“It is the start of the fourth week of the Trump presidency and the message coming from the White House is painting a tumultuous picture,” Anderson Cooper said at the introduction of his show on CNN this evening, and added that that Trump said the situation with Michael Flynn is being evaluated.
If you haven’t already heard, security adviser Michael Flynn has been accused of having a conversation about American sanctions with the Russian ambassador after the 2016 election. As Yahoo News points out, Trump was warned.
“The Justice Department warned the Trump administration about embattled national security adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russia, two people with knowledge of the situation told the Associated Press on Monday night.”
The article adds that one of the people said the Justice Dept. alerted the White House about a discrepancy between what officials were saying publicly about the contacts and the facts of what had occurred.
Anderson Cooper noted that the situation regarding Flynn’s contacts with Russia is “fluid” and then had Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta on to speak.
“There has been some whiplash today at the White House. Earlier today Kellyanne Conway said that Michael Flynn had the full confidence of the president, while press secretary Sean Spicer said that Flynn’s fate is being evaluated,” Acosta told Cooper.
Acosta said that a senior administration official says that Flynn is “in a gray area.” A video then showed Flynn and Trump together on Monday morning. Chris Christie is shown doubting Flynn’s innocence regarding Russian contacts.
“And Jim, when Kellyanne Conway said on MSNBC that Flynn had the full confidence of the president, and then Sean Spicer said something completely different from that — is there any explanation?” Anderson Cooper asked Acosta, who said he was told that the latest information had just been released, so Conway likely wasn’t lying.
Acosta summarized why the “gray area” pretty much means that Flynn is through before Cooper had a panel on to discuss the situation.
Maggie Haberman, the New York Times White House correspondent, said that there appears to be a split in the Trump White House over exactly what to do with Flynn. She says there are some people who want to see him hang on, while others think he needs to go.
“I think it’s a tough thing to do this week if they are going to get rid of Flynn,” Haberman continued, adding that having so many foreign leaders coming to Washington this week makes it especially difficult.
Alex Burns, a national political reporter from the New York Times, agreed with Haberman’s assessment and added that other presidents would have fired Flynn right away.
“Trump needs to come to grips with the larger landscape here at some point — that every day Michael Flynn remains in the administration, he is a giant target for Democrats and hostile Republicans to go after on a whole slew of issues related to Russia,” Burns continued.
Ryan Lizza from the New Yorker asked how will Donald Trump go about firing Flynn when Trump most likely knew some of the stuff that went on, especially since he was always very close with Flynn. People will ask what exactly did Trump tell Flynn to do.
Jeffrey Lord, an avid Donald Trump supporter, claimed that we need perspective; all past administrations have experienced problems with new information that has come out about their staff. He noted that Ronald Reagan went through six national security advisers.
“Relax, there are four years to go,” he encouraged the rest of the panel and the CNN audience to consider.
What do you think of the situation regarding Michael Flynn? Should he resign right away? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
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