Trump Vows Return of Russiagate Victim Michael Flynn If He Wins in 2024
“He took abuse like nobody could have handled, and he came out bigger, better, stronger than ever before.”
Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn will have a place in the next Trump administration if the Republican primary candidate wins the nomination and the 2024 presidential election, Donald Trump has said.
“I will say, General Flynn, he’s some general. He’s some man. He took abuse like nobody could have handled, and he came out bigger, better, stronger than ever before,” Trump told Flynn by phone at a rally in Miami, Florida over the weekend.
“We love him, he’s a leader and you just stay wealthy and healthy and well…I want you to have great lives and General, you just have to stay healthy because we’re bringing you back. We’re gonna bring you back,” Trump said.
Flynn, 64, was forced to leave his job as Trump’s national security advisor in February 2017 for failing to disclose conversations he had with Russia’s ambassador during the Obama-Trump transition period on efforts to normalize Russia-US ties.
Flynn later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about these conversations. In January 2020, he withdrew the plea, citing alleged FBI efforts to entrap and persecute him, but later reneged amid crushing legal fees and threats by the FBI to prosecute his son.
In May 2020, leaked hand-written notes and text messages between senior FBI officials revealed evidence of a plot to entrap Flynn, with former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former FBI Director James Comey exchanging a message on efforts to “get [Flynn] to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”
An email sent by former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice a day before Trump’s inauguration in 2017 revealed that Comey recommended pushing the Flynn probe even after finding no evidence of any criminal wrongdoing, including from the NSA-to-be’s conversations with Kislyak.
In 2018, Comey boasted that sending agents to interview and entrap Flynn at the White House was something that that he “probably wouldn’t have done or maybe gotten away with in a more organized administration.
“The Justice Department dropped the case against Flynn in May 2020, ruling that the FBI’s questioning was not “conducted with a legitimate investigative basis,” and his responses immaterial, “even if true.” A federal appeals court dismissed charges a month later. Trump gave Flynn a full pardon in late 2020, shortly before leaving office.
Flynn’s prosecution became one of the first manifestations of Russiagate – a conspiracy theory claiming that the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin to get the Republican candidate elected in 2016, and that some sort of behind-the-scenes relationship existed between Trump and Moscow to get him to pursue pro-Russia policies. The claims collapsed in 2018 after a two-year-long, $32 million investigation could find no evidence of any Trump-Russia collusion.
Trump accused former President Barack Obama and then-former Vice President Joe Biden of engaging in “treason” by targeting Flynn, and suggested that the politicians would each have got 50 years in prison for their role in perpetuating “the greatest political scam” and “hoax in the history of our country” if they had been Republicans instead of Democrats.
Flynn’s firing early into the Trump administration altered Washington’s foreign policy trajectory for the remainder of his presidency. Although Trump successfully avoided getting the United States entangled in any new foreign quagmires, he failed to make good on campaign promises to improve relations with Russia, and to pursue a Nixonian-style “divide and rule” strategy of separating the diverse array of nations challenging US global unipolarity.
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