Trump, Bannon Said To Weigh Firing Mike Flynn Over Russian Phone Calls Scandal

Tyler Durden's picture

Top White House aide and policy adviser, Stephen Miller, sidestepped repeated chances during Sunday news shows to publicly defend embattled National Security Adviser Michael Flynn following reports that he engaged in conversations with Russian diplomat(s) about U.S. sanctions before Trump’s inauguration. The uncertainty came as Trump was dealing with North Korea’s apparent first missile launch of the year and his presidency, along with visits this week from the leaders of Israel and Canada.

Pressed repeatedly, Stephen Miller said it wasn’t up to him to say whether the president retains confidence in Flynn. “It’s not for me to tell you what’s in the president’s mind,” he said on NBC. “That’s a question for the president.”

While Trump has yet to comment on the allegations against Flynn, the White House said in an anonymous statement Friday the president had full confidence in Flynn. But officials have been mum since then amid fallout from reports that Flynn addressed U.S. sanctions against Russia in a phone call late last year. The report, which first appeared in The Washington Post, contradicted both Flynn’s previous denials, as well as those made by Vice President Mike Pence in a televised interview.

Now we know why the administration has been so quiet about the fate of Flynn. As the WSJ reports, the White House is reviewing "whether to retain Flynn amid a furor over his contacts with Russian officials before President Donald Trump took office, an administration official said Sunday." Flynn has apologized to White House colleagues over the episode, which has created a rift with Vice President Mike Pence and diverted attention from the administration’s message to his own dealings, the official said.

“He’s apologized to everyone,” the official said of Mr. Flynn.

Still, the WSJ concedes that Trump’s views toward the matter aren’t clear. In recent days, he has privately told people the controversy surrounding Mr. Flynn is unwelcome, after he told reporters on Friday he would “look into” the disclosures.  At the same time, Trump also has said he has confidence in Mr. Flynn and wants to “keep moving forward,” a person familiar with his thinking said. Close Trump adviser Steve Bannon had dinner with Mr. Flynn over the weekend, according to another senior administration official, and Bannon’s view is to keep him in the position but “be ready” to let him go, the first administration official said.

The paper also adds that Jard Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, hadn’t yet weighed in on Flynn's future yet as of Sunday evening.

For those who may not have followed the story, Flynn initially said that in a conversation Dec. 29 with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, he didn’t discuss sanctions imposed that day by the outgoing Obama administration, which were levied in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Flynn now concedes that he did, administration officials said, after transcripts of his phone calls show as much. He also admits he spoke with the ambassador more than once on Dec. 29, despite weeks of the Trump team’s insisting it was just one phone call, officials said.

If Flynn had promised any easing of sanctions once Mr. Trump took office, he may have violated a law that prohibits private citizens from engaging in foreign policy, legal experts have said. That would mark the first instance of a person close to Mr. Trump found to have inappropriate links to Russia, a subject U.S. officials have been investigating for months.

U.S. intelligence services routinely intercept and monitor conversations with Russian diplomats, officials have said. While the transcripts of the conversations don’t show Mr. Flynn made any sort of promise to lift the sanctions once Mr. Trump took office, they show Flynn making more general comments about relations between the two countries improving under Mr. Trump, people familiar with them said.

Flynn's alleged lies have angered VP Mike Pence, who in television interviews vouched for Flynn, administration officials said. Pence and Flynn spoke twice on Friday, one official said quoted by the WSJ.

Reince Priebus is leading the Trump administration's review of Flynn.

Some administration officials are hopeful Mr. Flynn would resign on his own, a person familiar with the matter said. Some people close to Mr. Trump already are speculating on possible successors, including retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who advised Mr. Trump during the campaign and who is chief of staff of the National Security Council.

 

Jettisoning Mr. Flynn might end one controversy, but would potentially feed perceptions of a disorganized White House, some people close to Mr. Trump said. That’s one reason the White House might be hesitant to cut ties to Mr. Flynn, they added.

Meanwhile, Democrats smell blood and want Flynn out immediately.

As pressure built on White House officials, Democrats on Sunday pressed for an independent investigation into Mr. Flynn’s conversations with Russia’s ambassador.

 

“Either he was lying about discussing it or he forgot,” said Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.), speaking Sunday on CNN. ”You don’t want a guy in either of those scenarios to be in that position.”

Franken has also called for an independent investigation into the Trump campaign’s and the administration’s ties to Russia, citing allegations of Kremlin interference in the 2016 U.S. election and Mr. Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, as candidates have done since the 1970s. “We don’t know what [Mr. Trump] owes Russia,” Mr. Franken said. “We don’t know how many Russian oligarchs have invested in his business.” At the same time Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.), who lead the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subpanel on crime and terrorism, already have launched an investigation of Russia’s efforts to influence the U.S. election.

While the situation remains liquid, two things are certain: Trump will have a "kneejerk response" tweet momentarily, and the market will interpret this latest tremor inside the White House as even more bullish.

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lolmao500's picture

Kick him out then arrest his ass then launch a full on counter espionnage investigation... the guy is dirty to the bone... he probably has soviet union flag tatoos

Deathrips's picture

Seal the borders for a color revolution antidote.

 

RIPS

Zer0head's picture

fuck this timing sucks

Prince Justin Trudeau meets Donald Monday, will he be punching bag distraction or embraced as a misguided youth whom Donald thinks he can mentor?

kliguy38's picture

Trump HE IS YOUR BEST MAN.....you fire him and you are an idiot

Sanity Bear's picture

I don't see any substance here, just more media people who think the opinion of other media people is like the most importantest thing evar.

InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture

Fuck mike pence that Koch breath traitor

uno's picture

WSJ is neo-con propaganda.  So many RINO scum leaking (lying) to make President Daddy (Milo words) look bad.  Dont buy any of it.

Keyser's picture

Pfft, WSJ = Fake News... No different from the rest of the 4th estate, all in the bag of the globalist zionists... 

brianshell's picture

Keep Flynn. Dump Priebus.

FreezeThese's picture

That's the only plausible outcome if they want to continue running with Donna and VP not knowing about it ... which is another one of their lies ... but on the surface a clean break concedes it's true ... as with many of this admins arguments [voter fraud, media not covering terrorism, etc] it's a lose lose

Tarzan's picture

Until they release the transcript, I'm convinced the conversation was,

about grandchildren and golf and such — and did not touch on the sanctions placed on Russia......

barndoor's picture

Well - no one can say it wasn't a good run.  Flynn's level professionalism merited a solid 3 weeks in the position.

First of many in this administration to be laid low by incompetence.  

BerlinBerlin1's picture

It's on Breitbart as well.

 

wanglee's picture

Not only democrats rigged Primary to elect Clinton as presidential candidate last year even though she has poor judgement (violating government cyber security policy) and is incompetent (her email server was not secured) when she was the Secretary of State, and was revealed to be corrupt by Bernie Sanders during the Primary, but also democrats encourage illegal immigration, discourage work, and fraud young voters with free college/food/housing/health care/Obama phone.
However middle class/working class used their common senses voting against her last November. Therefore I am not impressed with the “integrity” and “judgement” of democrats, Anti-Trump protesters, and media who donated/endorsed Clinton during presidential election.

When the Clintons Loved Russia Enough to Sell Them Our Uranium (http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/07/25/flashback-cli...)
Wikileaks: Clinton Foundation Chatter with State Dept on Uranium Deal with Russia (http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/10/08/wikileaks-putting-on-...)
Russian officials donated $$$ to Clinton Foundation for Russian military research (http://www.breitbart.com/radio/2016/12/16/schweizer-insecure-left-wants-...)
HILLARY CAMPAIGN CHIEF LINKED TO MONEY-LAUNDERING IN RUSSIA (HTTP://WWW.WND.COM/2016/10/HILLARY-CAMPAIGN-CHIEF-LINKED-TO-MONEY-LAUNDE...)
Cashing in: Illegal immigrants get $1,261 more welfare than American families, $5,692 vs. $4,431 (http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/cashing-in-illegal-immigrants-get-1261...)
DEA Report Shows Infiltration of Mexican Drug Cartels in Sanctuary Cities (http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2015/09/08/dea-report-shows-infiltration-...)
Welfare Discourages Work(http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/04/27/the-science-is-settle...)
Hillary Clinton Says Bernie Sanders's “Free College” Tuition Plan Is All a Lie (http://www.teenvogue.com/story/clinton-says-sanders-free-tuition-wont-wo...
Bill Clinton Impeachment Chief Investigator: I’m ‘Terrified’ of Hillary because we know that there were “People” who “Disappeared” (http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/10/30/exclusive-bil...)
Former FBI Asst. Director Accuses Clintons Of Being A "Crime Family" (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-30/former-fbi-asst-director-accuse...)
FBI boss Comey's 7 most damning lines on Clinton (http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/05/politics/fbi-clinton-email-server-comey-da...).
Aides claiming she “could not use a computer,” and didn’t know her email password– New FBI docs (https://www.rt.com/usa/360528-obama-implicated-clinton-email/).
23 Shocking Revelations From The FBI’s Clinton Email Report (http://dailycaller.com/2016/09/02/23-shocking-revelations-from-the-fbis-...)
DOJ grants immunity to ex-Clinton staffer who set up email server (http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/02/politics/hillary-clinton-email-server-just...)
Former House Intelligence Chairman: I’m ‘100 Percent’ Sure Hillary’s Server Was Hacked (http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/11/06/former-house-...)
Exclusive — Gen. Mike Flynn: Hillary Clinton’s Email Setup Was ‘Unbelievable Active Criminal Behavior’ (http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/11/06/exclusive-gen...)
Clinton directed her maid to print out classified materials (http://nypost.com/2016/11/06/clinton-directed-her-maid-to-print-out-clas...)
Obama lied to the American people about his secret communications with Clinton(http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/president-barack-obama-hillary-email-...)
Former U.S. Attorney General, John Ashcroft: FBI didn’t ‘clear’ Clinton (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFYQ3Cdp0zQ)
The largest source of Trump campaign funds is small donors giving under $200 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-self-fund_us_57fd4556e4...)
How mega-donors helped raise $1 billion for Hillary Clinton (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-mega-donors-helped-raise-1-b...)
Final newspaper endorsement count: Clinton 57, Trump 2 (http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/304606-final-news...)
Journalists shower Hillary Clinton with campaign cash (https://www.publicintegrity.org/2016/10/17/20330/journalists-shower-hill...)

Zorba's idea's picture

consider your self upvoted for every link!  carry on

earleflorida's picture

great stuff

"Good Digging" kind sir

 

Latina Lover's picture

WSJ and WAPO are fake news. When it comes to opposing Donald Trump, they will lie endlessly. Remember how they predicted Hillary's odds of winning were over 85%, LOL.

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

It really all depends on the content of the conversation. Flynn could have told the Russian diplomat(s) that he looked forward to improved relations between the two countries. This cannot possibly be construed as private citizen engaging in foreign policy. It is simply echoing what Trump said repeatedly both before and after the election.

At the other end of the continuum, Flynn could have been arranging an elaborate schedule of specific modifications to various sanctions in order to front run them and profit hugely.

The problem is that, from what I can see, there's not much here to go on as far as evidence is concerned. We have "reports" from various MSM outlets and a vague reference to conversation transcripts about which we know nothing.

Given the exaggerated claims and extreme boy-who-cried-wolfism exhiibited by the MSM since election day, I'm going to have to call this fake news until proven otherwise.

bh2's picture

They should ask the Russian ambassador if he objects to releasing the transcripts and do so if he does not. Let the public decide whether what was said is "conducting foreign policy" or not. And put this to bed one way or the other.

Keyser's picture

The "phone call" has already been hashed over by the intelligencia and they found nothing adverse about the conversation... If they had, this would have blown up some time ago... The 4th estateis just floating old stories trying to get some traction... Nothing to see here, move along... 

HowdyDoody's picture

"conducting foreign policy"? You mean, like McCain and Graham with their trips to offer support for Ukraine Neo-Nazis and ISIS?

DrZipp's picture

Oh ffs they were talking about their grandchildren.  Perfectly innocent really.

Amicus Curiae's picture

good points

and i wonder..

how many of the bilderberg lot some of whom are govvy n fringe of will be hauled over for the same shit?

none?

yeah

caconhma's picture

Mr. Flynn is a fucking incompetent idiot. He was in-charge of US military intelligence and did not know that during the last 75 years all contacts and conversations with Russian diplomats were recorded. 

No wonder that the USA did not win any war after WWII. It is the high noon to rebuild the Pentagon and the entire US arm-forces.

earleflorida's picture

i suppose...[?] (half what [don't even believe half of that] you see, and absolutely nothing you hear)

but, never a word about Iraq supporting candidates from both parties with huge donations pre-911 to help in lifting sanctions. saddam gave bush#43 100% controll of LUK oil but that wasn't enough. Bush baby wanted war, and didn't give a fuck about terrorism, because we were the terrorist!?!

yeah, they took the money and still destroyed Iraq because Saddam had all the evidence on the al-Qaeda's financers/logistic supporters and most terrorist orgs..? Mossad and the Jordanians have nothing on the Saddam's of Iraq!

but Russia[?],... we can't have any of that.

Russia is to the Iraqi's 'Intel', the best-of-best for having the dirt on every coackroach in the world and where they hide.  

Saddam is no moar, but the secrets still lay dormant for another day. you get what i say 'GID/CIA of Saudi Arabia.

Bush #43 should be in prison with Colin Powell, and Tenet should be strung up by the balls!!! for letting 911 happen.

WTF has Russia don to deserve sanctions to begin with!?!

a non-starter   ((you go Flynn:))

WTF!

lew1024's picture

9-11 was a false flag operation by the US CIA and Israeli Mossad. Nobody who looks at the evidence can doubt that. Begin with Architects and Engineers for 9-11 Truth if you haven't looked at the evidence.

Tenet didn't 'let it happen', Tenet made it happen.

TruthHunter's picture

Isn't the wrong story being reported here?

Story should be; rogue agency taps nominees'

phone, then double crosses new executive branch.

gaoptimize's picture

Another reason to clean up the deep state-infested 3-letters and PARDON SNOWDEN.

jeff montanye's picture

what does flynn not know about it's the coverup not the crime?  maybe the once caught thief is the most honest man but flynn better come up with some good ideas, not just obedience, to justify his retention.

WillyGroper's picture

guess he didn't consult with helliary then, huh?

boattrash's picture

Speaking of which...

“Either he was lying about discussing it or he forgot,” said Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.), speaking Sunday on CNN. ”You don’t want a guy in either of those scenarios to be in that position.”

WTF? Hillary has not been able to recall jack-shit about the last 40 fucking years of her life (while being investigated/questioned anyway).

RevIdahoSpud3's picture

I caught that as well. Franken was "elected" after months and months of Demonrats finding missing voting boxes mysteriously stashed in the trunks of cars. Go figure. Can he be put on an eventual hit list along with Soros and Lindsey Gramnesty?

XWeatherman's picture

Speculation, as is indicated by the "if" quotation from the unnamed (anonymous) "official".

.

More of that Fake News that we have been hearing about lately.

HowdyDoody's picture

Everything from the western MSM should be deemed fake until proven otherwise.

SoDamnMad's picture

I talks (no idea who initiated the call) about opening up communication with the Russians and they bring up sanctions AND IT IS HIS FAULT. WTF

What is he suppose to say, "we can't talk about that, you didn't say the word , SANCTIONS,  I can't discuss this that or somethign else.  

More media shit.

caconhma's picture

The USA cannot have TWO Presidents at the same time. Such situation can only take place during a civil war.

FreezeThese's picture

Bannon's making a solid run at it tho

ebworthen's picture

Yes Sanity Bear, no substance, tell the media to go suck a dry bone.

Jeebus!  Russian is not our enemy!  They are out best ally in the West!

ThinkOn's picture

5th comment from top references a Flynn hit piece in "The American Conservative".  Even a perfuctory level of research supports the view that "The American Conservative" is, at best, an abject contradiction in terms.  This is not a reputable source of facts, analysis, or opinions. 

herbivore's picture

The author of the article was a foreign policy advisor to the Ron Paul for President campaign. Pretty good bona fides in my book.

herbivore's picture

As well, the article never once mentions the controversy surrounding Flynn's phone call with the Russian ambassador, which I see as much ado about nothing. That phone call is not the issue. 

herbivore's picture

Did all the downvoters bother to read the article? I found it to be well-reasoned analysis of Flynn, even though it contradicted my preconceived ideas. 

lolmao500's picture

His best man? LOL what are you smoking?

phaedrus1952's picture

The ongoing parade of MSM-generated targets is the best indicator of who is the most adept in Trump's circle as well as who the most traitorous players are.

TekCEO's picture

Agreed,  and the left's favourite tactic is to undermine the supporters of their target.  This General is gold and the NYT and CNN shitheads  will be all over him. It's  politics -- don't be misled  

Gold_Member's picture

Yeah right.  One General James Mattis is the best man in this administration.  Head and shoulders over Flynn.  I'd like a president who is loyal to a point, but absolutely intollerant of illegal activity in his administration.  Give him the axe!  Put a Marine in his place!

TahoeBilly2012's picture

Al Franken needs to be shot into space.

wee-weed up's picture

 

 

Al Franken needs to be flushed down the toilet...

Where he belongs - with the rest of the turds from his big MSM diaper load.