions the Obama administration placed against Russia for allegedly interfering in the U.S. election. A White House official told the Associated Press that Flynn “can’t be certain” he didn’t discuss sanctions, but he can’t recall ever talking about it. The FBI is currently investigating his communications with Kislyak.
“Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security,” the Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. said in July during his confirmation to be the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In an interview with NPR, Flynn seemed to agree, saying that enemies of the United States included, “certainly, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, countries like Cuba, certainly China.”
Yet Flynn traveled to Moscow on a paid trip in 2015, appearing on RT, Russia’s state-run news organization. He likened RT to CNN. “It was a paid speaking opportunity,” Flynn told the Washington Post. “I get paid so much.” Flynn was seated very close to Putin at a gala and called the symbolism of it “boring,” saying that he “didn’t have any problem” with the optics. According to Politico in May, Flynn had continued to make “semi-regular appearances on RT as an analyst.”
CNN reported on Thursday that Flynn’s son, Michael G. Flynn, has a tendency to post bogus news stories and bigoted statements on social media. The younger Flynn works for Flynn Intel Group and is his father’s chief of staff, according to CNN.
President Barack Obama nominated him to be the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency — the CIA of the Pentagon — in 2012.Flynn was forced to resign after two years in his post.
leaked emails revealed that former Secretary of State Colin Powell had asked why the now “right-wing nutty” Flynn was fired. “Abusive with staff, didn’t listen, worked against policy, bad management, etc.” Powell wrote.
Shortly after leaving the DIA, Flynn became a vocal critic of Obama. This was looked upon with disapproval by former colleagues.
Flynn started getting classified national security briefings over the summer while he was still consulting international clients on intelligence matters, according to Yahoo News. Flynn Intel Group also appears to be lobbying for the Turkish government and has reportedly been paid thousands of dollars for it. Flynn is also an ally of Palantir, the data analysis company co-founded by Peter Thiel, the Republican billionaire who took down Gawker and gave $1.25 million to the Trump campaign.
In a letter addressed to Vice President-elect Pence, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, who sits on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, wrote, “Lt. Gen. Flynn’s involvement in advising Mr. Trump on matters relating to Turkey or Russia — including attending classified briefings on those matters — could violate the Trump for America, Inc. Code of Ethical Conduct …” which promises that individuals working with Trump will “disqualify” themselves should there be any conflicts of interest.
Adm. Michael Mullen, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Washington Post in a statement that Flynn’s behavior in the election broke code (Mullen was equally critical of Clinton supporter retired Marine Corps General John Allen). “For retired senior officers to take leading and vocal roles as clearly partisan figures is a violation of the ethos and professionalism of apolitical military service.” Two retired officers told Vox that they found Flynn to be “unhinged.”
Flynn has broadly painted Islam as “a cancer” and has said that “Islam is a political ideology masked behind a religion,” shoehorning the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims together in language that The Intercept described as showing a “lack of precision,” the very critique Flynn had of Trump.
Flynn claims that as an intelligence officer in Iraq, he helped end abusive interrogation practices. “We were going by the book,” he told The Intercept.
But instead of renouncing the use of torture or the committing of war crimes, Flynn said this about Trump’s statements: “Here’s what a guy like Donald Trump is doing: He’s basically saying, ‘Hey, look, all options are on the table,’ and being very unpredictable in the face of a very determined enemy.” Human Rights Watch says that Flynn shows “a stunning contempt for the Geneva Conventions and other laws prohibiting torture.”
The Following is from Los Angeles Times
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) on Monday joined other California Democrats who have called for President Trump to fire his national security advisor, retired Gen. Michael T. Flynn.
Flynn has been in hot water since the Washington Post reported he misled Vice President Mike Pence and others in the administration about conversations he had with Russia’s ambassador about U.S. sanctions prior to the inauguration. The FBI is looking at Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to determine whether Flynn tried to undermine the Obama administration’s move to toughen sanctions against Moscow after concluding that Russia had tried to influence the outcome of the U.S. election, according to multiple news reports. Several California Democrats have called for Flynn to be suspended during the investigation, and fired if the allegations are true.