Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
How Flynn Became The Shortest Serving National Security Advisor Ever
After the world’s shortest appointment to the post of national security advisor, retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn has resigned his post amid a scandal. He lasted a mere 24 days.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn was a controversial choice to be President Donald Trump’s national security advisor from the beginning. There was that time a consulting company paid him to speak at the Russian news outlet RT, his history of tweeting links to stories by alt-right luminaries and fake news articles, and of course his son’s (since deleted) tweets about the notorious non-story known as Pizzagate, which got junior kicked off the transition team.
None of that seemed to bother Trump. After all, Flynn also had a solid resume, having run the Defense Intelligence Agency during the Obama administration, until Obama fired him for mismanaging the Defense Intelligence Agency. Flynn’s fall out with Obama, a red flag to some, may have made him seem an ideal choice to Trump.
But that changed last week, when it was revealed that Flynn’s contacts with a Russian diplomat — which occurred on the same day the United States was placing sanctions on Russia in response to the interference with the election — went further than he’d admitted.
It was no secret that Flynn has close ties to Russia. But it has now been revealed that he attempted to hide the true nature of his dealings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak from the rest of Trump’s administration.
As the administration struggled to deal with fall-out over news of Flynn’s pre-inauguration phone calls to Kislyak — which were placed on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in connection with the their interference with the election — Vice President Mike Pence defended him, insisting that the communications did not involve the sanctions.
“I talked to General Flynn about that conversation,” Pence told CBS on Jan. 15. “He had sent a text to the Russian ambassador to express not only Christmas wishes but sympathy for the loss of life in the airplane crash that took place…. They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia.”
Flynn denied speaking with Kislyak about sanctions as late as Feb. 8. But a day later, after The Washington Post reported that nine intelligence officials had seen evidence that sanctions were in fact discussed, he began to back away from his denial. A spokesman indicated that Flynn did not recall discussing sanctions, but he “couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up.”
NBC News source: VP Pence was a driver behind Flynn's exit https://t.co/7I1w3gWaQ9
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) February 14, 2017
Because these calls occurred pre-inauguration, Flynn technically acted as private citizen in a way that could be construed as undermining U.S. foreign policy. He could also be charged with a crime under the Logan Act — a statute that bars private interference in foreign policy disputes.
In the wake of the Post’s exposé, the White House published a statement on Feb. 10, suggesting it supported Flynn. On Meet the Press on Sunday, policy advisor Steven Miller sidestepped questions about Trump’s confidence in Flynn, leading to speculation that he was on his way out. “It's not for me to tell you what's in the president's mind,” Miller told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “That's a question for the president.”
But yesterday, Kellyanne Conway once again spoke of the president’s confidence in Flynn, shortly before he resigned.
It remains unknown at what point Trump was made aware of the details of conversations between Flynn and Kislyak. When Todd asked Miller if the president would consider being left in the dark on this issue a fireable offense, Miller refused to speculate on a “hypothetical question.”
However, CNN reported that the Justice Department had warned the White House about Flynn’s communications with the Russians back in January — out of concern that he could be blackmailed over his false statements. That message was delivered by then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who was later fired by Trump over her refusal to defend the controversial travel ban.
As for the job Flynn leaves behind, that of national security advisor, Trump is said to be considering several candidates, including Gen. David Petraeus, who is expected to visit the White House today.
Read the full text of his letter below:
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.