Sean Spicer said today in a Press Conference that the White House counsel had briefed Donald Trump “immediately after” being notified by DOJ about Flynn’s call but on Friday, Trump claimed he hadn’t seen anything on it.
Here is video proof:
Trump says—about 16 hrs after WaPo broke the Flynn-Russia news—he hasn't seen anything about it: "What report is that? I haven't seen that." pic.twitter.com/phoqXxebqU
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 11, 2017
Leaving The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent to ask,
Spicer just confirmed that Trump was "informed" of DOJ warning that Flynn might be vulnerable to Russian blackmail.
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) February 14, 2017
Allegedly, if Spicer is to be believed, Trump was answering a question specifically about a Washington Post story, rather than about Flynn generally.
The fact is, almost three weeks passed before Trump took action and it beggars belief that this is in any way justified by any of the lies Spicer told today.
Spicer claimed that talking about a 17-day delay “assumes a lot of things that aren’t true,” but what it actually involves are Kellyanne Conway’s alternative facts and a suspension of reality. What to the rest of us seems an obvious attempt to ignore the problem until it went away, Spicer claims was a “deliberative process” and review.
Watch the press conference, courtesy of the White House (Spicer appears at the 45:30 mark):
Spicer called the Flynn situation “an eroding issue” and explained that the White House had been “reviewing and evaluating this issue with respect to general Flynn daily for a few weeks trying to ascertain the truth” and that Flynn’s resignation came down in the end to an “evolving and eroding” level of trust, not a violation of the law.
Spicer stressed repeatedly that Flynn, by illegally talking to Vladimir Putin about President Obama’s sanctions, somehow did not do anything wrong. He did not explain how this alchemy works, but said that when Trump heard the information “he instinctively thought General Flynn did not do anything wrong and the White House counsel’s review corroborated that.”
Meaning there are some very seriously broken moral compasses in the White House if they are present at all. As Newsweek‘s Kurt Eichenwald parsed it,
Trump KNEW? He frigging KNEW before the inauguration that Flynn had discussed sanctions and lied to Pence? Thats what Spicer says. He knew.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) February 14, 2017
It became so difficult to maintain a coherent tale that Spicer was reduced, under questions from the press corps, to cite Fox News pundits in Trump’s defense. Because, who you gonna call?
Unbelievably, Spicer asserted that Trump has been “incredibly tough on Russia.” Twitter is already going to work on Spicer over this claim and he will not live it down anytime soon.
This was another lackluster performance by Sean Spicer, forced to the stage to lie outrageously on behalf of his boss. It did nothing to answer any cogent questions about who knew what about Flynn and Russia and instead served as a futile attempt to deflect questions the press fully intends to pursue in the days to come.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.