The Corner

The Flynn Affair

It’s a sign of how sensitive it is that Stephen Miller refused to get near it on the Sunday shows this morning.

I have never understood why it would be inappropriate, let even illegal, for the incoming National Security Advisor to talk to the Russian ambassador. Let’s say Flynn told the ambassador that the Trump administration would lift the sanctions. Why would this be a problem if 1) it was true, and if 2) regardless of whatever Flynn said to supposedly undermine the Obama sanctions, his boss would have the power to remove them immediately upon taking office in a couple of weeks?

Now, the truthfulness of Flynn’s account is another matter. If Flynn misled Vice President Pence about the content of his discussions, knowing that Pence would go out and repeat a misleading version to the public, that’s obviously very troubling. 

The backdrop to this particular controversy is what seems to be an open revolt of an element of the intelligence community against its new political masters. As we learned in the Bush years, this kind of internal bureaucratic warfare never ends well.