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Is Michael Flynn’s Defection a Death Blow?

Why did General Michael Flynn lie to the FBI about his December 2016 conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak?

Why did he not tell the FBI the truth?

As national security advisor to the president-elect, Flynn had called the ambassador. Message: Tell President Putin not to overreact to President Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats. Trump will be president in three weeks, and we are committed to a new relationship.

Not only was this initiative defensible, it proved successful.

Putin accepted the loss of his diplomats and country houses on Long Island and the Eastern Shore. Rather than expel U.S. diplomats in retaliation, he invited them and their families to the Kremlin’s New Year’s parties.

“Great move…(by V. Putin),” tweeted Trump, “I always knew he was very smart.”

This columnist concurred: “Among our Russophobes, one can hear the gnashing of teeth.”

“Clearly, Putin believes the Trump presidency offers Russia the prospect of a better relationship with the United States. He appears to want this, and most Americans seem to want the same. After all, Hillary Clinton, who accused Trump of being ‘Putin’s puppet,’ lost.”

Flynn, it now appears, was not freelancing, but following instructions. His deputy, K. T. McFarland, sent an email to six Trump advisors saying that Obama, by expelling the Russians, was trying to “box Trump in diplomatically.”

“If there is a tit-for-tat escalation,” warned McFarland, “Trump will have difficulty improving relations with Russia.” Exactly.

Flynn was trying to prevent Russian retaliation. Yet as the ex-director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, he had to know his call to Kislyak was being monitored and recorded.

So again, why would he lie to the FBI about a conversation, the contents of which were surely known to the people who sent the FBI to question him?

The other charge of lying about a call with Kislyak was Flynn’s request for Russian help in getting postponed or canceled a Security Council vote on a resolution denouncing Israeli settlements on the West Bank.

Obama’s White House was backing the anti-Israel resolution. And Bibi Netanyahu had asked Trump to weigh in to block the vote.

Bottom line: Flynn, acting on instructions, tried to prevent a U.N. condemnation of Israel, and to dissuade Russia from a mass expulsion of U.S. diplomats, lest this poison the well against a rapprochement for which the American people had voted.

In the court of public opinion, Flynn’s actions would find broad support. Rather than deny knowledge of them, Trump should have taken credit for them.

Why the general would lie to the FBI about conversations he had to know U.S. intelligence had recorded is a puzzling question, but now also an irrelevant one, water over the dam.

For Trump’s general is now the newly conscripted collaborator of the media-Mueller-Democrat-deep state conspiracy to overturn the election of 2016 and bring down the Trump presidency.

After 18 months, we have no evidence Trump colluded with Russia in hacking the emails of the DNC or John Podesta, which is what the FBI investigation was supposedly about.

There is no conclusive evidence Flynn committed a crime when, as national security advisor-designate, he tried to prevent Obama from sabotaging the policies Trump had run on—and won on.

Yet there is evidence Russian intelligence agents colluded with a British spy in the pay of the oppo research arm of the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign—to find dirt on Donald Trump.

And there is evidence that James Comey’s FBI wanted to hire the British spy who appeared to have access to the Russian agents who appeared to possess all that wonderful dirt on the Donald.

It is hard to see how this ends well.

This weekend, after Flynn’s admission that he lied to the FBI, Beltway media were slavering like Pavlov’s dogs at anticipated indictments and plea bargains by present and former White House aides, Trump family members, and perhaps Trump himself.

The joy on the TV talk shows was transparent.

Yet the media have already been badly damaged: first, by the relentless broadsides against them by Trump and cheering for those attacks by a huge slice of the country; second, by their reflexive reaction. The media have behaved exactly like the “enemy” Trump said they were.

In this us-versus-them country, the media now seem to relish the role of “them.” The old proud journalistic boast to be objective and neutral reporters, observers and commentators, is gone.

We are all partisans now.

As last Friday’s sudden 300-point drop in the Dow reveals, if Trump’s enemies bring him down, they will almost surely crash the markets and abort the recovery that took hold in his first year.

And if the establishment, repudiated by Trump’s victory, thinks they will be restored to the nation’s good graces if they destroy Trump, they are whistling past the graveyard.

When Caesar falls, the cheering for Brutus and Cassius tends to die down rather quickly. Then their turn comes.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

40 Comments (Open | Close)

40 Comments To "Is Michael Flynn’s Defection a Death Blow?"

#1 Comment By Youknowho On December 4, 2017 @ 10:31 pm

“The recovery that took place in his first year”

You mean the recovery that began in 2009?

#2 Comment By lenny On December 4, 2017 @ 10:45 pm

Why you hate America so much, you are willing to disseminate falsehoods?

#3 Comment By Whine Merchant On December 4, 2017 @ 11:37 pm

“Why the general would lie to the FBI about conversations he had to know U.S. intelligence had recorded is a puzzling question, but now also an irrelevant one, water over the dam.”

No – that IS the point, not “irrelevant”.
Perhaps he thought he was channelling Ollie North and would get the same Get Out Of Jail card.

#4 Comment By JEinCA On December 5, 2017 @ 12:17 am

Uncle Pat…I don’t know what to say except that if “they” take him down in this manner then the nation is finished. As it is it’s on life support and without the artificial life support our government would have collapsed long ago. If “they” take down Trump it’s over. That’s not to say I agree with all his policies or even that I think he’s a good President. If they take him down then it will be confirmation that We The People truly do not matter and our votes do not matter we have very little to no influence over our government and now the elites (both Republican and Democrat) who run this country are going to topple our President, void our votes and then rub our noses in it like a dog who soiled the rug.

There’s a rage inside of this American. I am furious beyond words and even though I am a Christian man I am tempted to hate my enemies (the globalist neolib/neocon elites) in this country. May God give me the strength to withstand that temptation and the wisdom and guidance to free our nation and our people from what is surely an “Occupation”.

#5 Comment By Victoria Saxon On December 5, 2017 @ 7:59 am

You state “Yet the media have already been badly damaged: first, by the relentless broadsides against them by Trump and cheering for those attacks by a huge slice of the country”… What HUGE slice of the country? Even the very best polls (which are disputed by a majority of others) only put that Huge slice at 42%. I don’t believe, that the vast majority of Americans are actually dumb enough to be taken in by Trump, but, if they are… then God help us all.

#6 Comment By collin On December 5, 2017 @ 8:44 am

And HRC is not in jail yet and it is unlikely they are going to prove the case. However, bubble liberals are working on their “Lock Him Up” chants.

TBH, we don’t know what Mike Flynn knows and he is one of the two people along with Manafort that could implicate the President outside of Trump’s family members, Kushner & Trump Jr. (I wonder if Mueller goes after Kushner hard here.)
1) This is not impeachment stuff yet.
2) It really looks like the Russians did everything they could support Donald Trump for President and Trump wants to reward them for their actions.
3) There are people that (Lawblog 6/30) that are on record of supporting Russia on stolen hacked DNC e-mails.

Although it is not proven in a court of law, the Trump approvals are not strong and this could dominate the elections of 2018 and 2020 much like HRC e-mails did.

#7 Comment By KD On December 5, 2017 @ 9:32 am

It all feels so Argentina 1941.

Impeach now, eliminate the legitimate elected president, put in someone illegitimate, and cripple the already ineffective and unresponsive government. . . that way the Officer Corp won’t have any resistance when they assume power.

Remember, the only way to prevent authoritarian take over is to stage an authoritarian take over. Freedom is slavery.

#8 Comment By Mario Diana On December 5, 2017 @ 9:43 am

[Flynn] had to know his call to Kislyak was being monitored and recorded.

So, why did he lie? I think it’s possible the president instructed him to do so. Or, he did it on his own, for the same reason. But, what could be the reason?

The incoming administration did not need the grief that would come from the sure to be leaked information that Flynn was on the phone with “the Russians”—the scare quotes indicating that this is a stand-in for “the bogeyman.” Hand-in-hand with this was the belief that the Trump administration would be able to weather the investigation (that was going nowhere) and then diffuse it, shutting it down completely (and justifiably). That overestimated the ability of the newly elected president to manage the situation.

The alternative is to believe that there was actual collusion with the Russians, Flynn knew about it, and yet somehow thought that he could lie to the FBI and see a legitimate investigation get shut down, ensuring that he could get away with a lie that would be immediately obvious to investigators.

I don’t find the alternative persuasive.

In short, there is no collusion. The Mueller investigation is now up to investigating something else, because it has to come up with something.

#9 Comment By Liam On December 5, 2017 @ 9:51 am

That “recovery” that purportedly began this year is … a bubble. It’s based entirely on an expectation of tax cuts, not fundamentals.

#10 Comment By Centralist On December 5, 2017 @ 9:55 am

Aren’t you classically against Wall Street and pro Main Street?

I get wanting to support the guy that seems to use your ideas yet his recent actions point to the fact he is a much a believer in them as Rob is a Hindu Rajput. You are doing yourself a disservice by protecting him in such a way. I dislike him because to me he challenges reality with his statements and if you tell him he is wrong you are a liar

#11 Comment By A DC Wonk On December 5, 2017 @ 10:06 am

This is hilarious. You’ve now completed the full circle! It goes like this:

1. There was no meeting
2. OK, there was a meeting, but they didn’t discuss sanctions
3. OK, they did discuss sanctions, but only in cursory vague terms.
4. OK, they were discussing policy, but that’s a good thing!

And _then_ you ask: why did they lie about it?!?

Yes — indeed — they repeatedly lied to reporters about it, and they allowed Pence’s false statements to stand for weeks.

This was a cover-up, a string of publicly verified deceptions.

What are they covering up? I guess we don’t know yet. But it sure doesn’t seem trivial, or else, as Buchanan suggests, they would have jumped to step #4 immediately. But the key thing here is: they didn’t. At least eight known high level Trump officials have lied about meeting Russians.

#12 Comment By William Dalton On December 5, 2017 @ 10:12 am

Justin Raimondo writes that the only show left to drop is not collusion between the Trump campaign and the government of Russia, but the government of Israel. How much do you want to bet all this quiets down and goes away?

#13 Comment By A Friend In PA On December 5, 2017 @ 10:15 am

So Flynn tries to do Israel a favor and ends up blowing up the Trump presidency.

Big lesson there for US politicians with national ambitions: “Avoid Israel like the plague. Israel will f*** you up good. It happened to Clinton. It happened to Bush II. It happened to Obama. And now it’s happening to Trump. Keep the Israel tar baby at a very safe distance, or it will f*** you up too.”

#14 Comment By Minnesota Mary On December 5, 2017 @ 10:41 am

The collusion of Trump’s team was not with Russia but with Netanyhu and Israel. News media doesn’t want to report that.

#15 Comment By Jonathan Shultz On December 5, 2017 @ 10:42 am

This is what is so infuriating about the whole charade. On the one hand is a man completely unfit for the office of POTUS there only because HRC was so hated (understandably so). The only weapon used to remove him is ginning up a new Cold War by the opponents. No one wins.

Kudos for the perspective here Pat, onions for constantly running to support a completely unfit occupant of the White House (as in the case of RMN, you have a history here).

#16 Comment By Dan Good On December 5, 2017 @ 10:44 am

“Why the general would lie to the FBI [is]… now also an irrelevant [question], water over the dam.” Why is it irrelevant? It may be the key to the whole mystery. Why DID he lie? And apparently he lied to Pence too. What exactly was his lie?

#17 Comment By John Clark On December 5, 2017 @ 11:07 am

Setting aside the highly partisan divide, Pat, I would really like to understand why intelligent people on the Right, even middle of the road Right, are motivated to support Donald Trump? I hope you will enlighten me. Thanks.

#18 Comment By To Be Clear On December 5, 2017 @ 11:34 am

I agree with Minnesota Mary. It now seems that the collusion was with Israel, not Russia.

Kushner (and maybe Trump) colluded with Israel to get Russia to shut down the vote on Israel’s West Bank settlements.

The investigation should now focus on money links between the Trump campaign and Israel. When he undermined US foreign policy, was Trump (or was Kushner) paying off Israel or Israeli interests?

#19 Comment By EarlyBird On December 5, 2017 @ 11:57 am

You’re smarter than this, Mr. Buchanan.

The very fact that Flynn lied to a federal prosecutor is hardly “water over the dam.” It’s exactly why he’s in trouble right now! Lying to the FBI during an investigation is, you know, kind of a thing.

Nor did the American people, including Trump’s supporters, vote for “rapprochement” with Russia. Trump’s bizarre bromance with Putin was just a weird sidebar to his entire campaign’s general weirdness, seen more of another “anything Obama is for I’m against” position to whip up the crowd.

Even if Trump voters had desired such a rapproachment, they were surely not for Russia, or any other foreign power, meddling with our elections, which is clearly, factually, what occurred.

To what ends? With what goal? With what level of success? With what, if any, coordination with the Trump team? Indeed, if there is no skullduggery, why exactly did Flynn lie to the FBI? Why all the other lies by Manafort, et al.?

Yes, no collusion has been found. Direct collusion is probably not what occurred. Putin probably has some dirt on Trump in regard to dirty money. Whatever the situation, it appears very strongly that our current president is deeply compromised by a hostile foreign power. Something very unhealthy is going on, Pat.

If not, why all the lies?

#20 Comment By One Guy On December 5, 2017 @ 12:40 pm

It amuses me how terrified people like Buchanan are of a President Pence. It really does. What does Buchanan know about Pence that we don’t? Is he a child molester or something? I should think Buchanan would be overjoyed at the prospect of Pence as president.

I guess a p*ssy-grabber is better than a Christian, eh, Pat?

#21 Comment By an old rayburnian On December 5, 2017 @ 12:59 pm

@EarlyBird — it looks more like Kushner/Israel collusion, possibly with Trump trying to cover for his son-in-law.

Mueller may be preparing to indict Kushner on what (if the reports are correct) is pretty obviously lying related to collusion with Israel to undermine US policy.

A family member like Kushner may know where some bodies are buried – especially a family member who enjoys such cozy relations with Netanyahu, Israeli intelligence, and Jewish organized crime. Come to think of it, he’s probably got a lot of tales to tell.

#22 Comment By Paul Clayton On December 5, 2017 @ 1:05 pm

This IS a coup, by Mueller and the Clinton/Obama deep state operatives. And the democrats are pushing hard, supporting, while many republicans are standing around with their hands in their pockets. What is clear to me, is that there is a ‘clear and present danger,’ namely the FBI and other deep state spook houses, attempting to do the bidding of the Clinton/Obama forces. We had Senator Schumer on camera, wondering why Trump would say hostile things about the FBI, as if they were the Bloods or Crips. We have the FBI investigating committee staffed with Clinton operatives, we have the knee-pad media as a Greek Chorus, wailing for Trump’s hide, we have the FBI REFUSING to cooperate with the Peoples’ House of Representatives. How the Trump-haters weighing in here cannot see this and how dangerous it all is to the our Republic is beyond me. I guess their Trump hatred has blinded them beyond help. Heaven help the rest of us!

#23 Comment By Andy On December 5, 2017 @ 1:11 pm

To extent that We The People is defined as we the non-college educated white people, yes, there will be widespread discontent. That train has already left the station, though, this is a much bigger country then the rural folks realize.

#24 Comment By Dr. Diprospan On December 5, 2017 @ 2:03 pm

Few believed in the victory of Donald Trump in Russia. Hacker attacks were undertaken to question the expected victory of Mrs. Clinton. But this is not surprising, since the Internet was originally created for the intelligence and defensive purposes of the CIA. When, unexpectedly for many, Donald Trump won in the presidential election, the enemy was able to twist the boomerang artfully backwards and hit two goals at once. Nevertheless, the current happy moment demonstrates the complete absence of an external threat for America. The split in the country, the internecine quarrels, the strange actions of the leaders, the investigations in the elite environment demonstrate that there is no external threat. In the face of a real threat, the principle of one-man management comes to the forefront. If Russia wants to support President Trump really seriously, she simply evacuates her remaining embassies from the US, will announce a general mobilization, the dispersal of the population from large cities. The authorities will announce a commissary hour for settlements and ban all opposition parties. The United States will be compelled to take similar steps and then the Supreme Commander will begin to bring order in the country with an iron hand …

#25 Comment By KD On December 5, 2017 @ 2:11 pm

If Mueller’s fishing expedition continues, and Trump is brought down on false pretenses (based on some BS “intelligence dossier” baked up by political opposition), that is going to have serious repercussions for the legitimacy of the federal government.

Given Congress’s inability to do anything that they either promised voters to do or anything that would do something good for the country, and add on another financial bubble burst, and do people seriously believe that the Officer’s Corp won’t start eyeing the prize for themselves?

They’ll do it because they fear someone else will do it first, and they’ll justify it based on the chaos that is being created today. Don’t kid yourself, unless you want to be free for the socialized helicopter rides. Just look at political history in Latin America if you think I am jiving.

#26 Comment By Dee On December 5, 2017 @ 2:15 pm

Mueller’s apparently combing over trumps finances now, tax returns next.. Occam’s razor has long suggested that the trumps have been cozy with russian oligarchs for a long time.. The russian oligarchs want a way to launder their money stolen from the russian people.. removing magnitsky act would aid this.. various US real estate types could make a fortune, especially if installed as our government.

#27 Comment By KD On December 5, 2017 @ 2:19 pm

Nixon: Involved in the cover up of a burglary committed by his campaign. Note the burglary actually happened.

Trump: Alleged to being blackmailed by the Kremlin based on a video of Russian prostitutes urinating on him. Note that this is a fantasy scenario of the Democrats and the Deep State, not a real event. So now Trump is “obstructing justice” by preventing investigation of allegations which are undeniable horse manure?

And you think that grown ups not suffering from TDS aren’t going to see this as a coup d’etat?

Mueller needs to turn over the video of Trump with the Russian prostitutes and the quid pro quo communication with the Kremlin, or he needs to close out this investigation and go back to lobbying.

#28 Comment By Roy Fassel On December 5, 2017 @ 2:33 pm

Buchanan is not rational. All of these investigations will likely show that since Trump went BK on a few ventures in NJ (how can anyone co BK with gambling operations?)…Trump had lost all hope of financing his Trump enterprises. It is highly likely that all or most of Trumps’ financing came from the Russian Mafia since then. Mueller is now going to get Trump’s tax returns and it will show exactly who got the interest payments. Trump’s operation is more than likely nothing more than a huge money-laundering operation of Russian Mafia money. That is what this is all going to come down to. Trump is a con man and really not up to the job and there is now much talk about his “mental health” situation.

#29 Comment By JEinCA On December 5, 2017 @ 2:50 pm

@EarlyBird

This is a joke right? AIPAC and the Saudis have most of Washington in it’s pocket yet we are to believe the Russians meddled in our government even though there is zero evidence for that. Do understand that we’ve basically declared war on Russia since they vetoed our plan for a No Fly Zone in Syria? It was after that Washington backed a coup de’tat in Ukraine to overthrow Yanukovich and install a pro-US puppet regime in Kiev. It was these hostile anti Russian actions on Russia’s borders that forced Putin to militarily retake Crimea (which is historically Russian). It was also Washington’s actions in Ukraine that touched off a bloody conflict in Donbass that has killed at least 10000 people. How would Washington react if Moscow did the same in Canada or Mexico? Lets also not forget American NGO’s overt meddling in Russian elections. The Russians did not meddle in our elections and if they are now a hostile foreign power it is due to Washington’s own hubris and misadventures on Russia’s borders and even inside Russia itself.

You are wrong about “rapprochement” with Russia. I am an American citizen who believes normalization of relations with Russia should be our number one foreign policy goal and there are millions of Americans who believe the same and voted for Trump believing they were voting for a sane foreign policy not controlled by globalist liberal idealists and neocon ideologues.

There is no factual evidence that Russian meddling occured but plenty of factual evidence of Israeli and Saudi meddling and collusion (unfortunately not only on Capitol Hill but in the White House itself).

Last but not least it is Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press are now under assault from powerful players both in the Government itself as well as the Media all in the name of combating this “alleged” Russian influence.

#30 Comment By Kenneth Almquist On December 5, 2017 @ 4:37 pm

The incoming administration did not need the grief that would come from the sure to be leaked information that Flynn was on the phone with “the Russians”

The problem with this explanation of why Flynn lied to the FBI is that Flynn didn’t plead guilty to lying about the existence of conversations with foreign governments; he pled guilty to lying about the content of those conversations. Specifically, he falsely claimed he hadn’t asked foreign governments to do anything. So he wasn’t lying about the existence of contacts with Russia and other foreign governments; he was lying about potential Hatch Act violations.

Also, where do you get the idea that Flynn’s statements to the FBI were, “sure to be leaked?” In fact they weren’t leaked; we only know about Flynn’s statements to the FBI because of the plea agreement.

#31 Comment By SteveJ On December 5, 2017 @ 4:58 pm

This kind of plea deal can do nothing to give Americans faith in the criminal justice system.

Perhaps Flynn has some knowledge in military matters (although maybe not.) He certainly is an imbecile on legal matters.

There’s plenty of people wearing badges who have no respect for the badges they’re wearing. And when you give a voluntary interview to cops, and get asked irrelevant although sensitive questions, here’s what you say:

“I’ll talk to your higher ups in a more formal setting. A deposition or court with my lawyer present. You are obviously buffoons who are not on a sincere mission. I don’t trust you. And you don’t deserve to have the badge you’re wearing.”

All right, I wouldn’t actually say the last 3 sentences. Just the first two. I’d be thinking the last 3.

#32 Comment By cdugga On December 5, 2017 @ 5:15 pm

I am trying to decide which movie I want to see and have decided that both should be made. In one movie american deep state operatives collude with democratic politicos to build a false narrative of russian collusion with the don’s empire. The twist in that movie, is that all along the don and his family are presented as sort of the good old american royalty next door, and at the end of the movie we find out that the false narrative turns out to be true, and the bad guys win by losing. Or the good guys lose by winning? In the other movie, I refer to Fassel above. In both movies the don is nuts, so there will be that historical accuracy if nothing else. Trump theater is just the best.

#33 Comment By storig On December 5, 2017 @ 5:54 pm

JEinCA:
You are not alone in how you feel. This country has been brought to its knees by these people and it’s surely lights out if they bring down our President. God help us all if that happens.

#34 Comment By Steve Gibson On December 5, 2017 @ 6:56 pm

Picking one assertion to dispute, you wrote, “After 18 months, we have no evidence Trump colluded with Russia in hacking the emails of the DNC or John Podesta, which is what the FBI investigation was supposedly about.” That assertion is true but narrow. Trump is not personally implicated in any evidence, but many news reports with anonymous sources implicate the Trump campaign. Trump’s behavior makes it implausible that anything so significant would have been happening in his campaign without him ever being told, and so is the distinction you are clinging to.

#35 Comment By GEDDES On December 5, 2017 @ 7:09 pm

Pat was spot on in 2003 he remains so today. Lenny asks he (Pat) hates America au contraire. He loves America and is willing to take the slings and arrows of being a truth teller. Look at Phil Giraldi TAC fired him for about the same reason. Please bring Phil back

“The War Party may have gotten its war. But it has also gotten something it did not bargain for. Its membership lists and associations have been exposed and its motives challenged. In a rare moment in U.S. journalism, Tim Russert put this question directly to Richard Perle: ‘Can you assure American viewers … that we’re in this situation against Saddam Hussein and his removal for American security interests? And what would be the link in terms of Israel?’ Suddenly, the Israeli connection is on the table, and the War Party is not amused. Finding themselves in an unanticipated firefight, our neoconservative friends are doing what comes naturally, seeking student deferments from political combat by claiming the status of a persecuted minority group. People who claim to be writing the foreign policy of the world superpower, one would think, would be a little more manly in the schoolyard of politics. Not so. Former Wall Street Journal editor Max Boot kicked off the campaign. When these ‘Buchananites toss around neoconservative—and cite names like Wolfowitz and Cohen—it sometimes sounds as if what they really mean is ‘Jewish conservative.’ Yet Boot readily concedes that a passionate attachment to Israel is a ‘key tenet of neoconservatism.’ He also claims that the National Security Strategy of President Bush ‘sounds as if it could have come straight out from the pages of Commentary magazine, the neocon bible.’ (For the uninitiated, Commentary, the Bible in which Boot seeks divine guidance, is the monthly of the American Jewish Committee.)”

#36 Comment By Saul Goodman On December 5, 2017 @ 7:35 pm

Did you guys know we were in a recession last year???

Also I love that Pat has the balls to reference KT McFarland’s emails while leaving out the part where she says “If there is a tit-for-tat escalation, Trump will have difficulty improving relations with Russia which has just thrown U.S.A. election to him.”

Not that I think McFarland was within the inner circle, but it’s a great example of how EVEN TRUMP’S OWN PEOPLE thought that Russia meddled to help him win.

#37 Comment By EarlyBird On December 5, 2017 @ 7:48 pm

JEinCA: There is no doubt that Russia meddled in our elections. It’s not a matter of vote tampering, but a massive campaign by Moscow to insert false news damaging to HRC and helpful to Trump. This has been determined.

It is because of anti-Russian maneuvers the US has made since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the ones you decry, which has made Russia so hostile against us. Nonetheless, that was the state of affairs when Trump took office, and for him to have so many weird, secret contacts with the Kremlin which so many then lied about demands an investigation.

And I strongly believe that the Mueller investigation will not so much uncover acts if treachery or organized collusion by Trump, but decades of money laundering and other illegal financial activities. THAT is what keeps the Donald up all night.

#38 Comment By JEinCA On December 6, 2017 @ 1:01 am

You know what keeps me “Up All Night” Early Bird? It’s the thought that our arrogant political class (on both the Democrat and Republican side) will actually start a hot war with a nuclear armed Russia. I am a father with three children and I know that if it wasn’t for the Grace of God combined with the wisdom and restraint of senior officials in both Washington and Moscow none of us would have survived the last Cold War. The New Cold War is completely unnecessary and the blame for which lies completely on the hubris of the American side after 1991. All of us should thank the Almighty for the wisdom and restraint of the Russian side (and Vladimir Putin in particular) since the caper our government in Washington pulled in Ukraine four years ago otherwise we’d be in WWIII right now if we weren’t already dead after a nuclear holocaust. Don’t forget that after the Turks (NATO members) shot down that Russian warplane in Syria two years back we were just a step away from a real war with Russia had the Russians retaliated (which was their right) and article 5 of the NATO Charter had been invoked we would be at war with Russia.

For what are we playing this dangerous game with the Russians? For Ukraine which was for much of it’s history has been spiritually, culturally and politically connected to Russia for the better part of a 1000 years? For Syria who’s legitimate government asked for Russian help in their battle against OUR ENEMIES (at least supposedly) Al Qaeda and ISIS? Tell me why do we need conflict with the Russians? Who’s interests does it serve? Does it serve the interests of the average American? Our tensions with Russia endanger the lives of every man woman and child in this country. So I ask again who’s interests does conflict with Russia serve?

In many ways Russia is the last European Christian nation. It is what Western nations once were. It is unapologetically Orthodox Christian and it is certain of itself, it’s civilization, it’s culture and traditions , it’s history and it’s people. We don’t need war with Russia. We need to learn from Russia if we wish to save our own civilization.

#39 Comment By SteveJ On December 6, 2017 @ 12:28 pm

It strikes me there can be a reluctance to have your name associated with calls to other diplomats about sensitive matters even though those calls are entirely proper.

If a document is leaked about the calls that’s one thing. If a document is leaked showing you talking about the calls to somebody else, that tends to create a bad aura when dealing with diplomats in the future.

I think most people know by now that the calls between Flynn and Kislyak were recorded. There was nothing wrong with the calls. They had no relevancy to any investigation. They could not have been asked in a deposition or court room setting for that reason. The F.B.I. had transcripts of the calls. Flynn knew the F.B.I. had transcripts of the calls. And perhaps most troubling, the F.B.I. knew the calls were not relevant to an investigation.

I think what you have here is a case where Flynn voluntarily gave a meeting. He found the meeting to be pretty benign. And he found the questions on the 2 phone calls to be the most insignificant part of the interview. Although he did find them to be of a sensitive diplomatic nature.

He didn’t voluntarily have this meeting to perpetrate a hoax, and he didn’t anticipate this utterly farcical outcome from the meeting.

#40 Comment By William Foster On December 6, 2017 @ 5:00 pm

Just as the gun lobby tends to elide the first half of the 2nd Amendment, Pat hilariously forgot the second half of McFarland’s emailed sentence. Allow me.

“…Trump will have difficulty improving relations with Russia, which has just thrown U.S.A. election to him.”