Ex-NSA aide’s tale a headache for Trump
President Trump’s long national nightmare — the ongoing scandal over Russia’s meddling into the campaign for the White House — may have grown worse last night with the revelation that former National Security Adviser and Gen. Mike Flynn has a story “he very much wants to tell,” according to his lawyer.
Trump has been facing incoming from all sides ever since the now seemingly ancient high point of his presidency, his speech to a joint session of Congress.
His approval ratings have dipped to an all-time low for first-year presidents, 35 percent, according to Gallup. He was dealt a major legislative blow last week when Republicans failed to pass a replacement plan for Obamacare.
Yesterday, Trump engaged in a Twitter battle against some of his most loyal Republican supporters during the campaign, the House Freedom Caucus members.
And now Flynn, another one of his key campaign backers, has come forward seeking immunity in exchange for his “story,” though neither Flynn nor his attorney are revealing whether his story will help or hurt the president.
But for Trump, the black cloud of the Russia probe continues to hang over the White House with no signs of breaking anytime soon. There have been no smoking guns, but a lot of unanswered questions that have provided a steady drip of bad news and unwelcome distractions from Trump’s agenda for his first 100 days — seen as a defining period in any presidency.
The prospect of a once-loyal Trump foot soldier turned rogue — if indeed Flynn has information that could damage Trump — will dominate 24-hour cable news coverage and overtake everything else happening in Washington.
But Flynn’s testimony could also turn out to be more bust than bombshell, just like Trump’s tax returns unearthed on MSNBC by Rachel Maddow earlier this month. It may simply be a bid by Flynn to save himself.
Trump also has the proven track record of being able to somehow emerge from shocking scandals, including his “Access Hollywood” tape and controversial comments and tweets during the campaign.
But for now, Flynn’s eagerness to step forward only ensures there will be more media attention, public intrigue and Washington drama for a president who campaigned on cleaning up Beltway corruption.