Charles Krauthammer expressed befuddlement at why Michael Flynn would lie to Vice President Mike Pence about something as simple as speaking to the Russian ambassador, and he went on to say it presented President Trump with a dilemma:
What strikes me is how bizarre the whole story is. This is a cover up without a crime. The idea that one should be all aghast because the incoming national-security adviser spoke with the Russian ambassador and spoke about sanctions — it seems to me to be perfectly reasonable — the idea that it was illegal is preposterous. When I hear Nancy Pelosi get all upset about this and how in the grip of the Russians that shows us to be, this is an absurdity. But then you ask yourself, “Why did he lie about it?” Even internally in talking to the vice president. That shows a tremendous lapse of judgment and a sort of lack of trustworthiness. So the president is faced with a very difficult problem: If he fires him, then it puts into question the president’s own judgment, choosing him in the first place, having to fire him within three weeks. On the other hand, this is a guy who has been advising him, stuck with him, has appeared to have done the right thing talking with the Russian ambassador, and done a crazy thing and lying about it to Pence, and he’s got to decide how it’s going to look. Either way, he’s going to be hurt, but if he is going to get rid of him, he better have somebody of stature waiting in the wings.