UPDATE: According to a statement from White House press secretary Sean Spicer, President Donald Trump is now evaluating his options after learning U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn communicated with Russian officials before Trump took office. Reviews into Flynn's actions may go beyond what had been previously reported. This may have prompted Trump to avoid showing any support for the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
While President Donald Trump is widely expected to be a liability to U.S. politics, there’s someone in his cabinet who is proving to be a liability to Trump himself.
Guessing the right name could take a lot of time because almost all of his cabinet members, especially the ones who don’t require Senate confirmation, have turned out to be highly controversial, e.g., white nationalist Stephen Bannon who has been appointed as the new chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, Trump’s real-estate developer son-in-law, who is set to serve as the president’s senior adviser — despite familial ties.
There are more, though the cabinet pick who is increasingly becoming a source of nuisance to an already embattled Trump administration is retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the new national security adviser.
A few hours after Flynn was sworn in, he became the first White House aide to be investigated by U.S. counterintelligence, over communications he has with Russian officials, The Wall Street Journal reported.
It’s not clear when the inquiry began or if it produced any incriminating evidence — or even if it’s ongoing.
The agents looked into the series of calls Flynn made to the Russian ambassador in December the same day former President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies over their alleged involvement in hacking U.S. political groups.
Flynn’s Russian connection, along with his Islamophobia (he has called Islam as a whole a "cancer" in the past) is adding to concerns over his appointment as someone who would not only wield enormous influence over the White House, but also the State Department and the CIA.
Also, it isn’t just Flynn himself. His son, Michael Flynn Jr., has also considerably contributed to his father’s ever deteriorating reputation as national security adviser.
Flynn Jr. is notorious for spreading expletive-filled, racially charged posts and fake news on social media. In fact, his online habits grew so ugly that they cost him his job in Trump’s transition team in December. It happened after he retweeted a false right-wing conspiracy theory called “PizzaGate,” according to which Hillary Clinton’s allies had been running a pedophile ring in the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington.
Most recently, Flynn Jr., being the vitriolic online troll that he is, prompted outrage after he mocked the attendees of the Women’s March on Twitter, commenting women already have equal rights. He even asked if they wanted “free mani/pedis.”
Since Flynn Jr. has already been fired from his post from the Trump transition team, it’s most likely that his father will have to answer for his incendiary comments if the situation ever spirals out of control — like it did in the case of PizzaGate.
But then again, the national security adviser is himself quite capable of sparking controversies and that’s something that’s making him a major liability for Trump.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: Reuters