Why back-channels with Russia cost Michael Flynn his jobBreaking News
tags: Russia, Trump, Michael Flynn, national security adviser
President Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned Feb. 13 after revelations that he had discussed sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. prior to Trump taking office. Here's what you need to know. President Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned Feb. 13. Here's what you need to know. (Deirdra O'Regan/The Washington Post)
President Trump’s national security adviser, retired lieutenant general Michael Flynn, resigned Monday night after “inadvertently brief[ing] the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador [Sergei Kislyak].” Flynn resigned not because of his communications with the Russians, but rather because of his lack of discretion, misleading Vice President Pence about the nature of the exchanges, and, allegedly, opening himself up to blackmail by the Russians.
I wrote previously that back-channel contacts between Washington and Moscow are hardly unprecedented, either before presidential elections or during the transition period when power shifts from one party to another in the United States. The case of Richard Nixon in 1968-1969 furnished several clear examples of back-channel contacts, including exchanges between Nixon’s national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, and an identified KGB operative, Boris Sedov.
The differences show why the Nixon-Kissinger back channels were successful while Flynn resigned after less than three weeks.
First, Nixon and Kissinger synchronized the two back channels to the Soviets during the 1968 election and the transition period. This included the Kissinger-Sedov channel and also one between Nixon’s adviser and later ambassador to NATO, Robert Ellsworth, and the Soviet charge d’affaires, Yuri Cherniakov. Kissinger and Ellsworth acted with Nixon’s knowledge and the messages both men conveyed to the Soviets complemented and reinforced each other.
comments powered by Disqus
- Santae Tribble, Whose Wrongful Conviction Revealed FBI Forensic Hair Match Flaws, Dies at 59
- Crowd Rallies to Keep Confederate Memorial in Downtown St. Augustine
- As Divisions Threaten America, The Pressure To Cancel Presidents Is Dangerous
- Trump is Going All In on Divisive Culture Wars. That Might not Work this Time.
- Redskins, Indians and the Long Push to Drop Native American Mascots
- How to Confront a Racist National History
- The Politics of Race are Shifting, and Politicians are Struggling to Keep Pace
- Trump’s Push to Amplify Racism Unnerves Republicans who have Long Enabled Him
- The Day the White Working Class Turned Republican (Review)
- David Starkey Criticised over Slavery Comments