Donald Trump on Saturday acknowledged Michael Flynn’s guilty plea to the FBI as part of the Robert Mueller Russia investigation. And what Trump tweeted had many political pundits scratching their heads.
I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2017
In essence, Trump is admitting that he knew Flynn lied to the FBI—a charg that Flynn pleaded guilty to on Friday—when Trump fired him.
The political media was flabbergasted by that tweet.
Trump in February: “I don’t think he did anything wrong. If anything, he did something right… He was just doing his job. The thing is, he didn’t tell our Vice President properly and then he said he didn’t remember.” https://t.co/KU9q1Josgf— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) December 2, 2017
Sentences 1 & 2 don't jibe with sentences 3 & 4. If Flynn's actions were lawful, why did he lie to FBI? https://t.co/9Rt5hEOWbG— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) December 2, 2017
Dear Robert Mueller:— delrayser (@delrayser) December 2, 2017
Attached please find Exhibit A in your obstruction of justice case against me.
Donald Trump pic.twitter.com/e2zui2UVuh
Trump knew Flynn had lied to the FBI when, during Feb. 14 Oval Office meeting, Trump told James Comey: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go." https://t.co/ODEWGLEVnz— Rebecca Buck (@RebeccaBuck) December 2, 2017
So you knew he lied when you asked Comey to go easy on him and continued to defend him?— Christina Reynolds (@creynoldsnc) December 2, 2017
I'm no lawyer, but that seems problematic. https://t.co/6pIquWuhr0
So…this tweet is the president saying he knew Flynn had committed a federal crime, and therefore faced big legal exposure, at the time the president tried to get the FBI director to drop the Flynn investigation.— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) December 2, 2017
Correct me if I’m wrong, but the President appears to be saying that he knew that at the time that his National Security Advisor committed a felony? https://t.co/hWnHjjw8sV— David S. Bernstein (@dbernstein) December 2, 2017
Trump had been silent on the Flynn guilty plea until he was asked by reporters Saturday morning if he was worried about what Flynn might tell Mueller.
“No, I’m not. And what has been shown is no collusion,” Trump told reporters. “No collusion. There has been absolutely no collusion. So we’re very happy.”
But later in the day, Trump’s tweet might have created even more problems for his administration.
Somewhere, White House aides are screaming into pillows https://t.co/Znv6xclIIE— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) December 2, 2017