On Monday, the Trump–Russia story deepened with multiple revelations about Michael Flynn. First came the news that just two days after the election, President Barack Obama warned Donald Trump against hiring Michael Flynn as national security adviser. That warning punches a huge hole in the “Michael Flynn was Obama’s fault” narrative that the Trump regime has been attempting to build. Despite the fact that Obama canned Flynn from his position at Defense, Trump has been in full Pontius Pilate mode when it comes to the man he embraced as a foreign policy adviser and surrogate, made national security adviser, and short listed for vice-president.
At mid-day, Sean Spicer stated that Trump didn’t take President Obama seriously, putting the warning down to personal dislike. Because apparently Spicer thinks it acceptable that the president might “jest” about who should fill a critical security function.
In the afternoon, we were graced by the arresting testimony from former acting attorney general Sally Yates. Yates made it clear that far from a quick “heads up” on Flynn, she met twice with White House counsel Don McGahn to provide a detailed, thorough analysis of what Flynn had done and the risk it generated. Yates focused on how Flynn’s behavior opened the national security adviser to outside control, and exposed the nation to danger through both the potential release of classified information and spread of propaganda.
The end result of the day’s testimony and statements should be utterly bruising for Trump. He got a warning face to face from the president. He ignored it. He got a detailed, documented, in-depth presentation from the acting attorney general. He ignored it.
But neither of those incidents is as damaging as the third item: Sean Spicer’s excuse. That excuse speaks directly to Trump’s own judgement—or complete lack of the same. For Trump, everything is personal. He’s unable to make a decision based on facts or ability. It’s all about “who said good things about me.” And he assumes the rest of the world works the same way. In showing that he was willing to dismiss a threat to the nation because he frames everything as a personal manner, Donald Trump showcases his position as the easiest man on the planet to control.
Kushner knows how to do it.