It’s been two weeks since Michael Flynn, the former general who briefly served as Donald Trump’s White House National Security Advisor, pleaded guilty in federal court to lying to the FBI about his communications with Russia. As part of his plea agreement, Flynn is now cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
With this in mind, Donald Trump made some news this morning from the South Lawn of the White House.
REPORTER: About Michael Flynn, would you consider a pardon for Michael Flynn?
TRUMP: I don’t want to talk about pardons for Michael Flynn yet. We’ll see what happens. Let’s see.
That “yet” qualifier sure stands out, doesn’t it? Indeed, I wonder what Flynn himself will think when he hears this. It’s almost as if the president were sending a message to his former aide, effectively saying, “No matter what the special counsel’s office is telling you, I still have pardon power.”
Earlier in the same Q&A, there was also this exchange:
REPORTER: Mr. President, when did you find out that Michael Flynn lied to the FBI? When did you find out?
TRUMP: What else is there? You know the answer. How many times has that question been asked?
The president refused to go further, and then called on someone else to ask a different question.
The trouble, of course, is that there are all kinds of unanswered questions surrounding when, exactly, Trump learned about Flynn lying to the FBI, and what the president and his team did after learning of this.
Trump apparently doesn’t want to talk about this anymore – I wonder why – but despite what he said this morning, we don’t really know “the answer” at all.