Call this the live version of Donald Trump’s Twitter feed. CNN’s Jim Acosta tried to ask Donald Trump if he regretted firing Michael Flynn after Trump declared him vindicated if not exonerated last night and this morning. Trump had a couple of choice words to say about CNN in particular, along the same lines as this tweet:
Trump did tell Acosta that he regretted not having all the information before firing Flynn, but most of the rest of this response is a challenge to get CNN to cover Flynn’s vindication as fully as his prosecution. As far as Trump-Acosta exchanges go, Mediaite points out, this one’s surprisingly friendly, but no less pointed:
Trump wouldn’t say whether he stands by that statement, deflecting instead to how Flynn was “tormented” by “dirty cops.” After he also called the Roger Stone case a “disgrace,” Trump pivoted to blast CNN by accusing them of being part of Flynn’s “torment.”
“CNN tormented him, in all fairness…I hope to see that CNN will — not even apologize, which they should, but just cover it fairly. Because he is in the process of being exonerated. If you look at those notes from yesterday, that was total exoneration. These were dirty, filthy cops at the top of the FBI. They were dishonest people. Now we have to see what’s going to happen. General Flynn was treated like nobody should.” …
Acosta followed up by asking Trump if it was a “mistake” firing Flynn, which the president indirectly answered with a response about how “they were out to get him,” the prosecution was a “disgrace,” and Flynn is “essentially exonerated.”
That certainly sounds like someone who’s prepared for some executive clemency action, and not just for Flynn. Trump also brings up Roger Stone as someone unfairly prosecuted, which makes it look as though Trump’s preparing the grounds for a pardon there as well. Flynn will likely not need any such action after yesterday’s disclosures to the court, and Flynn will likely prefer outright dismissal over a pardon anyway. Had he not fought this (belatedly, of course) to the end, the cloud would have hung over Flynn the rest of his life.
As for the FBI, the “dirty cops” epithet has to sting … but they seem to have earned it. Trump’s got an idea about where this started too, one which will surprise no one.