What people are told about son of Flynn!


The tribalization of everything:
Just to offer some basic context, we aren't big fans of Michael Flynn, to the extent that we hold an opinion.

We remember his performance at the 2016 Republican National Convention. We remember it as one of the craziest things we've ever seen in a major political setting.

We refer to the way he led chants of "Lock her up!" from convention delegates during a prime-time address. Just in case people didn't know, he specifically noted that he was talking about "Crooked Hillary."

Four years later, the performance doesn't look as crazy as it did in real time. That said, the native New Englander of a certain age will be familiar with the combination of the slightly distorted, angry face mixed with the light regional accent.

You can see part of the chanting here.
For a longer look at the nonsense, you can just click this. We don't recommend hating the others, but Flynn struck us as "a little bit nutty" that night.

Then too, there was Michael G. Flynn—son of Flynn.

In the fall of 2017, it was widely reported that son of Flynn had become a subject, perhaps a target, of the Mueller probe. In this report for NBC News, Lee, Ainsley and Dilanian profiled the somewhat unhinged younger Flynn:
LEE, AINSLEY AND DILANIAN (9/13/17): The younger Flynn, 34, has a bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and an associate degree in golf course management. He is married, has one son and lives in Northern Virginia. He worked for a golf company and then a healthcare management firm between 2008 and 2015, and since 2014 has worked for the Flynn Intel Group, according to LinkedIn...

He was a controversial figure during the presidential campaign and during the Trump transition,
known for writing inflammatory comments on Twitter and circulating conspiracy theories.

He perpetuated a so-called "pizzagate" conspiracy theory that surfaced in the days before the November election alleging Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton had used the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington to run a child sex-trafficking operation. About a month later, in December 2016, a North Carolina man fired gunshots in the pizzeria allegedly in response to the false "pizzagate" story. At the time, Flynn wrote on Twitter: "Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it'll remain a story."

During the Trump transition there were questions about whether Flynn had an official role. He had a government transition email address and was said to be helping his father, who had been named national security adviser. But after the shooting at the "pizzagate" restaurant, Pence, who was in charge of the transition, said Flynn "has no involvement in the transition whatsoever."
Did son of Flynn really believe that Crooked Hillary "had used the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington to run a child sex-trafficking operation?" As has become increasingly clear, we humans are capable of believing wide arrays of crazy claims.

This is a basic human tragedy. For the record, we can't tell you what the younger Flynn really believed versus what he merely said.

At any rate, the younger Flynn had been playing a major role in his father's big-bucks lobbying group. By the fall of 2017, this fact had led to widespread reports that he might be subject to indictment by the group being led by Robert Mueller, of whose brilliance and fairness we liberals were being widely assured.

Flynn and Flynn don't strike us as the most impressive tandem. Then again, when Mueller appeared before the Senate, he didn't seem anything like the commanding figure we'd heard described, night after night and month after month, on our favorite "cable news" channels.

Can anything be believed in an age like this? We can't answer that question. But we've been struck, in recent weeks, by the different claims our warring tribes hear about a wide array of topics.

This includes what people are told concerning the prosecution of General Flynn—Michael Flynn the elder.

Flynn the elder has been in the news of late. After a three-year pursuit which left him semi-bankrupted, we liberals have been told that he may be about to get off "scot-free" for a crime to which he pled guilty.

So goes tribal rhetoric. But we've been struck by the different things people are told about Flynn depending on what channel they watch. Here's what people are angrily told on Fox:

Flynn Senior only pled guilty to making false statements to the FBI as a way to shield his son from prosecution.

If you watch Fox, you've seen that claim made with regularity. Nor do you have any reason to believe the claim is untrue.

If you watch CNN or MSNBC, you're unlikely to know that this claim is being made at all. Increasingly, we're amazed by the volume of things one tribe is told—things the other tribe won't even hear about.

Did General Flynn plead guilty to protect his son? We have no way of knowing. Nor do we know if any such deal was made in good faith by both sides.

Had Mueller turned out to be the person we'd heard described, we'd have more confidence in the behavior of those in his eponymous probe. But Mueller didn't turn out that way, and viewers of Fox are widely told that the threats against son of Flynn were corrupt on the side of the Mueller probe.

For the record, some people we liberals are told we can trust have said that General Flynn copped that plea on behalf of his son. Back when Flynn the elder made his deal, Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes wrote such things as this, and also this:
HENNESSEY AND WITTES (12/8/17): One week after former national security advisor Michael Flynn’s plea deal, it still is not all that clear what it means. Close observers of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election are divided—with some suggesting the plea signifies a dramatic breakthrough for the prosecutor and others suggesting it signifies a comparatively weak hand on his part on matters of collusion. The fortune-tellers have pored over the tea leaves, and the results are in dispute.

The reason is the plea’s narrowness compared to the astonishing swath of public allegations of potentially criminal conduct on Flynn’s part. Reputable newspapers had reported Flynn’s failure to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, failures to disclose foreign contacts as required on his security clearance forms, large transactions with foreign actors, involvement in a strange influence-peddling scheme over nuclear plants, and even involvement in a kidnapping plot. Press accounts have indicated that Flynn’s son Michael Flynn Jr. also had exposure and that protecting his son was a priority for the elder Flynn. Yet the plea itself was limited. It was only one count for a set of false statements to the FBI. Not a good look for Flynn, to be sure, but far less than what most observers were expecting.

HENNESSEY, WITTES ET AL (12/1/17): If Mueller were prepared to settle the Flynn matter on the basis of single-count plea to a violation of [false statements], he was almost certainly prepared to charge a great deal more. Moreover, we can infer from the fact that Flynn accepted the plea deal that he and his counsel were concerned about the degree of jeopardy, both for Flynn and for his son, related to other charges. The deal, in other words, reflects the strength of Mueller’s hand against Flynn.
We have no idea if that's why Flynn pled. Nor do we know if the people running the Mueller probe were behaving in good faith when they assembling that litany of possible charges against Flynn the elder, or when they threatened son of Flynn, assuming they actually did.

Our observation today is anthropological, and it's fairly simple. As our society splits into warring tribes, members of the two warring tribes are persistently exposed to vastly different arrays of alleged facts and sachems.

Over at Fox, viewers are told that Flynn offered a guilty plea to protect his son. They're also told that people like Mueller and Comey—or perhaps, the people who were really conducting the Mueller probe, one of whom is often named—weren't acting in good faith all through the length of the pursuit of Flynn.

At CNN and at MSNBC, we aren't exposed to such thoughts. Meanwhile, we've now been encouraged to see Comey as a figure of rectitude—a major switch from the earlier days when we were encouraged to see him as highly suspect.

Our tribe has flipped on other such figures, with our most trusted cable stars failing to explain why they themselves have so totally flipped. We now trust Andrew McCabe, who was once flamboyantly denounced on the Maddow show. In a similar vein, we've been told very little about the massive misconduct within the FBI in its pursuit of Carter Page, who we once were told was a witting Russian asset.

Over There, our neighbors and friends hear one set of factual claims. They're told to trust and distrust various public figures.

Over Here, we get a different story; rarely the twain intersect. This represents the politicization and tribalization of everything. Stating the obvious, you can't run a major nation this way.

For ourselves, we don't trust James Comey's judgment or his rectitude, and we did see Robert Mueller's sobering performance.

Beyond that, we sometimes hear what they're saying on Fox. We suspect it isn't all crazy, though some of it plainly is.

Tomorrow, we'll show you something we read in Sunday's Washington Post. It was buried deep inside a front-page report. No link was provided.

For ourselves, we aren't fans of Flynn and Flynn, but we aren't real high on Comey either. We don't recommend that you hate anyone, but given the politicization of everything, is such double vision allowed?

Tomorrow: Sally Yates' reaction

The things people hear Over There: Substantial chunks of what people hear on Fox do seem to be a bit crazy. Tucker Carlson, who once urged Trump to take the virus seriously, has been massively off his pandemic meds of late.

By way of contrast, we're the people who believe that Elizabeth Warren really did think she was Native American; who believe that Stormy Daniels was a feminist hero; and who thought Michael Avenatti was so impressive that he should run for president. It's quite a thrill to belong to the tribe where wisdom and judgment prevail.


  1. "Four years later, the performance doesn't look as crazy as it did in real time. "

    This statement requires clarification that Somerby does not supply.

    Does Flynn's "lock her up" chant look less crazy because of the comparison with Trump (a likely explanation)? It can imply that Hillary was found to be guilty and should have been locked up too. If Somerby didn't mean to imply that, he should have said so.

    There have been numerous investigations of Hillary before and since those chants were initiated. They have all exonerated her. There is no reason to have ever chanted this, and now Trump is calling for Obama and Joe Scarborough to be locked up.

    It is irresponsible for Somerby to make such off-hand remarks without making it very clear what he means. And not at all ironic that is Flynn who has been awaiting sentencing.

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  2. Bob is getting stranger and stranger. We do not need to worry about why Flynn plead guilty. Flynn was guilty, he was caught red-handed. He was doing improper things with the Russians and lied about it to the FBI while they were investigating, and yes it was material.

    Michael Flynn lied to the FBI and that lie was a crime

  3. "Had Mueller turned out to be the person we'd heard described, we'd have more confidence in the behavior of those in his eponymous probe."

    Today Somerby uses Mueller's reticence as an excuse to behave like a Republican, advancing arguments on the right as if they had any truth, on the pretext that liberals won't have heard about them on MSNBC and CNN. Why should either cable station discuss conservative lies?

    Once again, Somerby comes very close to advancing those arguments himself, saying that he cannot fully believe the alternatives because of how weak Mueller was. Mueller was and remained a Republican and he came as close to truth as he could manage while preserving both his integrity and his political beliefs. Only Somerby confuses Democratic hopes with reality. Whatever we might have hoped Mueller would deliver, he nevertheless documented both the Russian/Trump conspiracy and Trump's obstruction of justice. There is no reason to believe that Barr or any other Republican would use his efforts to support impeachment or prosecution. It is an achievement to see Roger Stone go to jail, but Somerby dismisses such things as unimportant because Mueller didn't take down Trump himself.

    Regardless of Flynn's motive for accepting a generous plea bargain, he plead guilty because he was guilty.

  4. I don't believe that Trump can pardon Flynn unless he pleaded guilty.

    1. It is good to know your belief is incorrect.

    2. Wikipedia says:

      "Article 72 says that the president shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence. ... The pardoned criminal will be like a normal citizen."

      If Flynn were to accept a pardon, there is the presumption of guilt, but the president can pardon for presumptive crimes (ones that haven't been charged or convicted).

    3. The plea deal was to protect Flynn from prosecution for additional crimes, beyond lying to the FBI, in exchange for cooperation with the investigation.

      Suggesting that Flynn's motive was to protect his son makes the FBI and Mueller's investigation look bad for attacking someone's family, while diverting attention from his other actual crimes, which he might have wanted to escape prosecution for. It makes Flynn look more innocent and less important to the conspiracy Mueller was investigating. That's why the right put that story forward and the left disbelieves it. Stories originating on the right, which are disbelieved, don't tend to be repeated on liberal media. Why should they be? But Somerby thinks they should be reported, despite being false and self-serving to Trump and his buddies. Why?

    4. I think Somerby is saying, first, that "our side/tribe" needs to get out of our media silo and see what's being reported on the right wing media so that we can see the distortions (and occasional accuracy)"over there" for ourselves, and (2) not ignore distortions when they occur in the sources we find more amenable to our worldview. Finally, he's not saying that CNN/MSNBC should report right wing media distortions "as facts," but rather make an argument for whether or not they are distortions. If, every once and a while, right wing media sources get something right, he would prefer our side/tribe should be open-minded enough to acknowledge it. None of which is easy, which is why many on both sides tend not to do it. Look, Somerby deserves his share of criticism, but dismissing every word he says, or imputing some all-encompassing bad faith to his efforts (i.e., he's working for Trump, he's a secret right winger, he's on Putin's payroll, etc., etc.), gets the discussion nowhere.

    5. Why didn't Somerby bother to investigate whether Flynn's son was involved in Flynn's plea deal? He just repeats that as if it were true, when it is an example of right wing lying. It sounds plausible and it puts Flynn in a more positive light, and it maligns the FBI, but IS IT TRUE? The right assumes it is true because it fits their prejudices. So does Somerby. If you are advocating critical thinking about right wing stories, where was Somerby's investigation of this? He just assumes it is true and goes on from there. And there is so much similar garbage coming from the right, that there aren't enough hours in the day to "investigate" all of it, so you wind up assuming some of it might be true, and then they are changing you, slowly slowly, into a goon for Trump. That may be what happened to Somerby, but I think it is more likely that he is earning a living writing camouflaged right wing propaganda here these days. Why else would he do it? There are no ads on this website. It doesn't have to be Putin -- a right-wing Super-PAC is enough. But we know Russia was funneling money through the NRA to such PACs, and they haven't stopped, so why not Russia?

  5. I don't read or listen to conservative sources, but I knew that Flynn's son started the pizzagate conspiracy theory and that Flynn might have accepted the plea deal as a bargain to keep his son from being prosecuted. How could I know that stuff if it weren't being talked about where liberals get their information?

    Somerby doesn't ever consider whether the stories told on the right are true or not. That matters. There are studies showing that those who watch and read conservative sources are less well informed about current events. Yet Somerby insists that we need to know what they are hearing. Why?

    And then there is the problem that if you try to discuss info found on the left with those on the right, they won't listen. It isn't the left that is creating this divide. The right has carefully developed its own sources in order to manipulate its own base. Those chants of "lock her up" illustrate this manipulation, in which disparage of Hillary and false stories about her were circulated and believed by Trump supporters. But Somerby thinks this is liberals fault, or something that liberals could change? Or does he just want us to absorb the same garbage and believe it too, so that Trump can be reelected? Maybe he wants the NY Times to start printing "lock her up" too? What IS his point?

    1. Somerby is gaslighting his readers because he is bitter over his lack of influence. A kinder angle on this is Somerby is using a devil's advocate type method to sharpen the arguments of liberals, but this is doubtful.

    2. You listen to Fox because some of what they say is not crazy and it helps you understand propaganda and exactly how its viewers are propagandized. I find your questions incredibly strange and naive. Why would you not watch Fox get a better handle on the opposition? I don't mean that as a criticism but I think there are different types of people. I'm of the type that wants to know exactly everything I can about the opposition. Especially in this day and age where there's so much media and so much time consuming media that after a while if you only ingest one side, it gets boring and repetitive. You don't learn anything. But, I cannot make any assumption where one large group is totally wrong about everything and one group that I support is totally right about everything. Some people simply can't do that.

    3. Actually, these days Fox News is certainly better, more diverse/pluralistic, and more interesting than garden variety mind-numbingly dull liberal zombie media; the CNN, MSNBC and all the rest of the Orange Man Bad channels.

    4. Bracket, Somerby said he was watching Fox to get an idea of what The Other think, then he starting saying conservative things and repeating conservative memes. I think watching trash shows and reading garbage rots your mind and wastes your time and makes you susceptible to believing lies.

      If you want to follow what the right is saying, you can read Media Matters, where you get the debunking along with the synopsis of conservative talking points.

    5. That's where we're different.

    6. Bracket, you do nothing more than repeat Republican talking points. Your comments here are worthless.

  6. "By way of contrast, we're the people who believe that Elizabeth Warren really did think she was Native American; who believe that Stormy Daniels was a feminist hero; and who thought Michael Avenatti was so impressive that he should run for president. It's quite a thrill to belong to the tribe where wisdom and judgment prevail."

    Somerby is so careful about not knowing whether Flynn believed his falsehoods, but he doesn't extend the same care to Elizabeth Warren. Her mistaken identification was made decades before she might have gained any professional advantage, but Somerby believes she lied to get work advancement. Similarly, Stormy Daniels could have sold her experiences with Trump for a great deal more money than she got for signing an NDA, but Somerby believes she approached Trump about it because she is a grifter (despite no evidence of that in her professional career). No liberals thought Avenatti should run for president, much less be president. His public problems involved how he handled funds from settlements and financed his business, not the merits of the cases he brought against Trump. Somerby's attitudes toward these people do mirror those on the right, not the left, and that isn't something he should feel righteous about, as he clearly does. Somerby needs to rethink and change his party affiliation, assuming he didn't do that long ago, back when he started promoting the interests of Trump, pretending to be still coming from the left.

  7. "when they threatened son of Flynn, assuming they actually did."

    Why assume they actually did this?

    Shouldn't Somerby verify this kind of thing before accusing liberals of not knowing "facts" that are believed on the right?

    If Mueller's team was threatening to prosecute Flynn's son, doesn't that suggest that his son was doing illegal things? Shouldn't he have been prosecuted? Why should he get off?

    Given the consequences of that pizzagate story, was Flynn's son an innocent who should have been protected by his father?

    Somerby uses the word son as if he were 10 years old, not an adult. On that basis, it was heinous for the right to go after Hunter Biden, who was, after all, Joe Biden's son! Are important figures in the government allowed to lie and collude with Russia in order to protect their adult children from the consequences of their own actions?

  8. They weren’t really in pursuit of Trump advisor Carter Page. Page was a CIA asset. The pretext for investigating him allowed the FBI to surveil all his phone calls and emails and to do the same with all the people he contacted.

    1. This makes very little sense to me because there is inter-agency cooperation to avoid interference in active investigations. So if Page was a CIA asset, the FBI wouldn't have been monitoring his calls and emails.

    2. This is another of those "facts" that the right believes but the left does not. Carter Page himself asserted that he was working for the CIA, but the CIA did not confirm it. Thereafter, those on the right kept saying he was a CIA agent, while the left ignored that assertion. Horowitz tried to put that assertion into his report, but it was removed by someone who recognized that the assertion was unconfirmed (by the CIA presumably). So, the right keeps saying that the FISA warrant was unjustified because Page was a CIA agent, whereas the left keeps saying that Page was a fool who was involved in Russian intrigue and therefore monitored by the FBI.

      But there is no proof that Page was a CIA agent, just a firm belief that differs between right and left and has a strong impact on whether it was OK to monitor his calls and emails (and whether Trump's campaign was therefore being spied upon).

      This kind of thing is how the right distorts truth. It believes things that are self-serving and that fit in with their preferred narratives. But the actions of others make no sense if you assume that the right is correct about Page. So you have to buy the entire conspiracy theory along with it, to make any sense of why Page was being monitored.

  9. As a generality, conservatives tend to refute liberal arguments. Liberals tend to ignore conservative arguments.

    My liberal friends and liberal opinion leaders tell me to ignore FoxNews, Breitbart, etc, because they're biased (which they are.) Liberal friends chide me for even reading conservative sources. They take pride in not knowing what these conservatives are asserting.

    My conservative friends and conservative opinion leaders tell me that the New York Times, WaPo, CNN, MSNBC, etc. are biased (which they are). Then these conservatives go on to explain why these liberal sources are wrong and refute their false claims.

    1. Which one of your friends refuted the NY Times claim that Republicans cared about Hillary Clinton's email protocols?

      For those playing at home, here again, is the list of Republicans who really did care about Hillary Clinton's email protocols.

      1) No one.

    2. You can't "refute" what you consider to be a false claim using false information. That is where conservatives go wrong.

      A conservative friend told me that unions were forbidding electrical workers from traveling to a hurricane ravaged area to help out. He was repeating something he heard on Fox News. I told him that not only had the unions denied that claim, but electrical workers who had traveled to the hurricane area were being interviewed on TV and thanked for their help. Power companies have systems in place to assist each other in such disasters. Did my friend change his mind? Did he retract his statement? Of course not, he doubled down on it and told me I was being fed propaganda. I guess that's David's idea of "refutation".

      Later, I asked a friend who was a field worker for an electrical utility whether he had ever gone to another area to help out during a disaster. He told me he had too much seniority now to be asked to do that -- they send the younger guys to do it. I don't think there is much doubt about the facts, except in the case of Puerto Rico, where Trump most recently refused to send stimulus checks.

  10. "Did son of Flynn really believe that Crooked Hillary "had used the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington to run a child sex-trafficking operation?" As has become increasingly clear, we humans are capable of believing wide arrays of crazy claims."

    Whoa. Are you saying, dear Bob, that Psycho-Witch used some other pizzeria to run a child sex-trafficking operation?

    We are intrigued; please tell the whole story.

    1. Wow! That is beyond stupid.

    2. "Wow! That is beyond stupid."
      Yet, at the same time, it's as smart as anything a Conservative has ever written.


  11. “The things people hear Over There: Substantial chunks of what people hear on Fox do seem to be a bit crazy. Tucker Carlson, who once urged Trump to take the virus seriously, has been massively off his pandemic meds of late.

    By way of contrast, we're the people who believe that Elizabeth Warren really did think she was Native American; who believe that Stormy Daniels was a feminist hero; and who thought Michael Avenatti was so impressive that he should run for president. It's quite a thrill to belong to the tribe where wisdom and judgment prevail.”

    Somerby is careful to describe what “they” hear “over there” from people like Tucker Carlson, while abandoning that careful phrasing by saying “we believe” and “we thought” when talking about liberals.

    There were a couple of opinion pieces touting Daniels as a feminist hero. The support for Avenatti as a presidential candidate amongst liberals was almost but perhaps not exactly zero. So, in Somerby’s deceptive reasoning, this is what “we” thought and believed.

    It is the reasoning of a baby, or a propagandist.

    1. Bob was using a figure of speech called "hyperbole". Hyperbole is a legitimate literary device. Unless you're Donald Trump, in which case it's proof of insanity. (Note my use of hyperbole in the final clause.)

    2. No, he isn't. Hyperbole is defined as: "exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally"

      When you say that a pie is as big as the moon, or you ate a ton of ice cream, that is hyperbole. Somerby is saying that liberals believe something that they do not believe, support people they do not support at all. That's just making shit up. Saying that all liberals do something that only a very few do, is called overgeneralization. Further, Somerby is not being literary, much less poetic. He is lying about liberals.

  12. Flynn had been interviewed by the FBI and they were about to close down the investigation of him when Peter Strzok intervened at the behest of Comey and other brass.

    That’s when they went back to re-interview Flynn.


    Here’s a report of some discrepancies in procedure with the recounting ( a form 302) of that interview with Flynn


    1. Cec, was that before or after he lied to the VP thereby exposing our incoming national thereby exposed himself to blackmail from the Russians and Donald J Chickenshit, Acting President, fired him?

    2. Cecelia,
      Nice red herring.
      When I'm done chasing that one, you should throw me another
      I'll probably never take the time to figure out that treason against the United states of America isn't at all a concern with Right-wingers.

    3. mm, had call between Pence and Kislyak was unmasked by someone and had already been illegally leaked to David Ignatius. He reported on the contents.
      Trump would have privy to that info as President Elect.

      There was nothing that Russia had over Flynn that would not be accessible to the then current WH or to Trump. The whole matter of their conversation (and that of AG Session with Kislyak) looked bad because of the whole narrative about collusion. If Flynn had even reassured Kislyak of some bad policy they were planning, it would have been damaging in that it was bad policy, but it would not have been an illegal. The best the FBI could come up with was the Logan Act.

      There was nothing that the Russians would have had over Flynn that Obama and Trump would not be privy to and if the Trump Admin were all colluding they would have cared only about the effect it had in American media, not with the Russians.

      It wasn't the Russians that Flynn feared. It was his domestic critics what make of the call.

      He lied to Pence and was fired.

    4. From PolitiFact:

      "In the waning days of his presidency, Barack Obama responded on Dec. 29 to Russia’s interference in the U.S. election by issuing sanctions and ejecting 35 Russian diplomats.

      Two weeks later, as president-elect Donald Trump readied for his inauguration, the Washington Post reported that Flynn and Kislyak had spoken by phone on or around the day sanctions were handed down. (The Post later reported that Flynn had been warned in November that Kislyak’s conversations "were almost certainly being monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies.")

      The Flynn-Kislyak conversation raised questions about whether Flynn had undercut Obama’s move against Moscow, particularly after Russian President Vladimir Putin declined to retaliate.

      In the days after the Post revealed the Flynn-Kislyak phone call, key members of the Trump transition team, including White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Vice President Mike Pence and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, denied that sanctions came up during the conversation. Flynn also denied this to the Washington Post.

      But Flynn’s guilty plea removes any lingering doubt about whether sanctions figured into his discussion with the Russian ambassador.

      The charging document reveals that on or about Dec. 29, Flynn asked Kislyak to "refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed on Russia that same day." The document also reveals that Kislyak told Flynn that Russia "had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request." (See the full charging document here.)"

    5. Cec, I know, it looked bad for Flynn to be seen to be playing footsie with the Putin after the Russians had committed an act of war on the US, plus it probably screwed up his side business kidnapping folks for foreign despots.

      Look, the main reason Flynn lied was to protect the incoming Prez. who most certainly was the one directing Flynn to reassure Putin that we were still friends, isn't that about it?

    6. Yes I think that is clear that was the case, he was telling Russia not to worry about the sanctions. That Trump would get rid of them after he was inaugurated. What's so bad about that besides the Logan act?

      The other outstanding thing about the media and what we are told is that in this discussion Israel is never brought up. Flynn and the Ruskie also discussed Israel and the UN vote.

      If you really want a trump collusion story you have one. Trump and Israel colluding to sway another country's UN vote.

      But you would have to be told about it and know about it which you are not and don't.

    7. What's so bad about that besides the Logan act?

      If it wasn't so bad, Trump wouldn't have had to fire Flynn to preserve his deniability when it became public. Which to this day Trump still lies about. Of course Flynn was acting under Trump's instructions.

      Don't worry, Vlad, we're not mad at you for committing an act of war on our country to help me get elected. Wink wind, you cute little kleptocrat. Maybe later you can give me pointers on how to get news reporters to fly out of windows, Haha.

    8. Can you answer directly? What was so bad about Flynn asking the ambassador to hold off on any reactions to the sanctions because Trump would get rid of them when he became president a few weeks later?

      mm Trump did get rid of the sanctions. What was so bad about telling them that that was his plan?

    9. You cannot have two presidents at the same time. Even though Trump was president-elect, he should not have approached Russia until after his inauguration. He wasn't yet in charge of foreign policy.

      Beyond that, it supports the idea that Russia and Trump had been colluding during the election. It looks like a quid pro quo for Russia's help electing Trump. It is part of a pattern of such actions, including the changes to the Republican party platform.

      Trump did not immediately get rid of the sanctions.

    10. I repeat, you should ask Trump why he fired Flynn. What the hell is wrong with you? Of course Trump wanted to remove the sanctions, why the hell would Trump want to punish the kleptocratic dictator who did so much to help him win? Bwahahaha

      Are you blind? Trump couldn't afford the embarrassing revelations that he was already undermining our national security before he even set his fat lying treasonous ass in the WH.

    11. How was it undermining national security? By violating the Logan Act???

      It's bad because it violates the Logan Act and makes people think he was colluding with Russia?

      Sorry, I can't converse with you further if you can't be direct, which I'm sure make you feel very good!

    12. mm are you truly concerned about "acts of war" like you describe here? Where one country interferes with another's election?

      Because if so we can talk. Russia ain't the only country that plays that game. And I'm sure you know other countries interfere on much grander scale than Russia 2016.


    13. “Look, the main reason Flynn lied was to protect the incoming Prez. who most certainly was the one directing Flynn to reassure Putin that we were still friends, isn't that about it?”

      So was Flynn in danger of being blackmailed by the Russians or not?

      Was Trump in danger of being blackmailed by the Russians?

      Was Flynn in danger of being charged with the Logan Act by the DoJ? Did Mueller hint at such a thing?

      Did Mueller find that Trump was in league with the Russians?

      Did Mueller charge Trump with the Logan Act for being an incoming president with his own ideas about Russian policy?

    14. Cec, please give me a break.

      Putin owns Donald J Chickenshit, lock, stock and barrel.

      As a matter of fact the FBI did consider violations of the Logan Act but knew that would be too politically charged.

      Did Mueller find that Trump was in league with the Russians?

      No, Donald J Chickenshit was successful in obstructing the investigation, of which Flynn was a part. Flynn did his part, fell on his sword for Dear Leader and now is getting his free get out of jail payback. No, Trump was too much of a fucking coward to ever sit to answer questions from the Mueller investigators.

      You can't respond to my point which is so blindingly obvious, but go ahead, play your dumb games. Nixon, Reagan, Trump - the party of treason.

    15. mm seems to be concerned about the Logan Act as it pertains to Flynn and Russia (but not concerned and probably not even aware about the Logan act as it pertains to Flynn an Israel) But that the Logan Act violation and the Russian interference combined smell fishy and could indicate some kind of collusion or coordination or conspiracy between the two, which thus far, as we all know very well, has not been proven even after an extensive investigation by the world's leading investigators.

      It's a tough spot to be in mm. I get it. It's frustrating. It's gotta be frustrating as can be for you man!!

    16. It must be so frustrating to not know something for a fact but to take something so on faith that it feels like a fact deeply inside. Yet to have no proof of the scenario which you have taken on faith yet have so much juicy innuendo and smoke. And to have to face the world and face other people who want proof and evidence of this "fact", this truth that you know deep down in your heart is real but in reality is not a fact or truth but something that you have taken on faith. To have to face that truth, to have to live that reality every day, to be stuck with a belief for which you have no evidence but have taken on faith so deeply that you almost confuse it with truth. It must feel like being naked in public or God I don't know, it must feel nightmarish, schizophrenic. Like that one painting.

      I feel for you man. It sucks.

      But with Trump, one thing you can be sure of. Things will end up very, very badly for him. But that too, you have to take on faith at this point.

    17. In Trump's defense, he was too stupid to know he was being blackmailed by Putin to be a Russian asset until it was way too late.
      Don't forget to notice Bill Barr won't release the transcript of Flynn's call to Kislayak. You know, the transcript that totally shows the FBI was making a mountain out of a molehill. LOL.

    18. There is absolutely no proof that Trump approached Putin requesting to be a Russian asset.

    19. Bracket,

      I stated one fact, asshole.
      Donald J Chickenshit obstructed the investigation from start to finish - there's a whole fucking volume of proof, jerkoff. Then the coward installed Billy "the fixer" Barr to take control of the report just before it was delivered because he didn't trust Rosenstein to "land the plane".

      Hey, lookie here, Pauli Walnuts Manafort just strolled out of prison and went home for the remainder of his term.

      Fucking OBSTRUCTION, witness tampering, escaping any possibility of answering questions under oath.

      So fuck you too, Bracket.

    20. Calm down, dear Hillary, please. We'd hate to see you fainting again.

    21. Make no mistake about it, Russiagate is a religion at this late, late date for many Democrats.

      Complete with dogma and chants and nightly revivals in digital tents full of worshippers writhing and wailing and speaking in tongues as their well monied, well dressed and well rehearsed clergy, dressed in diamonds, rhythmically whip their congregation into a frenzy about the promised land and the "truth" and glory that awaits those that believe and the fires that await those that don't.

      It was the same with Birthergate for Republicans.

      I guess, in a way, these new news factions are our new religion.

    22. Doesn't the FBI have the transcript too? They taped it. If there was something there, why didn't they act on it? I don't know. I don't take things in faith as much as others. I would love to see it.

    23. mm I know it's hard man. Frustrating af. Sucks to be in the position you're in. You'll come out it stronger and better. After every dark night, there's a bright day after that.

    24. Russiagate?
      Yeah, that Putin's a real mastermind making the Republican base get excited to vote for a guy who wears his bigotry on his sleeve.
      Putin must have the highest IQ in the history of mankind, to put all that together. LOL.

    25. Bracket it is highly corrupt to manipulate foreign policy when you are not authorized to do so, it is illegal. This is what Flynn was doing. Russia is our enemy, Trump to this day continues to not enforce sanctions. You are wrong on everything you assert.

  13. “We remember his performance at the 2016 Republican National Convention. We remember it as one of the craziest things we've ever seen in a major political setting.”

    Again with the word “crazy.”

    And “Flynn was nutty.”

    Somerby’s (supposed) desire to distance himself from tribalism shouldn’t result in an inability to see the truth about Flynn or the GOP.

  14. Here is a description of the Obamagate lies and conspiracy theory that are behind this whole Flynn brouhaha:


    Conservatives have created an alternate reality that they are using to justify a number of illegal and harmful actions. Somerby today gives aid to this by suggesting that there are facts on the right that we need to be aware of. Trump is making stuff up to motivate his base and to justify actions, such as interfering with vote-by-mail efforts. It will handicap the left if we consider any of this to be more than self-serving nonsense.

    Further, the right denies important facts that the left cares about, such as Comey's torpedoing of Hillary's legitimate campaign, the existence of interference by Russia (documented by Mueller) and the obstruction of justice by the president. These are FACTS that the right denies even though we all lived through that same time period.

    Now they are doing it again. We cannot stop them, but we can tell whoever will listen that the right is lying and making up conspiracy theories yet again.

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