Michael Flynn Resigns

THE ISSUE

WHY IT MATTERS

This was the first major scandal for the Trump presidency. The Trump administration’s handling of this controversy will be a bellwether for how he plans to handle crises for the rest of his presidency. Voters should note this pattern of behavior and determine if they support it or not. How the press plans challenge the Trump administration is also of note to young media consumers.

  • FAVORED THE RESIGNATION – “Off with his head!”

    • Illegal: Flynn conducted diplomacy as a private citizen before being sworn into his position. This is illegal Under the Logan Act.
    • Russian Questions: President Trump campaign aides were in contact with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign. Flynn’s conversation with Russian officials lead to questions about President Trump’s relationship with the Russians
    • Dysfunctional: A high profile resignation less than a month into the Trump administration shows a White House in chaos
  • AGAINST THE RESIGNATION – “There’s more going on…”

    • Media bias: The media treated Michael Flynn “very unfairly” according to President Trump
    • Un-American: President Trump says the real issue is the leaks that led to the reporting on Michael Flynn. President Trump has repeatedly tweeted support for finding the source of the leaks and prosecuting them.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • Gen. H.R. McMaster has been appointed as the new National Security Advisor. The position does not require Senate confirmation
  • McMaster has decades of experience architecting foreign policy initiatives and was an extremely popular choice from both sides of the aisle
  • Democrats and some Republicans are calling for investigations into the relationship between Donald Trump and Russia
  • Most of the GOP seems resistant to an investigation, and are calling it a “witch hunt

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

  • How many Republicans will be willing to investigate the possible ties between Donald Trump’s administration and Russia?
  • Is the news media treating the President unfair?
  • How will the administration deal with potential leaks?
  • Is this level of controversy in the Trump administration a rocky start, or the new normal?