On Thursday, a panel on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” hinted that former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn was behind several reports on Wednesday that showed the Trump transition team was aware of his foreign contacts, but hired him anyway.
During the show, co-host Joe Scarborough claimed that U.S. Vice President Mike Pence should have been aware of Flynn’s issues and was definitely aware that the president decided to fire former FBI director James Comey over the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
Washington Post political correspondent Karen Tumulty shed light on the fact that Pence was in the Oval Office just before Trump asked Comey to drop the investigation into Flynn’s actions.
Bloomberg Politics’ John Heilemann then said, “This is a bad story for Pence, either way. Either he knew and is lying or he did not know and was wildly incompetent. Either way, not a great story for him. By the way, it seems to me the import of this story is that Michael Flynn’s lawyer came out a couple of months ago and said that Mike Flynn had a story to tell — he’s now starting to tell that story.”
He continued, suggesting that Flynn was leaking the reports as a last stitch attempt at securing the immunity that he sought: “If this is the thing that he’s leaking, and there are other things that he’s still holding to offer in exchange for immunity, that means this isn’t even the worst of it — that means he’s got more things to say.”
Senior politics editor for Huffington Post Sam Stein said that the Trump team ignored many patently obvious red flags in order to name Flynn National Security Adviser — to which both Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski agreed that’s only because Trump felt comfortable around Flynn. Scarborough added,
“I can tell you first-hand, everybody on that transition team spoke of Michael Flynn as if he were Dwight Eisenhower on June 6, 1944. He was the greatest guy, he was a calming influence — that was the one selection that Donald Trump and Jared Kushner would never be moved off of.”
Co-host Mika Brzezinksi then reminded the rest of the panel that the Trump transition team was warned against Flynn. However, they chose to ignore those warnings and, instead, placed him in charge of national security.
“Scores of people saying, ‘Mr. President, do not appoint this man.’ ‘It’s the most important position, he’s wildly unstable, it would be a terrible mistake.’ He and Jared Kushner heard that repeatedly every day and didn’t give a damn.”