19:40 GMT +313 December 2019
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    Michael Flynn Scandal: Why Won't It Go Away?

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    The lingering brouhaha over former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's relationship with Russia received a second life after former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified in Congress.

    She swore under oath that she warned Trump early on that Flynn was supposedly lying about his conversation with the Russian Ambassador and that Moscow was allegedly aware of this, therefore making one of the US’ top security experts theoretically vulnerable to blackmail. Around the same time as her statement, former President Barack Obama also came out to say that he too warned Trump about Flynn. The Mainstream Media narrative has now feverishly obsessed over why Trump hired Flynn in the first place, and not only that, but why he didn’t fire him right away after Yates’ urgent warning.

    White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer earlier dismissed Obama’s warning by asking why the then-sitting President didn’t revoke Flynn’s security clearance if he was genuinely concerned that there was a potential problem. Spicer’s comment alluded to what many Trump supporters have said about Obama’s statement, and it’s that it was politically motivated because the Commander in Chief had fired Flynn two years ago, and the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency had become an embarrassing liability for the “deep state” after publicly criticizing the former administration for not doing more to stop the birth and spread of Daesh. As for why Trump waited a while on whether to fire Flynn or not, he wanted the internal investigation to conclude before he made a decision. When it was time to do so, Trump accepted that Flynn did nothing illegal, but took issue with how he misled Vice President Pence, whether deliberately or not.

    President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, as Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., listen
    © AP Photo / Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Image
    There are several competing, though not mutually exclusive explanations, for why the Flynn scandal is once again returning to the limelight. One idea posits that the “deep state” wants to pressure Trump against any prospective anti-terrorist cooperation with Russia and ruin the chances for a meeting between him and President Putin, thereby destroying his “New Détente” plans. Another theory argues that certain forces want to press Trump to give more concessions to his political opponents in exchange for relief from this scandal. And finally, the most dramatic explanation is that Trump’s enemies are setting him up for an impeachment trial sometime down the line on the speculated basis that his Flynn-related dealings either broke the law or were ethically wrong.

    Andrew is joined by Chris Shipler, American political commentator, and Brad Blankenship, political commentator and contributor at Al-Masdar News.

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    scandal, Sally Yates, Michael Flynn, Donald Trump, United States, Russia
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