Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers were taken in by a fake Gen. Michael Flynn Twitter account. The New York Times and other media outlets were also fooled by the parody tweets.
Flynn is President Trump’s recently resigned national security adviser who stepped down after it emerged that he misled Vice President Pence about the substance of his phone conversations with the Russian ambassador in the context of sanctions.
In the account that is labeled, “Not Michael Flynn,” the Twitter user stated that making him a scapegoat in the matter was unfair.
While I accept full responsibility for my actions, I feel it is unfair that I have been made the sole scapegoat for what happened. (1/2)— Not Michael Flynn (@GenMikeFlynn) February 14, 2017
But if a scapegoat is what's needed for this Administration to continue to take this great nation forward, I am proud to do my duty.— Not Michael Flynn (@GenMikeFlynn) February 14, 2017
In a Capitol Hill press conference about the Mike Flynn resignation, House Minority Leader Pelosi, a California Democrat, referenced the tweet in calling for congressional hearings into the Flynn-Russia scenario. The tweet was brought to her attention by colleague Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the ranking member of the House Government and Oversight Committee.
The House speaker when Democrats controlled the chamber from 2007 to 2011, Pelosi has represented a San Francisco-area district for 30 years.
Reacting to the tweet to the video clip below, Pelosi spends a few minutes lecturing reporters about what scapegoat means.
“Just one problem, of course: the account has nothing to do with the real Flynn, who uses the verified handle @GenFlynn. Flynn had not tweeted from his official account since December but appeared to be back online later Tuesday after the flap over the fake account,” Fox News explained.
About a week ago during a press conference with impeachment-advocating Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Rep. Pelosi referred to the incumbent president as President Bush.
The New York Times also bought into the bogus Flynn tweet, with a later correction attributing the goof to an editing error. Times reporter David Sanger seemed to accept the tweet as true in a Tuesday appearance on CBS This Morning, until anchor Norah O’Donnell tossed him a lifeline, pointing out that the tweet and the account itself were both unverified.
The Washington Post observed that House Democrats were too hasty and didn’t do their homework when they got hold of the phony tweet.
“It’s likely that in preparation for their news conference, Cummings (who cited the tweet first) or a member of his staff came across the tweets and decided they’d be an effective tool in urging their Republican counterparts to launch an investigation….In the rush to condemn Flynn’s actions, the two Democrats didn’t do their due diligence — a mistake that could backfire if Republicans argue Democrats are politicizing the Flynn firing. Democrats will push for investigations either way, but this could blunt the one bit of political leverage Democrats got out of the situation.”
Pelosi and Cummings subsequently conceded that they were duped, AP reported.
According to CNN, “Ema O’Connor, a BuzzFeed reporter who was at the press conference, said she heard an aide tell Pelosi the tweet was fake afterward. O’Connor said Pelosi responded, ‘What do you mean it’s fake?'”
Here's Pelosi being told by an aide oops the Flynn "scapegoat" tweet is from a fake acct. "They told me it's real?" pic.twitter.com/LfUtOwFwa8— Todd Zwillich (@toddzwillich) February 14, 2017
Even Not General Flynn registered his disapproval about the lawmakers who believed the Flynn flim-flam.
President Trump has reportedly offered the national security adviser job to retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, a former Navy SEAL, who was Defense Secretary James Mattis’ deputy when the general headed U.S. Central Command, the Daily Caller detailed. In a new development, Harwood has supposedly turned down the job because he wants to bring in all of his own staffers, although his decision may not be final, USA Today claimed.
In the run-up to today’s press conference during which Trump among other things repeatedly denounced the mainstream media — and particularly CNN — as dishonest and purveyors of fake news, CNN anchor Kate Bolduan seemed to think that Obama is still the U.S. commander-in-chief.
[Featured Image by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images]