Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has been the albatross around the orange, flabby neck of the Trump presidency. In February, Flynn was forced to resign after it was revealed that he had had undisclosed communications with Russia. As former Attorney General Sally Yates later testified, Flynn was highly susceptible to blackmail by the Russians while serving in the White House, ironically meaning the National Security Advisor posed a dire risk to national security.
Ever since his resignation, there has been a steady trickle of new Flynn controversies. Yesterday it was revealed that Flynn was still actively lobbying for Turkey after Trump was sworn into the presidency. Today, yet another damning Flynn story has been exposed.
The Daily Beast reports that Flynn was reluctant to accept the National Security Advisor position but Trump pushed him to do it, despite Flynn’s disclosure that he was currently under investigation for lobbying for a foreign government.
According to acquaintances of Flynn, he was considering staying out of the public eye and remaining in the private sphere. Another source says that Flynn was willing to accept a government position, but didn’t want the prominent one offered to him by Trump. He would have preferred a job in the intelligence community.
His preference here could point to a guilty conscience. Flynn had to know the National Security Advisor would subject him to increased scrutiny, which of course it did, culminating in the exposing of his corrupt Russian backchannels and illegal lobbying for foreign nations. Had he been given a position somewhere in the background of the government, he could have gone about his merry way funneling state secrets to Russia unnoticed.
Trump’s pressuring of Flynn to accept the National Security Advisor role displays a stunning lack of judgment or else an unsettling comfortability with the idea of Flynn being compromised. It’s possible that Trump – who may be a Russian asset himself – saw a kindred spirit in the unpatriotic Flynn.
Despite the fact that Flynn is a traitor-for-hire, Trump remains exceptionally fond of him. He’s repeatedly said that Flynn was treated unfairly, going so far as to ask then-FBI Director James Comey to stop investigating Flynn. Trump has also reportedly been in recent contact with Flynn, despite the fact that the White House has vehemently denied any correspondence between the two.
Most absurdly, Trump allegedly wants Flynn back in his White House. The Daily Beast reports that Trump has told associates that he hopes a conclusion of the FBI investigation into Flynn will allow the erstwhile National Security Advisor to return to the White House in a new position.
“Trump feels really, really, really, bad about firing him, and he genuinely thinks if the investigation is over Flynn can come back,” said one official.
Against his advisors’ urging, Trump hopes to bring Flynn – a traitor and self-admitted agent for foreign countries – back into the upper chambers of the American government. Although it seems unlikely to happen, his desire to make it so reveals what a monumental danger Trump poses to this country.
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.