This Day in Trump, Day 26: Flynn Fallout

WASHINGTON — The capital reeled Tuesday from the first major resignation of Donald Trump’s presidency, less than four weeks into his new administration.Highlight of the dayAfter Michael Flynn resigned Monday night as Trump’s national security adviser, more details emerged about his communications with the Russian ambassador and the timeline of when key members of the White House were made aware of the developments.Trump was informed more than two weeks ago, White House officials said, and press secretary Sean Spicer said the president’s team had been “reviewing and evaluating this issue with respect to General Flynn on a daily basis for a few weeks trying to ascertain the truth.” Ultimately the president determined Flynn could not be trusted and he asked for his resignation, contradicting earlier claims from White House officials that Flynn had submitted his resignation voluntarily.Furthermore, The New York Times reported that FBI agents interviewed Flynn about his interactions with the Russian ambassador. “That raises the stakes of what so far has been a political scandal that cost Mr. Flynn his job,” The Times wrote. “If the authorities conclude that Mr. Flynn knowingly lied to the FBI, it could expose him to a felony charge.”Texas tiesOn Capitol Hill, attention swiftly turned to whether Congress would investigate Flynn further after his resignation.The two Texas senators diverged with their reactions to the news. Sen. John Cornyn immediately called for the Senate and House intelligence committees to launch an investigation into Flynn’s actions, while Sen. Ted Cruz repeatedly sidestepped questions about whether he believes Flynn should appear before Congress.Rep. Joaquin Castro, the lone Texas Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said “investigations must take place to determine how severely this administration has compromised our nation’s security.” But Rep. Mike Conaway, the lone Texas Republican on the committee, pointedly declined to comment when asked multiple times whether he thinks an investigation should be launched.Must-see TVAs is often the case, senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway was tasked with explaining the president’s change of tune to news networks Tuesday morning and faced a skeptical Matt Lauer on NBC’s “Today Show.”Less than 7 hours before Flynn resigned, Conway said that Trump still had “full confidence” in the embattled national security adviser. She insisted that the claim had been true when she said it but that the revelation Flynn had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his interactions with the Russian ambassador was what made his position “unsustainable.” Lauer pushed back, noting that the Justice Department had warned the White House last month that Flynn had not been completely forthright in characterizing his conversations with the ambassador. Conway responded with a confusing non sequitur about how Flynn had continued to serve in his role over the past few weeks, to which Lauer retorted, “That makes no sense.”  Continue reading...

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