Even Conway Can’t Sufficiently Defend Trump’s Not Firing Flynn Last MonthÂ â€“ Because He Should Have
Matt Lauer held Kellyanne Conway’s feet to the fire over the Trump administration’s handling of the Michael Flynn scandal which erupted late Monday night with the retired general’s resignation as National Security Advisor.Â
Flynn had repeated calls with Russian officials and as they regularly do, America’s intelligence agencies reportedly were able to listen to those conversations. Sally Yates, the acting head of the Dept. of Justice told the Trump administration, presumably President Trump, in January that Flynn was susceptible to being blackmailed by the Russians yet Trump took no action.
Flynn reportedly also talked with Russian officials about President Obama’s sanctions, but later lied to Vice President Pence, claiming he had not.
On Tuesday’s “Today” show, host Matt Lauer discussed the administration’s failure to act.
Lauer pointed out that as late as Monday afternoon Conway publicly stated Flynn had the president’s full support. “So had he not resigned the president would have continued with him as National Security Advisor,” an incredulous Lauer asked Conway, “even though he misled the vice president and the administration about the contents of that call?”
Conway delivered a les-then credible response, so Lauer interrupted.
“So wait a minuteÂ â€“ you’re saying that was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” he said, of the admittance by Flynn he “misled” Pence when he falsely claimed to not have discussed sanctions with Russian officials. “The White House knew about that last month,” Lauer reminded Conway. “The Justice Dept. warned the White House that General Flynn had not been completely honest in characterizing that conversation with the Russian ambassador.”
Lauer, who generally does not hold hard-hitting interviews, didn’t stop there.
“They even went further to say as a result of that dishonesty, he was at risk for blackmailing by the Russians,” Lauer concluded.
“Well, that’s one characterization,” she said, reminiscent of her infamous “alternative facts” remarks. “But the fact is that Gen. Flynn continued in that position and was in the presidential daily briefings, was part of the leader calls, as recently as yesterday.”Â
Conway did not seem to understand that Flynn’s presence was a problem, not the sign of a healthy administration.
“Kellyanne,” Lauer interrupted again, “that makes no sense.”Â
“Last month the Justice Dept. warned the White House that Gen. Flynn had misled them and as a result he was vulnerable to blackmail, and at that moment he still had the complete trust of the president?”
Conway could only respond with, “Matt, I’m telling you what the president has said,” and “we’re moving on.”
â€” TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 14, 2017
Some responses via Twitter:
Wow Matt Lauer is breaking down Kellyanne Conway point by point. She looks exhausted. Not on her game today.
â€” Kyle MacDonald (@thatkylemac) February 14, 2017
â€” Giggle Tornado (@giggle_tornado) February 14, 2017
Kellyanne Conway is showing signs of stress & wear. She isn’t holding her own very well well Matt Lauer on the Today Show. #investigateflynn
â€” RogueWhiteHouse (@whitehouserogue) February 14, 2017
â€” Eli Gerzon (@eligerzon) February 14, 2017
Wow! Even Matt Lauer is asking tough questions and pressing Conway. Never thought I would see that. KAC seems to be wilting. https://t.co/2bwWhRn5lx
â€” Nancy O. (@neob82201) February 14, 2017
Bravo, bravo Matt Lauer for taking KellyAnne Conway to task today! Finally, someone tells the Trump camp that “this doesn’t make sense”…
â€” Day (@DayNewYork) February 14, 2017
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‘Oddest’: Legal Experts Mock Trump’s ‘Nutty’ and ‘Doomed to Fail’ Emergency Supreme Court Motion
It weighs in at 240 pages but legal experts are still mocking Donald Trump’s emergency petition to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an 11th Circuit Court ruling and allow the special master to continue to inspect the 103 classified documents retrieved from him Mar-a-Lago home.
“Oddest SCOTUS petition. Very technical and not terribly logical,” observed Andrew Weissmann, an NYU School of Law law professor and former DOJ official who served as the General Counsel for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and as special counsel to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller.
The motion was addressed to Justice Clarence Thomas, who oversees the 11th Circuit courts. His wife, Ginni Thomas, is an avowed supporter of Trump and his “Big Lie” claims he won the 2020 election.
“SCOTUS should send him packing,” tweets former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, now an MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst. “No surprise here, this was why he paid former Florida Solicitor General Chris Kise $3 million to sign on, no one else on his team could handle this.”
“Just watch SCOTUS turn Trump down 9-0. (Or 8-1 if Thomas dissents . . . ),” writes retired Harvard professor of law Laurence Tribe. “Will The Donald start calling ‘his’ three justices traitors? Will he say they have a ‘death wish’ as he did with McConnell?”
Weissmann took another hit at Trump’s Lawsuit, declaring it “nutty.”
“Trump argument to SCOTUS: 11th circuit had power to stay Cannon decision BUT it [could] not take the classified docs away from SM Dearie review. Nutty and if he won Dearie wd just say he won’t review the docs bc they are not Trump’s.”
University of Texas School of Law professor of law Steve Vladeck says that while the lawsuit is “not *entirely* laughable,” but he thinks “it’s both (1) doomed to fail; and (2) unlikely to accomplish much even if it succeeds.”
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti says, “I would not be surprised if the Supreme Court decides not to hear it.”
Trump Asks Supreme Court to Intervene for Him in Classified Documents Case
Donald Trump on Tuesday petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in his classified documents case, and reverse a ruling from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed the U.S. Dept. of Justice access to the more than 100 classified and top secret documents federal agents recovered from his Mar-a-Lago residence and resort.
Trump is asking the nation’s highest court to order a special master to continue to inspect the 103 classified documents, despite the special master emphatically stating the government, not Trump, gets to decide what is classified and what is not, especially when Trump refused to provide a list of what he considered declassified.
The lawsuit, which is a massive 240 pages, mostly made up of other documents including the now infamous FBI photo of the classified documents on the Mar-a-Lago rug, is addressed to “The Honorable Clarence Thomas, Circuit Justice for the Eleventh Circuit,” and refers to the former president as “President Trump.”
The lawsuit also mentions the contents that federal agents took, including “89 empty envelopes,” while not noting they were classified document envelopes.
“As part of the 11th Circuit’s decision, the panel allowed the criminal investigation to use the seized documents, something [Judge] Cannon had previously barred,” The Washington Post notes. “Trump’s filing seeks only to reverse the appeals court’s ruling on the special master’s access to the documents, not the part of the decision concerning the investigation.”
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
Biden Will Include DeSantis in His Visit to Support Florida Hurricane Victims
President Joe Biden will travel to Florida Wednesday to support families devastated by Hurricane Ian, and will include the state’s GOP governor, Ron DeSantis, in his trip, the White House announced Tuesday.
Last week, asked if he would meet with DeSantis, a top detractor of the president, Biden told a reporter who asked, “I’ll meet with everybody who’s around. The answer is yes, if he wants to meet.”
President Biden on whether he plans to meet with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) when he goes to Florida:
“I’ll meet with everybody who’s around. The answer is yes, if he wants to meet.” pic.twitter.com/nJvW9kKH7T
— The Recount (@therecount) September 29, 2022
“This is not about anything having to do with our disagreements politically, this is about saving people’s lives, homes and businesses,” Biden also said last week.
President Biden says he’s had good conversations with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) about Hurricane Ian aid:
“He complimented me, he thanked me for the immediate response we had, he told me how much he appreciated it … This is not about … our disagreements politically.” pic.twitter.com/SymBlqG75X
— The Recount (@therecount) September 29, 2022
DeSantis asked President Biden for financial assistance for his state, battered by what experts say is one of the worst hurricanes in U.S. history. DeSantis voted against relief aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy when he served in Congress.
President Biden and the First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, will travel via Air Force One to Fort Myers, one of the hardest-hit areas of Florida by Hurricane Ian.
But Fort Myers is also part of Lee County, where officials delayed evacuation orders.
“Lee County, which includes the hard-hit seaside community of Fort Myers Beach, as well as the towns of Fort Myers, Sanibel and Cape Coral, did not issue a mandatory evacuation order for the areas likely to be hardest hit until Tuesday morning, a day after several neighboring counties had ordered their most vulnerable residents to flee,” The New York Times reported. “By then, some residents recalled that they had little time to evacuate.”
“Lee County, which includes the hard-hit seaside community of Fort Myers Beach, as well as the towns of Fort Myers, Sanibel and Cape Coral, did not issue a mandatory evacuation order for the areas likely to be hardest hit until Tuesday morning, a day after several neighboring counties had ordered their most vulnerable residents to flee,” the Times added. “By then, some residents recalled that they had little time to evacuate.”
The St. Louis Post Dispatch blasted the Florida GOP governor, calling his “flip-flop on hurricane relief” a “study in right-wing hypocrisy.”
“DeSantis’ willingness to shelve his usual attacks on the Biden administration to politely request emergency federal aid in the wake of Hurricane Ian is an inspiring example of constructive bipartisanship — as is Biden’s announcement that the government will bear a big part of the expense,” the Dispatch Editorial Board stated. “It’s interesting, though, that DeSantis took exactly the opposite stance a decade ago when he joined other hard-right members of Congress who argued against generous federal recovery aid when Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Northeast.”
Over the weekend DeSantis was blasted by volunteer relief aid workers who were delayed for hours in distributing “food, water, medicine, diapers, and anything else people needed” so Gov. DeSantis could get a photo-op.
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