The resignation of General Michael Flynn after only 24 days as national security advisor over secret conversations with a Russian diplomat may only be the beginning of a wider scandal.
As the White House considers a new national security advisor, and the debate now is centered on whether Flynn’s undisclosed talks concerned sanctions, and whether he was acting ‘rogue’, the controversy may not simply end with a resignation.
National security is in question here.
Last week, the Washington Post revealed that Flynn and Kislyak had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia in the leading up to Trump’s inauguration as president, despite assurances from Flynn and Pence that sanctions were never discussed with Russian officials.
Flynn has assumed responsibility, with his resignation, as a rogue actor in this scenario, claiming to have kept Vice-President Pence in the dark.
Trump supporters are shifting the scandal to one of wiretapping and leaks, focusing on the press leaks that uncovered the wiretaps of Flynn’s conversations with Russian diplomat Sergei Kislyak.
“I expect for the FBI to tell me what is going on, and they better have a good answer,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), told the Washington Post. Nunes was a member of the Trump transition team executive committee. Related: Trump’s First Law Removes Transparency Rule For Big Oil
“The big problem I see here is that you have an American citizen who had his phone calls recorded,” said Nunes.
On the other side of this deepening national security debate, which has conjured up talk of treason, Foreign Policy magazine noted today that “The Trump administration no doubt hopes that by firing Flynn, it can signal he was acting alone, that he “went rogue.” But without a credible, thorough investigation into what transpired before the election, it is impossible to know if Flynn was following the administration’s playbook and whether Trump or his administration is guilty of something much more serious.”
By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
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