Now that we know the whole story, it’s Michael Flynn, the erstwhile National Security Advisor, hands down. That’s amazing, when one considers some of the other appointments, like the spectacularly unqualified Ben Carson, Rick Perry, appointed to lead an agency he has previously said should be eliminated (and couldn’t remember its name); and the embarrassingly unethical Tom Price, the HHS head.
Earlier this week, Flynn, who was forced to resign February 13, for lying to Vice-President Pence, filed with the Justice Department revealing that he had done work from August to November “that could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey.” That work had netted Flynn’s firm more than a half-million dollars, and made Flynn legally obligated to register as a foreign agent.
On Election Day, Flynn’s op-ed was published on The Hill praising Turkish President Erdogan as an ally against ISIS. On November 18, Representative Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, wrote a letter to Pence inquiring about Flynn’s ties to the Turkish government. When the White House confirmed that the Trump transition team knew before Inauguration Day that Flynn might be required to register as a foreign agent. it was stating the undeniable.
How could someone like General Flynn ever be appointed national security adviser? White House spokesman Sean Spicer (speaking of bad hires) has made the silly excuse that Flynn’s status as a registered foreign agent didn’t mean he had a disqualifying conflict of interest. A top national-security aide who was under contract to lobby for a foreign government deeply involved with U.S. Middle East policy? Outrageous! Outrageous, and guaranteed to spark a scandal as soon as this became public. Not only was this a bad appointment, an incompetent appointment, an irresponsible, reckless and dangerous appointment, it was a really stupid appointment.
The job of the national security adviser is not subject to Senate confirmation, making a thorough vetting by the administration even more essential than usual. Yet either the thorough vetting didn’t occur, or the President didn’t pay any attention to it, which is worse.
If the President couldn’t see that Flynn was a terrible choice for a key position, and no advisor could or would stop him from making the appointment, that indicates serious problems that must be addressed, and fast. If the President didn’t have all of the information he needed to make the right decision (that is, appoint someone else), then Flynn isn’t the only one who needed to go. Needs to go.
Facts: The Atlantic