Last night, at the Reporters’ Witching Hour of 6 p.m. Eastern, came the bombshell Trump-Russia stories we’ve come to expect at that time of the evening: that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had looked far and wide and collected the scattered remains of his reputation and appointed straight-arrow Robert Mueller as Special Counsel, and that the Washington Post had audio transcripts from June 2016 of House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy jes’ wonderin’ if maybe Putin didn’t have then-candidate Trump on his actual-factual payroll. Which makes Ryan’s deer in the headlights, foot on the neck of any investigation very FUCK YOU, YOU DON’T GET TO BE PRESIDENT.
Well, we thought that would be it for Wednesday! That was not it for Wednesday. Instead, the New York Times (good on ya!) and McClatchy were racing to see who could blow our brains faster with the news that — all lies to the contrary — the Trump transition had been informed by none other than Mike Flynn himself that he was under federal investigation all the way back before the inauguration … oh, and that the actual literal foreign agent had DQed an attack on ISIS that just happened to go against the policy wishes of his paymaster Turkey.
Oh hrm well huh!
Let us do some excerpts at ya, and then we will do our vaunted Wonkette #analysis! (Our Wonkette #analysis will just be screaming incoherently about liar Mike Pence heading the transition team and going TO JAIL.)
First the Times:
Michael T. Flynn told President Trump’s transition team weeks before the inauguration that he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign, according to two people familiar with the case.
Despite this warning, which came about a month after the Justice Department notified Mr. Flynn of the inquiry, Mr. Trump made Mr. Flynn his national security adviser. The job gave Mr. Flynn access to the president and nearly every secret held by American intelligence agencies.
OK, so maybe “nobody knew nothin” is no longer operative. Is there anything from McClatchy that can dovetail quite nicely with this?
One of the Trump administration’s first decisions about the fight against the Islamic State was made by Michael Flynn weeks before he was fired – and it conformed to the wishes of Turkey, whose interests, unbeknownst to anyone in Washington, he’d been paid more than $500,000 to represent.
The decision came 10 days before Donald Trump had been sworn in as president, in a conversation with President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, who had explained the Pentagon’s plan to retake the Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa with Syrian Kurdish forces whom the Pentagon considered the U.S.’s most effective military partners. Obama’s national security team had decided to ask for Trump’s sign-off, since the plan would all but certainly be executed after Trump had become president.
Flynn didn’t hesitate. According to timelines distributed by members of Congress in the weeks since, Flynn told Rice to hold off, a move that would delay the military operation for months. […]
[H]is position was consistent with the wishes of Turkey, which had long opposed the United States partnering with the Kurdish forces – and which was his undeclared client.
So let’s make sure we read that right (we read that right). Flynn, who had secretly taken more than half a million dollars from Turkey — which the Trump transition team, headed by Mike Pence, knew about — didn’t okay an attack on ISIS because Turkey wouldn’t like it. I think if the fez were on the other ayak, we’d be hearing an AWFUL LOT about putting Hillary Clinton IN PRISON.
Oh wait, we are hearing an awful lot about that anyway!
That’s cute. Ann Coulter thinks people still care.
So! Couple few tiny things! Flynn informed Don McGahn, now White House counsel, of the investigation into his Turkey dealings. Flynn also “misled” Mike Pence about his talks with Russia. (The Times is still sticking to that construction.) We don’t know that McGahn informed Pence, head of the transition, about Flynn’s tiny little legal probs. McGahn is also, per all reports, one of the people who advised President Trump to fire the FBI chief who was investigating Flynn’s tiny little legal problems, after President Trump asked him to stop investigating Flynn’s tiny little legal problems. That is just a very good White House counsel, giving very good legal advice that doesn’t constitute obstruction of justice at all!
Does Widener University School of Law have a process in place for refunding tuition?
Meanwhile, as Trump prepares for his Bigly Jerusalem Vacation oh shit BREAKING! Reuters reports that instead of the “zero, none” contacts the Trump campaign had with Russia (besides Jeff Sessions’s two, and Mike Flynn’s four, Carter Page’s trip, Milwaukee Sheriff DAVID CLARKE’S TRIP, Paul Manafort’s entire adult life spent licking Vladimir Putin’s vagina), there were oh, an extra EIGHTEEN MEETINGS WITH RUSSIA, many of which came before Trump was even the GOP nominee.
In January, the Trump White House initially denied any contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign. The White House and advisers to the campaign have since confirmed four meetings between Kislyak and Trump advisers during that time. […]
The 18 calls and electronic messages took place between April and November 2016 as hackers engaged in what U.S. intelligence concluded in January was part of a Kremlin campaign to discredit the vote and influence the outcome of the election in favor of Trump over his Democratic challenger, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
Members of the House and Senate intel committees are reviewing transcripts of the conversations; there’s an espionage prosecutor, Brandon Van Grack, leading a Virginia grand jury through its paces; US Attorney for Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) Dana Boente, whom President Obama removed from the Justice Department’s order of succession, is issuing subpoenas all over the place, which allows us to air our favorite theory: that Bamz removed Boente because President Trump is a tiny, stupid child, so of course he immediately made Boente the Acting Deputy Attorney General until Rod Rosenstein could be confirmed, which put Boente in charge of Trump-Russia after Attorney General Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself for being all up in Sergey Kislyak’s butt; and of course this is all just a “witch hunt,” because Mike Flynn and Donald Trump said so.
Wonkette is killing itself over here. MONEY PLEASE!