Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A good start

Fox News reports that President Trump's National Security Advisor, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, has resigned. Gen. Flynn, a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency fired by the Obama administration for abusing his employees, insubordination, inefficiency, and "a loose relationship with the facts," was controversial because of his strong pro-Russian and anti-Muslim positions.

Gen. Flynn was at the center of a storm over his telephone conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the controversy over the Russian hacking of the computers of the Democratic and Republican National Committees. They included discussion of American sanctions against Russia imposed by the Obama administration after the invasion of Ukraine. The conversations took place while Flynn- and Mr. Trump- were still private citizens, barred by law from conducting negotiations with foreign governments.

Flynn and Vice-President Pence had previously denied that the subject came up. Flynn subsequently backed off that denial, saying that he simply didn't recall discussing the matter with Kislyak. However, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials, who routinely monitor the telephone conversations of senior Russian diplomats for obvious reasons, say that the subject was in fact discussed. Flynn has reportedly apologized to Mr. Pence for the misunderstanding.

FBI officials who reviewed the transcripts emphasized that they found nothing actually improper in the content of what Gen. Flynn said to Kislyak.

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