The Slatest

Today in Conservative Media: Mike Flynn Is the Real Victim Here

Michael Flynn following his plea hearing on Dec. 1, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Michael Flynn following his plea hearing on Dec. 1, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Today in Conservative Media is a daily roundup of the biggest stories in the right-wing press.

Now that the right is coalescing around the idea that the Russia investigation is a political hit job orchestrated by partisans in the intelligence community and fomented by the Obama White House, maybe nothing is as it seems? Maybe former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn isn’t so bad after all?

Byron York at the Washington Examiner dredged up Flynn’s case Monday, writing that the former Trump adviser, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in a plea deal with Robert Mueller, actually didn’t do anything wrong in his interactions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition in late December 2016. “[The] misconception that Flynn had done something wrong led [Deputy Attorney General Sally] Yates and [FBI Director James] Comey to have Flynn interviewed as if he were a criminal suspect,” Andrew McCarthy recaps at National Review. “Apparently unconcerned, Flynn agreed to be interviewed without counsel.”
The new logic on Flynn is that he’s a victim of the overzealous Obama administration. The FBI agents that interviewed Flynn didn’t think at the time that Flynn had lied to them, but did Flynn know that when he agreed to plead guilty?

… Flynn’s case was reassigned to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. We now know that one of Judge Sullivan’s first actions on the case was to file an order directing Mueller to provide Flynn with any evidence in the special counsel’s possession that is favorable to Flynn, whether on the issue of guilt or of sentencing. Significantly, the order stresses that if Mueller has such evidence but believes it is not “material” and therefore that Flynn is not entitled to disclosure of it, Mueller must show the evidence to the court so that Judge Sullivan may decide whether to mandate its disclosure.

“Could this provide General Flynn with factual grounds of which he was previously unaware to seek to have his plea vacated?” McCarthy asks. “Would he have a viable legal basis to undo the plea agreement that he and his lawyer signed on November 30?” We don’t have answers to those questions yet. Either way, Rush Limbaugh has seen enough to declare Flynn’s treatment: “One of the Most Gigantic Political Scandals of Our Lifetime.” Matt Vespa at Townhall knows a clown show when he sees one and “this whole investigation has become a massive clown show.”

In other news

The editors at the Weekly Standard took aim at Trump’s infrastructure plan saying “it would make a bad system worse.” The problem, the Weekly Standard editors write, is that offering federal dollars to states to build roads and bridges means that they almost always will, whether they need it or not. The result is offers of cash “distort state and local priorities” subjecting them to the priorities of “faraway federal bureaucrats.” “Over time, Washington’s generosity has encouraged states to devote too much in resources to federally eligible roads and not enough to ineligible ones,” they write. “The federal government has enough decrepit buildings and highways to take care of without presuming to know which state and local ones need more money.”

Also at the Weekly Standard, David Byliner dissects Democratic electoral performance post-2016, where the party has largely outperformed Hillary Clinton, even deep in Trump country, and raises the possibility that “Democrats are both turning out their voters and bringing some Trump-converts back into the fold.” That would spell trouble for the GOP this fall.

And last … but also least … we come to the Daily Caller, which picked up on a bizarre story that appears to have started on 4Chan and subsequently made the rounds on far right media, that the artist behind former Pres. Obama’s newly unveiled portrait, Kehinde Wiley, has a penchant for sneaking depictions of sperm into paintings and maybe, just maybe slipped a sperm reference in the Obama portrait.

Fox News’ Sean Hannity also pushed this story with a post titled: “PORTRAIT PERVERSION: Obama Portrait Features ‘SECRET SPERM,’ Artist Joked About ‘Killing Whitey.’ ”

Deleted Sean Hannity tweet.
Deleted Sean Hannity tweet.
Twitter

Hannity later deleted the tweet and removed the story from Hannity.com.

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Elliot Hannon

Elliot Hannon is a writer in New York City.