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Fri Feb 17, 2017, 08:23 AM

Flynn Scandal Shatters Trump's 'Alternative Fact' Cocoon

Eric Boehlert

Flynn Scandal Shatters Trumpís ĎAlternative Factí Cocoon

February 16, 2017 5:14 pm

With the White House facing perhaps the most serious political crisis of its young life, Kellyanne Conway was dispatched on Tuesday to spin as best she could the sudden forced resignation of President Donald Trumpís national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

But the effort didnít go well because Conway wasnít really able to address even the most basic questions surrounding the Flynn controversy. And that inability came five days after The Washington Post first reported that Flynn ďprivately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that countryís ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials,Ē including past statements by Vice President Mike Pence, and possibly in violation of U.S. law.

On Monday came additional newspaper revelations that likely fueled Flynnís ordered departure: The Department of Justice had warned the White House in January that Flynn may have exposed himself to Russian blackmailers because he misled the administration about the content of previous phone calls with Russia. Additionally, Army officials were investigating whether Flynn received payments from the Russian military when he appeared at a Moscow gala in 2015 and sat at the head table with Russian President Vladamir Putin. (The Department of Defense considers the receipt of payments from foreign governments by retired military officials without congressional consent a violation of the U.S. Constitutionís Emoluments Clause.)

And yet there was Conway appearing on the Today show and unable to address simple inquiries about Flynnís behavior and why Trump stood by him when White House officials knew weeks earlier about discrepancies in Flynnís Russia story.


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