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Why did Trump take so long to fire Flynn? A theory



I actually thought yesterday’s hearing with Yates and Clapper was pretty inconsequential, in terms of learning anything we didn’t already know. If there was anything new, I’m not sure what it was. As far as I can tell, Flynn is kind of an asshole who, for whatever reason, didn’t tell the truth to Mike Pence—which certainly isn’t Pence’s fault—and then didn’t step forward to give the veep a heads-up when Pence went around repeating an untruth.  For that reason, maybe Flynn broke a law—I don’t know, and I’m happy to leave it to the Justice Department to determine if that’s the case. Either way, Flynn’s reputation is garbage, and that’s fine with me. After his “Lock her up!” psychotic slur, he deserves to be tarred and feathered.

As for the Trump administration, I’m willing to accept—with a caveat—their explanation that they simply did a lousy job of vetting; they hadn’t expected to win the election, and so they didn’t have a mechanism in place after the election to begin to tackle the enormity of work that started piling up. So maybe that’s the way it went down.

I did say I had a caveat, and it’s a big one. There is the interesting question, which I didn’t hear raised during the hearing, concerning why the Trump administration took so long—nearly three weeks—to let Flynn go. After all the warnings—not just from Sally Yates, but President Obama—that Flynn was bad news, Trump not only chose to go ahead and hire Flynn, but to procrastinate in firing him. Very strange. Why? Just sloppy staff work in the early struggling days of a new administration? Or maybe Trump wanted Flynn as National Security Advisor so badly that he was willing to risk a mini-scandal, on the chance that Flynn would be able to stay.

Now, Trump is a gambler. Why would it be so important for him to have Flynn in there that he (Trump) would risk blowback, intense criticism, more negative press? Well, there is one logical theory: Flynn was the National Security Advisor that Putin wanted, and Putin has something on Trump. Flynn was perfect for the job: both he and his new boss, Trump, were huge fans of Putin and of Russia. They were all on the same side: Trump had his little bromance with Putin, Flynn was being paid by Putin, and Putin wanted Trump to win the election. A perfect ménage-a-trois, with multiple hands scratching multiple backs.

This now moves the theory to more interesting areas of speculation. Was this simply a reflection of Trump’s desire to have better relations with Russia? Nothing wrong with that. So did Obama. We all want America to have a better relationship with Russia. But why was Trump willing to go so far in keeping Flynn, against everyone’s advice? And why was he willing to go so far over the last year in insisting what a fine leader Putin is, when everyone else knew Russia had interfered in the election? Obviously, this gets to Trump’s real motives, and since he won’t tell us—and given his pathological lying, we shouldn’t believe anything he told us anyway–we have to do some inferring. Who or what is Trump working for? America? Russia? Himself and his family? Some combination of the above? We don’t know. But you have to admit there is at least a logical explanation: Trump was willing to endure the embarrassment and ignominy of the Flynn affair in order for him, Trump, to collude with the Russian government and do Putin’s bidding, in secret ways. If this is the case, Trump is guilty of treason.

Well, that’s probably just my imagination running wild, right? Occam’s razor: the simplest explanation is just that Trump and his staff were incredibly sloppy, to the point of irresponsibility. There’s no way Trump could actually commit treasonous acts against America. Is there?

  1. Bill Haydon says:

    I think the simplest explanation for the delay in cutting Flynn lose is Trump’s unhinged ego and incredibly thin skin. Once the decision to appoint Flynn was made, it would take the gravest of circumstances for Trump to admit error and to reverse his decision. This is a man who is said to be morbidly terrified of ever coming across as looking weak or being seen as a “loser.” These toxic personality traits were instilled him by both his father and the only other mentor he had in his life, Roy Cohn.

    As for how this all plays out, considering that I think the Democrats–in their current Republican-Lite incarnation–are utterly incapable of winning crap, I’m guessing when the Republican establishment feels that they’ve milked Trump for everything he’s worth, they’ll hang the Russian connection around his neck, impeach him, make themselves look like the saviors of the Republic and set up the Apostle Pence to run as an incumbent in 2020.

  2. Bill Haydon, interesting analysis re: the “loser” mentality. As for how it plays out, I agree with you that repubs will “milk him” as far as they can, then drop him. I was going to blog on that last week but I didn’t. They get their little agenda: taxes, repeal and replace, environmental law gutting, SCOTUS, increased defense, etc. and then when trump has nothing more to give them, they turn on him. Problem with that scenario is Trump’s base. They’re so damn stubborn, so self-righteous, and their self-worth is bound up in Trump’s survival and triumph. That base also elects the Republican establishment congressmen and senators. They don’t have to like Trump or even respect him; if they fear him, he’ll be around for a while. Unless something really awful turns up in RussiaGate.

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