Less than a day after Trump tweeted that he had to fire Flynn, the former national security adviser, because he lied to the FBI—leading much of the political media to collectively shake its head in amazement—Trump returned to Twitter early Sunday morning to defend himself against the charge that he had pressured Comey, the former FBI director, to drop the Flynn investigation.
Trump basically called it fake news.
I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn. Just more Fake News covering another Comey lie!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2017
Earlier, Trump returned to an old standby, asking why Clinton hadn’t been investigated by the FBI.
So General Flynn lies to the FBI and his life is destroyed, while Crooked Hillary Clinton, on that now famous FBI holiday “interrogation” with no swearing in and no recording, lies many times…and nothing happens to her? Rigged system, or just a double standard?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2017
Many people in our Country are asking what the “Justice” Department is going to do about the fact that totally Crooked Hillary, AFTER receiving a subpoena from the United States Congress, deleted and “acid washed” 33,000 Emails? No justice!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2017
After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters – worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2017
Flynn on Friday pleaded guilty for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia, leading many to wonder what kind of deal he had cut with Mueller. According to prosecutors, Flynn had been directed by a “very senior member of the presidential transition team” to make contact with the Russian ambassador in December 2016—after Trump had been elected but before he had taken office.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted this.
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
That led many to wonder about the timing. If Trump fired Flynn because, in part, Trump knew Flynn had lied to the FBI—something Trump seemed to admit in that tweet—the idea that Trump reportedly asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn afterward could constitute a crime.
“Oh my god, he just admitted to obstruction of justice,” former Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller tweeted on Saturday in response to Trump’s initial tweet. “If Trump knew Flynn lied to the FBI when he asked Comey to let it go, then there is your case.”