National Security

Report: Flynn Set Up a Back Channel to Putin

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

U.S. officials who spoke to Reuters say members of Trump's campaign staff, including Michael Flynn and others, had 18 undisclosed conversations with the Russians in 2016.

That might not blow your skirt up, but this should:

Six of the previously undisclosed contacts described to Reuters were phone calls between Sergei Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the United States, and Trump advisers, including Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, three current and former officials said.

Conversations between Flynn and Kislyak accelerated after the Nov. 8 vote as the two discussed establishing a back channel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy, which both sides considered hostile to improved relations, four current U.S. officials said.

If Flynn and Kislyak were the middlemen between Trump and Putin, that would make Trump's recent meeting with Kislyak look even more suspicious.

Trump reportedly agreed to their meeting in the oval office because the Putin himself requested it. Why would he do that? The idea that they arranged a meeting so they could bug the oval office sounds a bit outlandish, but I'm not sure at this point. The goal posts have moved.

It's fairly clear that the intelligence community and federal investigators have a lot of receipts on Michael Flynn's activities. It almost seems implausible that Trump himself has not been implicated.

Are we suppose to believe Trump was unaware that Flynn was his back channel to Putin? What are the chances Flynn never discussed Trump's involvement? Flynn doesn't strike me as that smart.

  • Badgerite

    QOTD “Donald Trump acts like Putin’s employee.”
    Yes he does. And Putin acts like his boss. The relationship is obvious.
    And who is really in charge is also obvious.

  • Badgerite
  • muselet

    Anyone who’s surprised Michael “Two Bricks Shy Of A Load” Flynn was/is owned by Russia and Turkey, raise your hand.

    I count … zero hands.

    This. Is. Not. Normal.


  • ninjaf

    This makes the reported purpose of the Eric Prince meeting in the Seychelles look more plausible.

  • Aynwrong

    And all of it was and is continues to be ignored, enabled or dismissed because elected R’s either don’t care or they’re terrified of a base dumbed down by Fox and loyal to Trump.

    I hope these people are painted with an ignominy by history so harsh and long lasting that their grandkids are ashamed to look up.

  • Badgerite

    Given what trump did with McMasters present, what does one suppose the consequences to the national security of the United States and our allies might be with a “back channel” between Putin and trump that bypasses even McMasters?

    • ninjaf

      And helping himself undermine our own democratic bureaucracy?

      • Badgerite

        There was a reason for the funereal pall over the Trump Monster inauguration. Even Republicans had to feel it. A real sense of unease.
        Until the Russians ( Putin in particular ) are kicked in the balls for this, that sense of unease will persist. There has to be a commitment to the rule of law and democratic values here at home and abroad. I think the appointment of Special Counsel Mueller is a vital first step.

  • Badgerite

    And then there is this. It is rather telling. For at least a decade, Russia was the prime sponsor and supplier of equipment and technical know how to the Iranian nuclear program. They have supported Assad and Hezbollah in Lebanon. When it comes to intelligence collection and other vital national interests, it comes down to a choice. Putin or Israel. Whose interests do you choose to further. If Putin owns trump, and he does, it will be Putin’s interests he furthers. Not Israel’s and not those of the United States or other allies.

    What a slug.

    • He must be afraid of heights or something…..?

      • ninjaf

        Or of what the Israeli’s would do to the cable car after the “accidental” intelligence leak?

        • Hehe, don’t give me any ideas for new fantasies. I’m highly susceptible to such things after the news of the last 48 hours. 😉

      • muselet

        Donald Trump is a seething ball of neuroses and insecurities. Maybe he doesn’t like cable cars because there are too many consonants in the term, who the hell knows?


  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    The idea that they arranged a meeting so they could bug the oval office sounds a bit outlandish, but I’m not sure at this point.

    Trump may be incompetent, but the security teams who handle these kinds of things are not.

    Believe me, a bug wouldn’t last 5 minutes in the Oval.

    The odds that they don’t have some kind of scrambler going 24×7 is exactly zero percent. And, in any event, if the Oval isn’t shielded against RF, I’ll will personally fly to wherever Ashby lives, buy a hat, and eat it in front of him.

    There is also a security camera (probably multiple) in the ceiling which is running at all times. I will happily bet you any amount of money that you would like that there are dedicated security personnel watching the feed every time someone’s in the oval to see where there hands are at all times.

    Especially given the level of paranoia by this President.

    No, sir, there is no bug in the Oval.

    • JMAshby

      This assumes a level of basic competence in Trump’s White House and the Secret Service that I just don’t believe in. We don’t even know how secure Trump’s phone is. It doesn’t have to be a physical bug. It could be software.

      I’m not saying there definitely is one, but it wouldn’t surprise me at this point.

      • While I agree that Trump’s staff is incompetent, I disagree about the Secret Service. However, that doesn’t mean that the spy/RT photographer who was there during the meeting with Kislyak (sp?) might not have had a recording device on his person. So Putin’s claim to have a transcript could actually be true.

        PS: I’ve tried to make three or four comments on this article and I keep getting an error that says “API being updated…your replies were saved but may not display” and they still aren’t showing.

  • Nefercat

    So when trump claimed that he would drain the swamp, he neglected to mention that the purpose for draining the swamp was to make it easier to find the delightful creatures that would be just right for his administration.

  • Username1016

    But by all means let’s drain the swamp.

    • Aynwrong

      More like swamp the drain.