- On February 13, 2017 Michael Flynn resigned as National Security Advisor
- Gen. Michael Flynn was appointed by President Trump as National Security Advisor on November 18
- On December 29, Flynn spoke to a Russian ambassador about the sanctions just imposed by President Obama. It is illegal for private citizens to conduct diplomacy on behalf of the United States
- Vice President Pence said that the discussions between Flynn and the ambassador did not involve sanctions
- White House spokesperson Sean Spicer said it was discovered that Flynn was not truthful about the nature of the conversation
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.
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?