Pro-Trump media downplay Michael Flynn’s plea agreement for lying to FBI about conversations with Russian ambassador

December 6 | Posted by Rich Culbertson | Media Feeds

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Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn will plead guilty to lying to FBI about conversations with Russian ambassador

Wash. Post: “Former national security adviser Michael Flynn has agreed to plead guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.” Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, “has agreed to plead guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak,” The Washington Post reported:

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn has agreed to plead guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, marking another monumental development in the wide-ranging probe of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

[…]

The charge relates to false statements Flynn made to the FBI on January 24 — four days after President Trump was inaugurated — about his conversations with Kislyak during the transition.

Flynn is accused of making false statements to the FBI about asking the ambassador in late December to “refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed on Russia that same day.” Flynn also told authorities he did not recall the ambassador “subsequently telling him that Russia has chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request,” according to a court filing. That would suggest there was a second, previously unknown contact between Flynn and Kislyak.

Separately, authorities say Flynn lied about asking the ambassador to delay a vote on United Nations Security Council resolutions.

[…]

As Friday’s court filing makes clear, Flynn has been a major investigative target of the FBI’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. A key question for investigators is whether any Trump associates coordinated with Russian officials to try and sway the presidential race. [The Washington Post, 12/1/17]

Pro-Trump conservative media immediately downplay, distract from Flynn’s expected guilty plea

Fox contributor Katie Pavlich suggests Flynn charge is contrary to purpose of special counsel probe. On America’s Newsroom, Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich suggested that the charge against Flynn goes beyond the “original intent”of the special counsel’s investigation:

BILL HEMMER (CO-HOST): Is Mueller at the beginning? Is he at the end? Is he somewhere in the middle?

KATIE PAVLICH: Nobody knows.

HEMMER: We don’t know.

PAVLICH: Nobody knows. We don’t know how far this will go. There have been criticisms that the Mueller probe has gotten into places that the original intent was not, which was looking at Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. And in this case, in the Michael Flynn information that we have and also in the Manafort indictment that we saw, there was no reference to the campaign. There was no reference to Russian meddling. The closest we get to Russia with the Flynn information that we have is that he had conversations with the Russian ambassador. But that would be a normal thing for any incoming White House national security adviser to do. The thing that is getting people here is lying to federal agents about the conversations, about their transactions, and that is something that we’re going to have to see moving forward with other people that Robert Mueller may be talking to. Maybe their lawyers should give them a little bit more advice about not giving false statements to FBI agents. [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 12/1/17]

Fox guest Matt Schlapp: “What’s really important for people to know … is that the Obama administration was surveilling team Trump.” On America’s Newsroom, Fox regular Matt Schlapp, who is also the chairman of American Conservative Union, tried distracting from the Flynn news by claiming the Obama administration “was surveilling team Trump”:

MATT SCHLAPP: I think what’s really important for people to know, which is, what ended up happening, what we’ve been reading about, is that the Obama administration was surveilling team Trump and unmasking on hundreds of occasions to see who these names were of the people they were surveilling. And that’s something that we’ve got to mention. Barack Obama fired Mike Flynn from a very important intelligence position in his administration. The relationship between Mike Flynn and the Obama administration was terrible, and the idea that they went back and actually tried to find wrongdoing on Mike Flynn is a very interesting and important part of this story. [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 12/1/17]

Fox News host Howard Kurtz: Charges against Flynn “goes more to coverup than Russia conspiracy.”

[Twitter, 12/1/17]

Fox News regular and Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton: Flynn was “improperly targeted” and Trump “should consider a pardon.”

[Twitter, 12/1/17]

One America News Network’s Liz Wheeler: “What liberals *won’t* mention about the Flynn charges: Michael Flynn was NOT charged with colluding with Russia.”

[Twitter, 12/1/17]

Breitbart.com editor Joel Pollak: “Where’s the prosecution of whoever unmasked Flynn’s name in intelligence reports and leaked it to the press?”

[Twitter, 12/1/17]

Pollak on charges against Flynn: “Weak stuff.”

[Twitter, 12/1/17]

Breitbart.com White House correspondent Charlie Spiering on the charge: “That’s it?”

[Twitter, 12/1/17]

Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft: Flynn to plead guilty in “Trump-Russia witch hunt.” Jim Hoft, founder of Gateway Pundit, called the special counsel probe into Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia as a “witch hunt” in his post on the news, writing, “General Michael Flynn will plead guilty to lying to the FBI deep state operatives in the ongoing Trump witch hunt today,” and describing the FBI as “corrupt.” [Gateway Pundit, 12/1/17]

Far-right troll Mike Cernovich: “A chicken shit charge, zero evidence of collusion.”

[Twitter, 12/1/17]

Far-right troll Jack Posobiec: “After a year of wild CNN conspiracy theories, Michael Flynn only charged with with (sic) a process crime. Mueller has nothing.”

[Twitter, 12/1/17]

Posobiec: “Michael Flynn charges come after he was illegally wiretapped and unmasked by the Obama Administration and Susan Rice. When are those charges coming?”

[Twitter, 12/1/17]

Conspiracy theory talk show host Alex Jones: “Obama illegally wiretapped General Flynn to obtain indictment.”

[Twitter, 12/1/17]

Infowars editor Paul Joseph Watson: “Where are the charges for Clapper brazenly committing perjury?”

[Twitter, 12/1/17]

The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis: “That’s it?”

[Twitter, 12/1/17]

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