The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that disgraced National Security Advisor Michael Flynn is seeking immunity in exchange for his testimony about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before President Trump was sworn in as President. Flynn’s attorney released a statement indicating that there were ongoing talks between Flynn and Congressional leaders.
A statement by counsel to General Flynn. pic.twitter.com/JQs90OI2OY
— Robert Kelner (@robkelner) March 30, 2017
Flynn’s testimony could be a bombshell in an investigation that has failed to produce any truly damning evidence that the Trump administration was involved in Russia’s interference in the November election.
But it was Flynn’s initial downfall which highlighted an ongoing problem in the White House: Donald Trump’s lack of control. While it is certainly possible that Vice President Pence lied about his knowledge of Flynn’s interactions, the currently held belief is that there was massive confusion in the White House about Flynn’s relationship with the Russian Ambassador.
In February, Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions had to council Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on the issue of transgender bathroom protections and the President’s own spokespeople, KellyAnne Conway and Sean Spicer delivered contrary information at virtually the same time.
Now, there are reports of tension in the West Wing stemming from the GOP failure to pass a health care reform bill and lack of support for the President’s proposed budget. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has seen a lot of the blame fall on his shoulders, as he is Trump’s closest tie to the more traditional wings of the Republican Party. Last week, spokesperson Boris Epshteyn left his post in the White House. And it was announced Friday that Katie Walsh, the deputy chief of staff and a strong ally of Preibus, is also out of the White House, and will head to an outside organization, America First Policies, to help market Trump’s policies.
With Republican control in Congress and the White House, it should have been easy for Trump to push through legislation, but he simply cannot deal with having to manage so many personalities and viewpoints. His inability to accept criticism and unwillingness to find compromise has alienated anyone that has the slightest disagreement with the President. If he wants to pass his health care bill, he will have to work with Democrats and the Freedom Caucus, not against them. However, Trump shows that he is unable to do so.
The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2017
Donald Trump has shown that he was woefully unprepared to lead this country. From cabinet picks that couldn’t be confirmed by a friendly Senate, to public spats with would-be political allies, Trump has proven to be very bad at bringing people together in support of a common goal.
While Trump’s failure to work with Congress or even his cabinet has thus far proven to be, in some small way, beneficial to the country (the Affordable Care Act still stands), it signals that faced with crisis, cooler heads are unlikely to prevail. While we may not agree with Trump’s cabinet picks on policy, there is at least a good bit of experience surrounding him. Most of them at least seem to be more rational than the President. But it is frightening to think that he would be unwilling to listen to reason, even from those closest to him in crucial moments.