Update: 8 pm, West Coast time: National Security Adviser Michael Flynn Resigns
Gen. Keith Kellogg appointed Acting National Security Adviser.
Do We Really Want a Nationally Security Advisor Who Makes Surreptitious Calls to Our Biggest Opponent and Can’t Remember What Was Said?
Why did the Russian Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, stay on the call, knowing that it was illegal for Flynn to discuss sanctions, and unauthorized and unmonitored by the US government at the time? Does this suggest Kislyak may have thought this might be a useful blackmail incident? The Ambassador clearly told the whole call to Putin, or played the translation for him. Why didn’t Flynn do the same for Trump, or did he?
Update after evening news: The Department of Justice and the FBI have been investigating whether Flynn’s call could have made him vulnerable to blackmail. The Trump administration was told of this the day before they took office. It’s reassuring to know that the FBI and its Director Comey, are independent of politics, and would never do public shaming on anyone, whether they have been charged with a crime or not.
Or, did president-elect Trump really know what the call was about, in which case, he would have conspired in an illegal call. In any case, it is more impeachable for Trump than Clinton’s denial of a relationship with a woman. National Security Advisor did not need confirmation by the Senate. Trump can fire him in an instant. Is this Trump’s Bridgegate? Never being accused because there is no evidence of it.
Does Flynn make calls now with the pre-advice of our State Department and our National Security Council, and are they both monitoring and recording such calls, or are Flynn and Trump still winging it alone? Are they still doing calls alone because Trump doesn’t trust anyone, including our intelligence services?
Update after dinner news: Apparently Trump is still making calls without clearing or monitoring them with the National Security Council.
Update about Trump, Clinton, and National Security: After four solid years of the Republican Congress and Fox News questioning the security of Clinton’s private email server, we find pictures of President Trump showing off at dinner at Mar-a-Lago responding to the launching of a mid-range missile by North Korea. He is in public and talking on a cell phone. Was it a secret Blackberry? Was the National Security Council being consulted? This security breach is irony, or hypocracy, or both. Congressional investigation? that’s a joke. Fox News? We will see. Did they stay for the frogs legs?
Were translators present on both sides of the call? It is diplomatically dangerous for either side to speak in a language not that of their country, and usually not allowed, just because there might be serious misunderstandings. The translators not only have excellent memories, but probably record their notes later, or as they are translating.
Like when Trump tweeted calling Japanese Prime Minister Abe as Prime Minister Shinzo. That’s like calling our president, President Donald. And when Trump crushed PM Abe’s hand, not knowing that in Japan, bowing is the usual greeting. Trump could not do this, since the right wing strongly criticized President Obama for bowing to Japanese Emperor Akihito in 2009.
Is it good presidenting for President Donald to keep anybody in the administration who goes off making foreign diplomatic calls on his own, without even informing the President? Much less, the National Security Advisor? If Trump does not fire him now, knowing what he knows, all the blame for any future breaches will be squarely on Trump’s shoulders.