The New Yorker takes a look at the activities surrooundiung Mike Flynn, President Trump’s top intelligence officer, in The Questionable Account of What Michael Flynn Told The White House…
The White House would like this to be a story about Flynn lying to them.
But now Flynn is gone, and there are some bigger unresolved questions. Did Trump instruct Flynn to discuss a potential easing of sanctions with Russia? Did Flynn update Trump on his calls with the Russian Ambassador? Did Trump know that Flynn lied to Pence about those contacts? What did the White House counsel do with the information that he received from Yates about Flynn being vulnerable to blackmail?
“It wasn’t one report,” the senior White House official told me about the series of news articles that made Trump finally focus on Flynn yesterday. “It was a drip, drip, drip.”
Both Congress and the F.B.I. are looking into Flynn’s links to Russia. There are several former Obama officials who saw transcripts of his calls with the Russian Ambassador. The dripping has only just begun.
Drips indeed. This is not the first time a Republican candidate has worked agaisnt a current administration before actually assuming power. One of the most famous was not known at the time but revealed by presidential audio tapes that became public. In this example Republican Richard Nixon began negotiations with Vietnam took place behind the back of President Lyndon Johnson and undercut Johnson’s efforts to end the war and save the lives of American fighting men and women. Smithsonian.com has the details in Nixon Prolonged Vietnam War For Political Gain
In 1968, the Paris Peace talks, intended to put an end to the 13-year-long Vietnam War, failed because an aide working for then-Presidential candidate Richard Nixon convinced the South Vietnamese to walk away from the dealings, says a new report by the BBC’s David Taylor. By the late 1960s Americans had been involved in the Vietnam War for nearly a decade, and the ongoing conflict was an incredibly contentious issue, says PBS:
In 1967, with American troop strength in Vietnam reaching 500,000, protest against U.S. participation in the Vietnam War had grown stronger as growing numbers of Americans questioned whether the U.S. war effort could succeed or was morally justifiable. They took their protests to the streets in peace marches, demonstrations, and acts of civil disobedience. Despite the country’s polarization, the balance of American public opinion was beginning to sway toward “de-escalation” of the war.
Nixon feared a breakthrough at the Paris Peace talks designed to find a negotiated settlement to the Vietnam war, and he knew this would derail his campaign.
… In late October 1968 there were major concessions from Hanoi which promised to allow meaningful talks to get underway in Paris – concessions that would justify Johnson calling for a complete bombing halt of North Vietnam. This was exactly what Nixon feared.
The self-interests of Republicans struck again in a case that hits close to home considering one of the folks held hostage in Iran was from Washington, MO. Rocky Sickmann was a Marine taken hostage along with 51 others for 444 days. The New York Times provides some insight with New Reports Say 1980 Reagan Campaign Tried To Delay Hostage Release…
He says in his article that the accounts of the meetings in Madrid are part of an accumulation of information he has developed in research for a book. He says it has led him to conclude, despite earlier doubts, that some kind of discussions took place between the Reagan campaign and Iran.
“The story is tangled and murky, and it may never be fully unraveled,” Mr. Sick writes.
The fate of the hostages was a pivotal issue in the 1980 election. They were taken prisoner when followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of Iran’s revolutionary Government, seized the United States Embassy in Teheran in November 1979. A military operation to rescue them failed in the Iranian desert in April 1980. The Carter Administration hoped that it might obtain their release either through negotiations or a second rescue mission before Election Day, and Reagan campaign officials were concerned that the return of the hostages could swing the election to Mr. Carter.
While President Trump plays footsie with the Russians this is not the first time a Republican has undermined American law and status to advance their own self interest. Of course, Making America Great Again was an inspirational slogan. Who know it really implied a return to shady foreign relations activity.