One of Donald Trump’s first acts as President was to order the firing of Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, on January 30, 2017 – just ten days after he was sworn in.
Before she was fired, Yates had gone to the White House to warn Trump that his National Security Advisor, Mike Flynn, was under investigation, was compromised, and was subject to possible blackmail attempts by Russia.
Yates was not the first to warn Trump about Flynn. When President-elect Donald Trump sat down with President Barack Obama two days after the 2016 election, Obama also warned Trump about Flynn.
Those were not the only times Trump was warned.
“President Donald Trump’s transition team — and, later, his nascent administration — was warned at least six times about potential conflicts of interest and compromising conversations between Michael Flynn, the incoming national security adviser, and Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the US at the time,” Business Insider reported in December of 2017.
And now, Friday morning, in the wake of new revelations about Flynn’s co-operation with the Mueller investigation, President Trump says he had no idea Flynn was bad.
“Flynn himself told McGahn he was under investigation on January 4, 2017 — two weeks before Trump took office — and his lawyers discussed it with transition lawyers two days later,” MSNBC Justice & Security Analyst Matthew Miller notes on Twitter in response to Trump’s tweet.
“It now seems the General Flynn was under investigation long before was common knowledge,” Trump says – the term “common knowledge” doing a lot of work in that sentence.
“It would have been impossible for me to know this but, if that was the case, and with me being one of two people who would become president, why was I not told so that I could make a change?”
It now seems the General Flynn was under investigation long before was common knowledge. It would have been impossible for me to know this but, if that was the case, and with me being one of two people who would become president, why was I not told so that I could make a change?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 17, 2019ADVERTISEMENT
As proven above, Trump was told, repeatedly, yet refused to listen. The firing of Sally Yates allegedly was over her refusal to not defend Trump’s Muslim ban, which was later ruled by multiple courts as unconstitutional.
But Trump’s steadfast defense of Flynn may have played a part.
Trump also begged FBI Director Jim Comey to ignore Flynn’s actions.
“‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go,” Trump urged Comey in an Oval office meeting – after he dismissed other administration officials.
CNN reports “Comey said in his testimony that he understood the President to be requesting that he drop the investigation into Flynn, who had resigned the day before.”
Trump would go on to fire Comey as well.