Since Trump fired Flynn following days of damaging headlines about his contacts with Russian officials, the president called Flynn “a wonderful man,” and even tweeted in his defense last week before former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified that she warned the White House about Flynn’s vulnerability to being blackmailed because of his deception about his contacts with Russian officials.
Even when details have emerged, such as Flynn’s failure to reveal that he had been paid $34,000 to speak at a 2015 gala in Moscow honoring the Russian propaganda outlet RT and about Flynn’s offer to testify before federal and congressional investigators about their probe into Russia’s meddling in the election in exchange for immunity, Trump has strongly defended Flynn.
“Gen. Flynn stood by the president’s side when the foreign policy establishment was joining the chorus of Never Trump activists trying to elect Hillary Clinton. He considers Flynn a patriot and a loyal friend,” the White House official said on Tuesday after news emerged of Trump’s alleged request to Comey.
“So while what happened was a fireable offense, the president definitely didn’t enjoy doing it.”