National Security

The Intelligence Community Has Receipts on Flynn

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The Trump regime has publicly denied that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian diplomats before Trump was sworn into office, which could be a violation of the Logan Act, but unfortunately for them Flynn's conversations were recorded and transcribed.

Nine sources who spoke to the Washington Post confirmed that Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

All of those officials said ­Flynn’s references to the election-related sanctions were explicit. Two of those officials went further, saying that Flynn urged Russia not to overreact to the penalties being imposed by President Barack Obama, making clear that the two sides would be in position to review the matter after Trump was sworn in as president.

The most amazing and possibly underappreciated aspect of this story may be Flynn's profound, aloof stupidity.

Flynn was once the Director of National Intelligence, meaning he knew or should have known that Sergey Kislyak's communications were being monitored. And yet he committed a possibly illegal act over lines that were being monitored.

That's the kind of oversight you could expect from a child discussing his plans to skip school over an open home phone line. Flynn is currently our nation's top national security adviser and he doesn't appear to be adept at managing his own security.

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  • muselet

    Michael “Mad as a Monkey” Flynn is someone so utterly, unshakably convinced of his own virtue and superior judgment that he just plain didn’t care if his phone calls to Sergey Kislyak were monitored.

    Since the Logan Act is never enforced—most knowledgeable observers say is effectively unenforceable—we’re not likely to see Flynn in the dock any time soon, and Donald Trump won’t fire him, so we’re stuck with a National Security Adviser who is an arrogant and rather dim bigot.


    • stacib23

      Saw a bit of Scarborough this morning. After the obligatory “Barack Obama did the exact same thing”, he quickly pivoted to ‘nothin’ to see here, folks’.

      • muselet

        Of course he did. Joe Scarborough is a loyal foot soldier for the GOP.


  • Christopher Foxx

    Flynn is currently our nation’s top national security adviser and he doesn’t appear to be adept at managing his own security.

    Basic hubris. These people don’t think their blatant law breaking is wrong. That it’s something they’ll never be held accountable for.

    The sad fact is, they may well be right.

  • Aynwrong

    After Snowden revealed the surveillance the NSA was conducting I was a little surprised by the shock everyone seemed to be feeling. Of course they were listening to everything.

    But the man who was destined to become the National Security Advisor to the President of the United States didn’t have the sensibility to not to have a conversation that was illegal over the phone.

    Ladies & Gentleman, the Trump Administration.

  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    There’s nothing surprising about this.

    In my line of work, every email anyone sends or receives is permanently archived. Ever. Single. One. Forever. And they are reviewed (both random sampling and key-word searches). And everyone knows this.

    Yet, without fail, there is always someone who, despite this, says something stupid in an email and gets themselves fired. Why? If you’re going to say or do something unethical / illegal, don’t put it in writing. Certainly, don’t put it in writing that is permanently archived. And absolutely don’t put it in writing that is actively reviewed.

    And yet….

    So when I see something like this, all I can do is shake my head.

    • Aynwrong

      Friend of mine once said the best way to keep a secret was to just not tell anyone. Apparently that was too technical for…. the National Security Advisor….

      We’re doomed. See any good movies lately?