Tags: flynn | fbi | trump

Flynn Scandal Hardly Registers

Image: Flynn Scandal Hardly Registers
Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn leaves federal court in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 1. Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to making false statements to the FBI, the first Trump White House official to make a guilty plea so far in a wide-ranging investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller. (Susan Walsh/AP)

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Monday, 04 December 2017 02:14 PM Current | Bio | Archive

When the news broke Friday morning that retired Gen. Michael Flynn was pleading guilty to one count of lying to the FBI, the national media launched almost nonstop reporting on the surprise move by the onetime Trump national security adviser.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper even devoted his evening program to whether Flynn’s possible cooperation with authorities makes him the John Dean — onetime Nixon counsel turned chief accuser — of another Watergate scandal emerging from the probe of a Russian role in the 2016 election.

So how is the “Flynn plea” issue resonating with voters?

In Pennsylvania, a state whose 20 electoral votes were pivotal to Donald Trump’s election in 2016, it would appear that the Flynn’s plea and possible testimony against the Trump Administration were not “catching on” — not yet, anyway.

That was the consensus of Keystone State politicians of both parties, who spoke to Newsmax over the weekend at the annual Pennsylvania State Society meeting at New York’s Hilton Hotel.

“It’s a nonevent,” State Sen. Scott Wagner, the front-running Republican candidate for governor, told me.  “All we know so far is that Gen. Flynn didn’t violate any law when he was national security adviser and we don’t know if he did anything wrong while a campaign adviser except lie to the FBI.”

Wagner also said that “you’d never know it from the press but the president has shut down 58 programs through executive orders so far. This includes a lot of wasteful stuff, such as the Y2K program designed to deal with the change on clocks when we went from the 20th to 21st century on New Year’s Day of 2000 — 17 years ago. But what does the media write about? That Melania wore stiletto heels to Houston after the hurricane!”

Two former governors with backgrounds as prosecutors also weighed in on how the Flynn plea was playing.

“It isn’t playing now because it just happened,” former Democratic Gov. and onetime Philadelphia District Attorney Ed Rendell told me. “And it may not amount to anything. But it certainly could develop into something. What people forget is that Flynn had access to [Trump] at all times and what he told him might prove very significant.”

“Is it something people care about now? No,” said former Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, a former state attorney general. “But could it become a story that people care about? Possibly. We don’t know now.”

Corbett added that “right now, there are parts of Pennsylvania where Trump is unpopular. But there are other parts of the state, especially in Western Pennsylvania, where he would probably get more votes than he did in 2016.”

Prof. G. Terry Madonna of Franklin and Marshall College, a premier pollster in Pennsylvania, said that “Flynn was a part of the transition team, was close to Trump, and it has to be explored whether he was reaching out to Russia and in violation of the Logan Act [which forbids private citizen from engaging in diplomacy with other countries]. We just don’t know yet.”

Madonna added that his polls show Trump “with the lowest job-performance ratings among voters of any president since the modern polling science began. And past presidents with low ratings going into the midterm elections usually suffer at the polls.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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When the news broke Friday morning that retired Gen. Michael Flynn was pleading guilty to one count of lying to the FBI, the national media launched almost nonstop reporting on the surprise move by the onetime Trump national security adviser.
flynn, fbi, trump
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2017-14-04
Monday, 04 December 2017 02:14 PM
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