17:39 GMT +330 March 2017
    In this Feb. 11, 2014 file photo, then-Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington

    'Crime of the Year': WSJ Smear of Flynn for Chat With Russian Girl Stuns Twitter

    © AP Photo/ Lauren Victoria Burke
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    The Wall Street Journal has dialed up the paranoia over former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn's so-called 'Russia ties' over his failure to disclose an 'interaction' he had with a Russian-British national at a security conference in 2014. But as social media users, including a Russian senator, point out, WSJ's case is extremely weak.

    Over the past week, the US mainstream media seem to have made it their mission to smear retired Leut. Gen. Michael Flynn over his receipt of payment for a speech at a 2015 conference in Moscow organized by Russian broadcaster RT. The same week, US media took another jab at the official over a payment he received from Kaspersky Lab for his participation in an expert forum on cybersecurity in Washington, also in 2015.

    Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (File)
    © AP Photo/ Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA
    Flynn, who resigned from his post as Trump's National Security Adviser last month over his failure to disclose the extent of his (perfectly legal) contacts with Russian officials, sparked a feeding frenzy among anti-Trump media, which soon launched a campaign to destroy Trump with allegations that there was something sinister about his officials' contacts with various Russians.

    On Saturday, the Wall Street Journal decided to take another shot at Flynn, 'discovering' that he never reported on a 20-minute exchange he had with Svetlana Lokhova, a Russian-British national and graduate student, at a security conference in the UK in 2014. WSJ criticized his failure to disclose the 'interaction', implying that this was a violation of procedures in the US intelligence community. Flynn was serving as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the time.

    Price Floyd, a spokesman for Flynn, called WSJ's aspersions a "false story." "The inference that the contact between Gen. Flynn and a Russian national described in this story should be seen in any light other than incidental contact is simply untrue," he said.

    Interestingly, a cursory search for details about the conference in question reveals just how thin the newspaper's 'story' actually is. It turns out that the seminar took place in February 2014, just days after the coup in Kiev, weeks before the Crimean referendum, sanctions and the general crisis in relations between Russia and Western countries. Before the crisis, US officials, including the Clinton family, seemed to have had no qualms in speaking to Russian officials, much less some graduate student.

    Furthermore, Ms. Lokhova, the former graduate student at the heart of the latest Flynn 'scandal', is a dual citizen, as WSJ's story itself admits. According to Russian statistics, at least 817,000 Russians have dual citizenship, with millions more living outside Russia who haven't renounced their citizenship. With so many Russians around, perhaps Flynn should have filed a report on every possible Russian he ever came in contact with anywhere, under WSJ's logic.

    Social media users couldn't help but comment on this grasping at straws to try to smear Flynn, and by association Russia. This included Russian Senator Alexei Pushkov, who tweeted that "Flynn is being accused of 'contact' (!) with a Russian citizen; he talked to her at some reception." This, the lawmaker suggested, is simply a whole "new level of paranoia" for the US establishment.

    "In the US, Flynn, who resigned earlier, is being accused of 'contact' (!) with a Russian citizen; he talked to her at some reception. A new level of paranoia."

    Other Twitter users also jumped in to beat up on the WSJ for the joke of a story.

    Nina Kouprianova, an independent geopolitical analyst, sarcastically added that unfortunately, the Flynn story was not something out of The Onion (a satirical newspaper filled with fake stories).

    Others, even those who said they are not fans of President Trump and Flynn, pointed out the story's absurdity.

    Naturally, Russian Twitter users were similarly puzzled:

    "WSJ: Flynn hid a 'public conversation' he had with Russian student from the Pentagon…How can you hide a PUBLIC conversation!?"

    "Furthermore, Flynn failed to report that he helped an old lady cross the street."

    Others were more serious, pointing to the implications the WSJ's story has for the state of the US media environment:  

    "Well, if Flynn simply had some tea with a [Russian-] British graduate student, we are in a cold media war."


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    'Russian trace', paranoia, national security, Wall Street Journal, Michael Flynn, Alexei Pushkov, United States, Russia
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    • avatar
      Trump's team made a big mistake trying to appease their enemies in the sacrifice of Flynn. He probably had to go, but Pence and others should not have attacked him on the way out. Just say it wasn't the right fit or something. When the DNC attacks with its media, just tell them that they will attack no matter what is said about Flynn. Say life often involves adjustments and everyone should be able to understand that. But it was wrong to say Flynn betrayed trust.
    • avatar
      Stupid media. The more the media talks about Russia the more people that look into it. The more people that look into it the more they see Ruusia is up and coming and America is falling into oblivion.
      America has no future.
    • avatar
      vot tak
      "Over the past week, US left-leaning mainstream media"

      This is nonsense. First there isn't any left leaning msm in the usa, it is all rightwing, capitalist promoting corporate PR noise.

      Second, the WSJ is owned by Murdoch, a notorious rightwing media mogul who hates the left. The WSJ is neocon, the far right.

      By using clear channel/rush limbaugh talking points such as the us msm/wsj being left, you bring the Sputnik down to the level of the msm and seriously degrade the credibility of Sputnik as a neutral news source.
    • avatar
      jasin reply toMitach2002(Show commentHide comment)
      Mitach2002, I agree. The more I see progressive insanity at this site, the more determined I am to not live my life like that. I have no idea why progressives thought it was a good idea to be part of the stupid hate of Russia. They try to say they hate Putin and not Russia, but everything they want hurts everyday Russians.
    • Blackie
      Flynne now looks like an Israeli blow up doll.
      Trump is so dumb.
    • avatar
      This is the quid:

      "According to Russian statistics, at least 817,000 Russians have dual citizenship". That says it all.
    • alkovin reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
      jas, Of course, he did. All depends on your point of view... he was a Democrat, or so I've heard, and wasn't going to be accepted by Republican White House.
    • avatar
      As a whole, the MSM empire is trying to do a "makeover", and money is no object. After their botched facelift, however, everyone is fighting for a paycheck. Too bad, too, because if they learned to tell the truth, none of them would be fighting to remember what a perfect memory use to be. It is what happens when you start to tell lies.
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