The latest Mike Flynn debacle? Michael Totten is your man - The Swamp Strikes Back:
Mike Flynn is finished as President Donald Trump's national security advisor. He lied to the administration and to the public and denied telling Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that the Trump administration would roll back the Obama administration’s sanctions against Russia. Flynn is admitting now that he “may have” actually said that in a phone call last month, apologized to everybody, and resigned.
How do we know Flynn did it? Because the CIA taped the call and leaked the details. (The CIA was eavesdropping on the Russians, by the way, not on Flynn. It’s what the CIA does.)
The CIA also rejected Flynn deputy Robin Townley’s security clearance, terminating the deputy’s job on the National Security Council.
“They believe this is a hit job from inside the CIA on Flynn and the people close to him,” one anonymous source told Politico. Why might that be happening? Perhaps because, as another anonymous source who is apparently close to the president says, Flynn had been waging “a jihad against the intelligence community.” Trump hasn’t played well with the intelligence community either. You may recall that he compared the CIA and the FBI to Nazi Germany before he was even inaugurated.
The swamp—permanent bipartisan Washington—doesn’t want to be drained. Not by Donald Trump. Not by anybody. And the swamp can strike back—especially the intelligence agencies.
Last November, shortly after Trump won the election, Eli Lake wrote a stirring defense of the Washington swamp for Bloomberg.
But before writing off the swamp entirely, it's worth thinking for a minute about the man we just elected president. While many Americans are no doubt elated, Trump campaigned at times like an authoritarian. He threatened his accusers with lawsuits. He banned members of the press from his events. He promised to jail his opponent, Hillary Clinton. He encouraged, at times, his audience to rough up protesters.
It may be that all of this banana republic bravado was for show. But if this is truly who Trump is, the country will need the permanent political and governing class to stop him. The leaks, slow-rolling and backstabbing that in normal times infuriate those who try to reform Washington will be the first line of defense.
That is exactly what’s happening now, and there is no sign that it’s going to stop.....
Putin, Trump says, is “very smart.” “I think in terms of leadership, he’s getting an A.” “It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.” He effectively told NBC’s Matt Lauer that Putin was no worse than Barack Obama. “Do you want me to start naming some of the things that President Obama does at the same time?” he said when Lauer rattled off a list of Putin’s crimes.
Earlier this month on Fox News, Bill O’Reilly asked the president if he respects Putin. “I do respect him,” Trump said.
“Why?!” O’Reilly said, visibly shocked. “Putin’s a killer.”
“There are a lot of killers,” Trump said, sounding like a leftist who has read Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky and little else. “You think our country’s so innocent?”
Trump has been defending and even fawning over Vladimir Putin for a year now with remarkable consistency.
In 2013, Vladimir Putin gave our new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Russia’s Order of Friendship award. That prize may not be as meaningful as some critics fear, but Tillerson’s experience up until now has been strictly limited to his time at the helm of ExxonMobil, a job he was selected for in part because of his close relationship with Russia.
And let’s not forget that Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort spent years working for Vladimir Putin’s Ukrainian pawn Viktor Yanukovych until he was toppled in the 2014 revolution, and that Trump’s former foreign policy advisor Carter Page has close ties to the Kremlin and Russian gas giant Gazprom.
“If you're not familiar with Gazprom,” Josh Marshall writes, “imagine if most or all of the US energy industry were rolled up into a single company and it were personally controlled by the US President who used it as a source of revenue and patronage. That is Gazprom's role in the Russian political and economic system. It is no exaggeration to say that you cannot be involved with Gazprom at the very high level which Page has been without being wholly in alignment with Putin's policies. Those ties also allow Putin to put Page out of business at any time.”
So with all that as prologue, news that Flynn discussed lifting the Obama administration’s sanctions against Russia and lied about it is, shall we say, a tad more sensitive than if he’d lied about something relatively innocuous like discussing a new NAFTA agreement with Canada.
Neither the intelligence agencies nor journalists nor the Democratic Party nor the Republican members of Congress who aren’t on the Trump Train are going to put up with this.
I linked to David Corn's piece on the Russian connection a few days back - The Mysterious Disappearance of the Biggest Scandal in Washington - why aren't we hearing more about what is, surely, the worst election-related scandal since Watergate? Well, we're hearing about it now.
And there's more. The latest from Kevin Drum:
At the same time that Russian intelligence was hacking various email accounts in order to sabotage Hillary Clinton, multiple members of the Trump team had repeated phone calls with senior Russian intelligence officials. And during this entire time, Trump himself was endorsing a foreign policy that appeared almost as if it had been dictated to him by Vladimir Putin.
As a number of people have pointed out, the American intelligence community has all but declared war on Trump since his inauguration with leak after leak after leak. I hardly need to spell out why this is dangerous. At the same time, it's sure becoming a lot clearer why they're so alarmed by the guy.