Donald Trump started the morning the way he does so often—by chowing down on a good conspiracy theory. In this case, while the nation is facing this little thing where more than a million people are infected with a deadly disease and 62,000 Americans are already dead, Trump focused on what was really important: how his former national security advisor was “scammed” into confessing to a crime. A crime for which he might pay with whole days behind bars. Because that’s what most important to America today.
It’s just one of a string of efforts by Trump to get the nation to look at anything other than the refrigerated trucks filling up with the bodies of Americans who died because of his staggering incompetence. But before Trump gets too far down the road on this particular rant, he might want to check with this guy.
The idea that unregistered agent of the Turkish government Michael Flynn is somehow a martyr to the cause of Trumpism has been deeply embedded in the Q-conspiracy from the start. This took some doing, as Flynn was the first of Trump’s minions to fold like a cheap suit and give up his boss in exchange for a very nice deal that saved both the former general and his violence-encouraging son from facing a whole stack of potentially serious charges.
While Flynn is facing a single charge of lying to the FBI, that charge is entirely the result of a very good deal worked out for the short-term NSA by his legal team. In truth, Flynn was directly engaged in illegal lobbying for a foreign power, lobbying that included an extended effort to kidnap a U.S. resident and ship him back to Turkey for execution at the hands of authoritarian ruler Recep Erdrogan. Flynn wasn’t “scammed” into accepting a charge that he didn’t commit. He was gifted a deal on the lightest charge that the special council could produce in order to secure his testimony.
One of Flynn’s partners in the Turkish deal was convicted by a jury on two counts of violating the Foreign Agent Registration Act for the actions he conducted along with Flynn, only to have the counts vacated by a Republican judge. However, that was just one of several cases that resulted at least in part from Flynn’s testimony.
Then there’s the little matter of the actual charge against Flynn, which is that he lied to the FBI about the nature of his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the Trump transition. Which Flynn very definitely did.
Despite this, Flynn’s role as good guy done in by the bad guys has been a consistent feature of right-wing conspiracies about the “deep state.” It took some time for Trump to slip past Fox, Breitbart, and even InfoWars into the sub-basement of right-wing whack-a-doodlery, but landed there some months ago and has since defended Flynn despite the fact that Trump previously claimed that Flynn lied to not just the FBI, but Mike Pence.
If Flynn was scammed by the FBI, was Trump also scammed … by Pence? It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that Trump got to spend the morning screaming about James Comey and Michael Flynn. It was almost like the old days, in which the nation was being run by a egomaniac scam artist whose biggest concern was keeping his followers steamed up over trivia while he and his pals looted the country.
Too bad this is now the nation that’s governed by an egotistical scam artist who is guilty of 60,000 counts of manslaughter. If not outright murder.