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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Michael Flynn’s abrupt resignation from the National Security Council has reignited a controversy that has followed Donald Trump since he was elected president, with scores of Democrats calling for a special investigation into the administration’s possible ties to the Kremlin. But with a few notable exceptions, those calls have largely fallen on deaf ears with a Republican Party that has proven time and again it is willing to accommodate scandal and disgrace so long as it doesn’t impede its exercise of power. Senator Rand Paul even suggested the matter didn’t merit further inquiry, because it would require that Republicans investigate a fellow Republican.

Here are 10 of the more galling responses to the Flynn scandal — so far.

1. Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) 

Collins, the first congressman to endorse Trump, actually theorized that Valentine’s Day was responsible for the eerie silence on Capitol Hill.

“You have a man of Flynn’s stature resign and in his own letter saying that he misled, maybe even lied to other members of the White House—why’s everybody so quiet?” CNN’s Chris Cuomo asked Collins Tuesday morning.

“Well, it’s Valentine’s Day, and I guess they’re having breakfast with their wives,” Collins reasoned. “Really, all I can say is, I’m sorry to see General Flynn go. I don’t know the details of what transpired. I do know General Flynn, I know that he’s a very loyal to President Trump, I do know he’s a great American.”

2. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)

“In this case, the coverup was worse than the crime,” Kinzinger told Fox News. “It’s arguably or questionably a crime, probably not.”

Meanwhile, one-time George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum said the former Republican president most likely would have had Flynn arrested.

3. Sen. John Barasso (R-WY)

While the Wyoming congressman backed Flynn’s resignation, he quickly thwarted talk of Russian hacking during his CNN appearance Tuesday morning.

“Is it too late for a full-scale investigation into that hacking, because we really haven’t heard President Trump call for that,” MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle asked Barasso.

“Well there’s continuing to be efforts to prevent additional attacks, but I think, in the whole area of cyber, again, it’s not just Russia, we see this around the world,” he told her.

4. Sen. John Thune (R-SD) 

After Rep. Chris Collins appeared on “New Day,” Alisyn Camerota cross-examined his statements with her own GOP guest.

“Do you agree that it’s time to move on, or do you think that as Congressman Conyers (D-MI) and [Elijah] Cummings (D-MD) have just said, We in Congress need to know who authorized Flynn’s actions, permitted them and continue to let him have access to our most sensitive national security information, despite knowing the risks,” she asked,

Thune took Collins’ side.

“These things happen, and particularly in a new administration,” he said, noting his main concern is seeing the National Security office find someone to fill Flynn’s post.

5. Charles Krauthammer

The Fox News commentator echoed Kinzinger’s sentiment, and took it further still.

“This is a coverup without a crime,” he said. “The idea that one should be all aghast because the incoming national security advisor spoke with the Russian ambassador and spoke about sanctions seems to me to be perfectly reasonable. The idea that it was illegal is preposterous.”

6. Kellyanne Conway

Conway also wanted to “move on” from the Flynn scandal, particularly when confronted by The Today Show’s Matt Lauer, who called out her inconsistencies Tuesday morning.

“Yesterday afternoon on MSNBC you said that Michael Flynn enjoyed the full confidence of the president. [White House press secretary] Sean Spicer later said the president was evaluating the situation, and then Michael Flynn resigns overnight. Were you out of the loop on this?” Lauer asked Conway.

“No, not at all. Both were true,” Conway answered. “The president is very loyal, he’s a very loyal person, and by night’s end Michael Flynn had decided it was best to resign. He knew he’d become a lightening rod and he made that decision.”

But Lauer wasn’t about to let Conway off the hook.

“You’re saying that’s the straw that broke the camel’s back, but the White House knew about that last month when the Justice Department warned the White House that [Flynn] had not been completely honest,” Lauer said. “Kellyanne, that makes no sense!”

7. White House press secretary Sean Spicer

Spicer attributed Flynn’s resignation to a lack of “trust,” but dodged legal questions during Tuesday’s White House briefing, a tactic even Fox News found odd.

“This was an act of trust, whether or not he actually misled the vice president with the issue, and that was ultimately what led to the president asking for and accepting the resignation of General Flynn,” Spicer said. “That’s it, pure and simple, it was a matter of trust.”

8. House Speaker Paul Ryan

“National security is perhaps the most important function or responsibility a president has,” Ryan announced in his weekly briefing. “I think the key is this: That as soon as this person lost the president’s trust, the president asked for his resignation, and that was the right thing to do.”

When asked if he believed trust was the key factor behind Flynn’s resignation, Ryan told reporters, “I’m not going to prejudge any of the circumstances surrounding us until we have all of the information.”

9. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)

Chaffetz, who, as chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has vowed to continue his investigation of Hillary Clinton, declared Tueday he would not be looking into the Flynn affair.

“I think that situation has taken care of itself,” Chaffetz told reporters. “I know that the intel committee was looking into the hacking issue previously.”

10. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

Paul, like Chaffetz, felt the Flynn situation had been “handled,” and that further investigations may be “excessive.”

“I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party,” Paul told the “Kilmeade and Friends” radio show. “We’ll never even get started with doing the things we need to do, like repealing Obamacare, if we’re spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense.”

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

IMAGE: Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Jason Chaffetz (R-CA) before testimony on the “Oversight of the State Department” in Washington, U.S. July 7, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron/File Photo

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18 responses to “The 10 Most Galling Republican Responses To The Flynn Scandal”

  1. Godzilla says:

    Classic Pelosi foot-N-mouth moment:

    • I Am Helpy says:

      Hmmmmmm yes that dumb Stormfront video doesn’t make up for Republican treason.

      Trump is going to jail.

    • Thoughtopsy says:

      Nice attempt at diversion from the hypocritical GOP mouthpieces who were prepared to investigate anything a Democrat did especially poor email server management…. but aren’t interested in President Snowflake’s Tax Returns, his personal enrichment off the Presidency, his potential for blackmail due to compromising material, the assistance from Russia that helped him win the election, or his potentially treasonous connections with Russia before the election, and before and after his inauguration….

      You really are a sad troll.

    • You have been cautioned before to have a PET Scan or an MRI. Your credulity underscores head trauma that causes disorientation, an inability to stay focused on the story without feeling compelled to bring up irrelevant distractions, and a host of other mental aberrations. You and Donald should schedule joint sessions with a counselor as well.

    • FireBaron says:

      Ah, his favorite Fake News Site. ‘Zilla, does your mommy know you have been on the internet again without her permission?

  2. The time is at hand(or it was long ago) for a total demolition of the house of GOP.
    The excuses being put forth by Republicans to thwart an investigation of Trump and his Administration’s Russian ties, and the inexcusably lame comment by Rand that investigation of a suspect Republican would lead to other ignoble Party members to be investigated, is deplorable, and a sign of an imminent collapse under the weight of hypocrisy and amorality.
    The GOP had become thoroughly rotted out long ago, and thank God, Trump was “elected” by the Electoral College to become President in order to shine a spotlight on the decaying carcass of “Conservatism”.
    Keep up the “good” work, Donald; and by the way, Donald is in a similar state of decay
    as well.

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  4. FireBaron says:

    I think it’s time for Chaffetz’ constituents to remove him from office. This guy is willing to spend millions continuing an investigation where there was no crime committed (Hillary Clinton’s email server), but clearly refuses to investigate an actual crime committed (Flynn communicating with Russian Government Officials before he was sworn into his office).

    • bobnstuff says:

      It wasn’t just talking to the Russians but he also lied to the man who is soon to be President. What kind of respect is there of the VP when he can be lied to and his own party isn’t all that upset.

      • Zengo says:

        you really think Pence didn’t know?

        • bobnstuff says:

          If he did it wasn’t from the White House. I don’t think Pence is getting along all that well with Trump and his people. I get the feeling that Pence is hanging in there because he knows that Trumps time is limited and he will end up as President. As much as the White House tries to make us think everything between them is good it just doesn’t feel like it.

          • Zengo says:

            I agree with you on the part where he is probably not getting along, but I also don’t trust ANYTHING put out by this administration

          • bobnstuff says:

            The thing with this White House you can pick and choose which answer you want because they say four different things on any subject.

        • Mama Bear says:

          of course he knew. It will all come out sooner or later.

    • iamproteus says:

      No matter the severity of the crime, the spectacle of republicans investigating another republican is simply too much to bear!

  5. The lucky one says:

    “I know that he’s a very loyal to President Trump, I do know he’s a great American.” – Collins
    Those two statements are mutually exclusive.

    “Meanwhile, one-time George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum said the former Republican president most likely would have had Flynn arrested.” Bush having someone arrested for lying? Oh, the irony.

    ““I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, PARTICULARLY OF YOUR OWN PARTY” – R Paul Give Paul credit for being somewhat honest even though he seems to forget he took an oath to serve the people of the USA, not just the GOP.

    Apropos of all of K Conway and S Spicers’s remarks.
    “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”

  6. Mama Bear says:

    and don’t ever forget….Trump did not fire Flynn. He fired the woman who warned him about Flynn.

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