By Matthew Grady 11/6/17
President Trump said he “had to fire” General Michael Flynn because “he lied to the Vice President and the FBI.”
The full tweet read: “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”
Flynn was fired 24 days after being appointed as National Security Adviser in February. He pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about speaking with the then Russian Ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.
The tweet hints at Mr. Trump knowing what Flynn was doing during the transition period.
John Dowd, the President’s personal lawyer, came out and said that he worked with Mr. Trump when composing this tweet. Shifting the blame to Dowd may be an attempt to make the claims of “there was nothing to hide” and “[Flynn’s] actions during the transition were lawful” in the tweet less legally binding.
The vice chair on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., said on CNN’s State of the Union, “Well, if he knew that [Flynn lied to the FBI] then, why didn’t he act on it earlier?”
If Mr. Trump knew about Flynn’s actions, his previous remarks to former FBI Director Comey in regards to shutting down the FBI investigation could carry more weight in the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller’s investigation. On ABC’s “This Week”, Republican Strategist Alex Castellanos said, “We’re closer to impeachment now, I think than we think.” The President denied that he asked Comey to shut the investigation down in a tweet Sunday.
Saturday, the President insisted that “there has been absolutely no collusion” between the US and Russia.