Retired LTG Mike Flynn, President Trump’s national security advisor has been the object of an unprecedented campaign of defamation and abuse from Democrats and some Republicans in the DC defense establishment.
General Flynn’s sin in their eyes is strangely contradictory, but logic is not necessarily the forte of these strange political bedfellows.
In the eyes of Russophobic Democrats Flynn is soft on Russia.
So, in an unprecedented attack, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called for Gen. Flynn to be suspended and for his intelligence clearance to be revoked until U.S. officials fully review his contacts with Russia’s ambassador. Pelosi also called on the FBI to further investigation Trump’s relationship with the Kremlin, and urged Congress to launch an “outside commission” to examine the ties.
Now New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie has joined the fray telling CNN Gen. Flynn needs to clear up questions about whether he discussed sanctions in his pre-inauguration conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
According to CNN, Flynn cannot rule out that he spoke to a Russian official about sanctions, an aide close to the national security adviser said Friday.
Flynn, the aide said, has "no recollection of discussing sanctions," but added that the national security adviser "couldn't be certain that the topic never came up."
"I don't think that you can have any more than one president at a time," Christie told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union."
That’s exactly what Democrats said when President-elect Trump spoke out against Obama’s refusal to back Israel when anti-Semitic UN members proposed a resolution condemning the Jewish state for building settlements to house Jews driven out of Europe by rising anti-Semitism and to protect its borders against terrorist incursions.
All of this nonsense from Christie and Pelosi is intended to build the narrative that General Flynn is somehow “soft” on Russia, but nothing could be further from the truth.
As Eli Lake observed in his review of Gen. Flynn’s book Field of Fight:
Flynn, who flew to Moscow last year to attend a conference sponsored by the state's propaganda outlet, RT, is nonetheless very critical of Putin. "When it is said that Russia would make an ideal partner for fighting Radical Islam, it behooves us to remember that the Russians haven't been very effective at fighting jihadis on their own territory, and are in cahoots with the Iranians. In Syria, the two allies have loudly proclaimed they are waging war against ISIS, but in reality the great bulk of their efforts are aimed at the opponents of the Assad regime…"
In an interview with The Washington Post’s Dana Priest here’s what General Flynn said about his trip to Russia:
FLYNN: I found it a great learning opportunity. One of the things I learned was that Putin has no respect for the United States leadership. Not for the United States, but the leadership [of President Barack Obama].
PRIEST: How did you learn that?
FLYNN: I just learned it from the conversations and the way questions were asked and the discussions I was part of. I’m arguing for the United States and I found myself with people wondering what’s going on with the U.S. and I would tell them, you know, of course I’m standing up for the U.S. But it’s hard when they don’t have any respect for the current [Obama] leadership.
In Field of Fight, (co-written with our friend Michael Ledeen) Flynn argues that America is up against a global “alliance” between radical jihadis and anti-American nation states like Russia, Cuba and North Korea.
Establishment Republican and Democrat national security “experts” ridiculed the idea, but Flynn’s case is persuasive from both a military and economic perspective.
One of the goals that President Trump articulated throughout the campaign, and since his election, is that he sees utility in trying to peel off Russia from this “alliance” by demonstrating the benefits of engaging with and getting along with the United States.
General Flynn broke no laws nor did he jeopardize our national security by speaking with the Russian Ambassador to the United States – quite the opposite.
However, he did commit an unforgivable sin in the eyes of Democrats and the Republican national security establishment, and that was to write a book proving what they have been doing for twenty-five years hasn’t been working. Even more unforgivably, he then managed to place himself next to a President who agrees, and is prepared to take his advice and examine whether the United States can have a new and more productive relationship with Russia.