Dear President Trump: Loyalty Should Not Come at the Cost of National Security

Sally Yates testified before a Senate committee yesterday, and it had Donald Trump in a mood. He fired off half a dozen tweets about Yates, including one where he seemingly attempts to identify her as the person who leaked information about Michael Flynn, that led to his firing.

Here’s that tweet:

Then there’s this one:

Au contraire, Mr. President. Sally Yates’ testimony brought about some significant news, especially as it relates to Michael Flynn, thus your attempt to make her out to be the person who leaked the information.

According to her testimony, in late January, she reached out to White House Counsel Donald McGahn when she saw discrepancies within intelligence reports about Flynn that differed from what Mike Pence said Flynn told him.

In two separate meetings, Yates said she told McGahn that Flynn was subject to blackmail by the Russians because they knew he’d lied to Pence. Here is what she said:

“We felt it was critical we get this information to the White House. We believed that General Flynn was compromised with respect to the Russians. To state the obvious, you don’t want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians.”

Precisely. So this raises an obvious question: Why on earth did the President wait until the Washington Post reported Flynn’s conduct before terminating him?

It’s obvious that an administration cannot have a national security adviser that is not honest with the President and Vice-President. It is a position that relies on experience and trust. If one cannot trust their national security adviser, what good are they?

What’s worse is that this revelation comes on top of the report that President Obama warned Donald Trump about appointing Flynn to the national security adviser position, but those warnings fell on deaf ears. Naturally, Trump didn’t think much of it considering Obama fired Flynn.

But after being told of Flynn’s deception with Pence, he should have been immediately terminated. For Trump, much of it comes back to loyalty. Michael Flynn was one of his most ardent supporters during the presidential campaign and a critic of the Obama administration. Flynn praised Trump on Twitter and in public, and as anybody knows, flattery goes a long with Donald Trump.

The information doesn’t excuse the leak. It’s still illegal, and the person responsible will be prosecuted if caught. That said, it is fair to say the only reason Michael Flynn is not the national security adviser right now is due to the leak.

In that sense, Donald Trump was ready to put loyalty above national security. That’s not good for anybody.


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