A visibly nervous White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer confronted journalists for the first time since Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation late last night as National Security Advisor. It didn’t go well.
Aside from the fact Spicer seemed to be telling two different stories in the same sentence — Flynn resigned, Trump asked Flynn to resign — the story seemed shady and hard to believe.
CBS White House correspondent, Major Garrett, asked:
When the President was asked on Friday traveling down to Mar-a-Lago about reports of conversations with the Russians and sanctions, he said, ‘I don’t know about it, I’ll look into that.’ Was he being truthful?
Spicer said the President meant he wasn’t aware of the Washington Post’s bombshell story which had been out of several hours that included the damning allegations Flynn had discussed lifting sanctions on Russia after Trump assumed the White House.
But the story falls apart there.
Spicer veered between storylines of there not being a legal issue the White House had reviewed on Flynn discussing sanctions, while at the same time saying the issue was Flynn had misled the Vice President about the nature of his conversations…which had already been cleared legally?
Here’s his exact quote:
Just to be clear, the acting Attorney General informed the White House counsel that they wanted to give ‘a heads up to us’ on some comments that may have seemed in conflict… with what he had sent the Vice President out in particular. The White House counsel informed the President immediately. The President asked them to conduct a review to see if there was a legal situation there. That was immediately determined that there wasn’t. That was what the President believed at the time from what he had been told and he was proved to be correct. The issue, pure and simple, came down to a matter of trust and the President concluded he no longer had the trust of his National Security Advisor —
But the press wasn’t buying it and they directly asked Spicer if the president had instructed Flynn to talk about sanctions with Russia. Spicer said, “Of course not!” And the press secretary kept reiterating that the issue wasn’t the nature of the discussions, but the fact Flynn had misled the Vice President about the nature of the phone calls…
First, the president lied and said he knew nothing about the allegations against Flynn…but now he had been aware of a investigation into the matter? And if there was no legal issue with Flynn discussing sanctions, doesn’t that mean they were aware he had discussed sanctions and had misinformed the Vice President?
The story makes no sense. The timeline makes no sense. And the fact Trump kept a security risk on board, despite some pretty damning ties surrounding him and an increasingly hostile Russia means there is more to this story than meets the eye and the White House is scrambling to scotch tape a story together to try to fix this.
Watch the briefing: