The entire fiasco involving the resignation of President Donald Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn "underscores the dysfunction and dishonesty of his White House and how ill prepared it is to protect the nation," according to an editorial in The New York Times.
The controversy over the Trump administration's involvement with Russia is far from over, the editorial stated, because "the White House evidently didn't feel the need to act" on the danger of Flynn being vulnerable to Russian blackmail "as long as it was concealed from the public."
This leaves many unanswered questions, the editorial states, such as: "Did anyone in the White House authorize Mr. Flynn's contacts? Why has Mr. Trump not condemned him for discussing sanctions with the Russians when he was not yet in office?"
Certainly, the editorial says, it is "at best an abysmal failure of judgment" that Trump "clung to such a compromised person in such a sensitive position" for more than two weeks ago after he was told that Flynn had misled senior officials by failing to say he had discussed sanctions in a phone call with the Russian ambassador.
Another area of concern to look into is a Times report that "current and former American officials said other Trump associates and campaign officials had had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election."
These are but some of the many loose ends, in addition to Flynn's actions, that should concern Congress.
However, the response of almost all Republicans has been irresponsible, with House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz saying "that situation has taken care of itself" and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes insisting that "it just seems like there's a lot of nothing there."
The Times bemoaned that the GOP "pilloried Hillary Clinton for nearly two years for using a private email server" and "conducted eight futile investigations into Mrs. Clinton's role as secretary of state during the 2012 Benghazi attack," but that "now the same Republicans seem intent on helping Mr. Trump hide the truth by refusing to investigate Russia's hacking and other attempts to influence the 2016 election, as well as Mr. Trump's connections to Russia and affinity for President Vladimir Putin."
The editorial stressed that Trump "has no more urgent task now than putting in place an experienced national security adviser who is beyond reproach.
"With the world in turmoil, his three-week-old administration is consumed by a self-inflicted crisis, marked by a pattern of recurrent lying and incompetence, and perhaps worse."
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