Paul Ryan is doing his best to put lipstick on the Michael Flynn pig:
>@SpeakerRyan on WH-Flynn: “As soon as they realized they were being misled by [Flynn], they asked for his resignation.”
— John Bresnahan (@BresPolitico) February 14, 2017
This is, of course, a
falsehood untruth fib evasion flimsy lie. Three separate news organizations—the Washington Post, NBC News, and the AP—have confirmed that the White House was told about this at least two weeks ago. They did nothing. But when the Post made the story public, Flynn was fired within hours. That’s all they cared about.
The point of shrugging off the Flynn affair is to head off calls for further investigation. Jason Chaffetz, who never met a Hillary Clinton rumor that he couldn’t spin into months of congressional testimony, says blandly that the Flynn affair is “taking care of itself.” Chris Collins says Republicans are staying quiet about Flynn because it’s Valentine’s Day. Seriously. Donald Trump himself says the “real story” is that there’s been so much leaking about his administration.
Nope. The real story is what Trump knew and when he knew it. And not just about Flynn, but about the entire Russian hacking affair. If congressional Republicans really believe there’s nothing there, they should be eager to investigate in order to clear the air. Obviously, that’s not what they believe.
David Corn has more here on why the Flynn story isn’t done—and neither is the need for an investigation of Flynn and his contacts with Russia.
UPDATE: Not everyone is taking such a lackadaisical approach to this story:
The strongest support for Flynn came from Moscow on Tuesday morning. Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Russian foreign affairs committee, said he did not deserve to lose his job and lashed out at Trump for allowing Flynn to resign. “Either Trump hasn’t found the necessary independence and he’s been driven into a corner,” he said. “Or Russophobia has permeated the new administration from top to bottom.”
It’s good to see that Flynn still has some friends left.