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Kiriakou writes: "Donald Trump's White House falls apart a little more every day. It seems like every morning there’s more news about who among Donald Trump's friends, relatives, and advisors is being subpoenaed, questioned, accused, or indicted or, worse for the president, who has flipped and will testify against him."

John Kiriakou. (photo: The Washington Post)
John Kiriakou. (photo: The Washington Post)

Barack Obama's Parting Gift to Donald Trump Was Mike Flynn

By John Kiriakou, Reader Supported News

10 December 17


onald Trump’s White House falls apart a little more every day. It seems like every morning there’s more news about who among Donald Trump’s friends, relatives, and advisors is being subpoenaed, questioned, accused, or indicted or, worse for the president, who has flipped and will testify against him. Meanwhile, Trump flails around, making accusations against everybody from the FBI to the Democrats to the Washington Post and George Soros. It would be great fun to watch if the stakes weren’t so high for the country.

The linchpin to this whole “Russiagate” case is Mike Flynn. The former three-star general and director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was a loose cannon whom Obama had to fire in 2014. While Flynn had a real vision to transform the bloated DIA from a second-tier also-ran in the intelligence community to a primary war zone intelligence service, he was known as a nasty jerk to those around him, he was unnecessarily harsh with his subordinates, and he simply could not or would not follow the president’s direction.

Flynn suffered from that very Washington affliction: He thought he was smarter than everybody else in the room and he wouldn’t take advice. Trump has the same disease.

After Flynn had proven himself a thorn in the collective sides of Obama and Ashton Carter, then Secretary of Defense, he jumped into the Trump campaign with both feet, famously leading a chant of “Lock her up!” in reference to Hillary Clinton, at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

I believe it was then that Obama decided to have a little fun with Flynn, at Trump’s great expense. Here’s what we know:

NSA spies on Americans. They also spy on Russians. And when an American is on the phone with the Russian ambassador, or meeting with Russian attorneys with “ties to Russian intelligence,” and then reporting back to a major Republican presidential campaign, NSA lights up. So NSA knew that Flynn was in touch with Russian Ambassador Serge Kislyak even before the two hung up the phone.

A conversation between a senior presidential campaign official and a Russian diplomat or intelligence officer is major news in the intelligence community, and that news would have been reported back to Obama posthaste. So Obama knew that Flynn, Donald Trump Jr., and others were meeting with the Russians. And he knew what was being said because NSA had given him the transcripts.

Another thing we know is that in their first post-election meeting at the White House, Obama gave Trump one piece of unsolicited advice: Don’t hire Mike Flynn. The meeting was reported everywhere, and most observers thought that Obama had made the recommendation because he had to fire Flynn from DIA for insubordination.

I don’t think that was it at all. I think Obama knew that Trump would do exactly the opposite of what he wanted. If Obama doesn’t want him to hire Flynn, then, by God, he’s going to hire Flynn. And so he did.

Flynn then proceeded to dig himself a deeper hole. We know that he telephoned Kislyak on December 22 and again on December 29 to ask him to either delay or veto a United Nations Security Council Resolution that would have condemned Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. Of course, NSA was fully cognizant of these conversations and, as it turns out, provided those transcripts to the FBI.

Was this “collusion” with the Russians? Of course not. It was an overeager, underinformed, and amateurish attempt at foreign policy. If anything, it was collusion with the Israelis to try to block Obama’s foreign policy on Israel and the settlements. If anything, it was a violation of the Logan Act of 1799, which prohibits the making of foreign policy by a private citizen, which Flynn still was.

But that’s not the point. The point is that the FBI by then had a transcript of the call when they asked Flynn to speak with them about it.

And therein lies the rub. First, I can tell you from personal firsthand experience that nobody should ever, EVER, talk to the FBI, at least without an attorney sitting right next to you. FBI agents will lie, cheat, and deceive to get you to trip yourself up in your response to their questions. Even if you don’t remember what you said in some particular conversation months or years ago, or if your recollection is fuzzy, they will charge you with a felony for “making a false statement.” That’s the leverage that they want over you.

Mike Flynn is a career intelligence professional. He knew that NSA would have been listening to his conversations with the Russians. He knew that NSA would have passed the information to the FBI. But when the FBI interviewed him about his talks with the Russians, he lied. It’s as simple as that. He lied. And that’s a felony.

In the greater scheme of things, Mike Flynn is a small fish. His son, Mike Jr., who was also implicated in the case, is a smaller fish. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has Jared Kushner in his sights. He has Donald Trump Jr. in his sights. Eventually, he wants to get the president, if the evidence leads him there. Mike Flynn can give him that evidence. That’s why he made an agreement to plead guilty to that false statements charge. He likely won’t see any prison time, and his son won’t be charged with any crime at all. In exchange, the Flynns, along with George Papadopoulos and, probably, Richard Gates, will all be free to rat out Kushner and the Trumps. That’s the end game.

And that brings us back to Barack Obama. Obama, whether you like him or not, is undoubtedly one of the brightest and most politically savvy presidents we’ve had in generations. I think he saw all of this coming. He knew that the Trump campaign was a train wreck waiting to happen. He knew that Hillary Clinton was probably the only Democrat in America who couldn’t beat that train wreck. He knew that he could manipulate the narcissist Trump. So Obama planted the seed to bring the entire House of Trump crashing down. It all started with Flynn, the guy who thought he was smarter than everybody else.

The investigation and ensuing criminal cases make for an ugly process, but the country will be stronger once it’s all over. We’ll have Barack Obama to thank for it.

John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act - a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration’s torture program.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


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+41 # librarian1984 2017-12-10 11:24
"Was this 'collusion' with the Russians? Of course not .. If anything it was collusion with Israel."

Great article, very interesting. It explains why Obama, who had all this information about the Russians BEFORE the election, did nothing to stop it.

The author calls our attention to the much more destructive role Israel plays in our policy making, including the move of our embassy to Jerusalem, our ignoring genocide, our military used to serve Netanyahoo's agenda, arms sales and subsidies etc.

People who continue to scream about Russia, if they were honest, would also be screaming about Israel and Saudi Arabia. The fact they're not speaks to an imperfect understanding of current events .. and future disasters.
-23 # kalpal 2017-12-10 13:34
Which genocide is that you are blithering about?
+10 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-12-11 07:28
kal -- don't you know. The Israelis have been committed to the destruction of the Palestinian people from the very start of the Zionist state. It is astonishing that everyone does not know that the Zionists are committing genocide. But that tells a lot about the state of our media. The US is complicit in this genocide because it protects Israel and distracts the American population from this great crime.

It is natural for supporters of Israel to deny the genocide. But that won't make it go away.
+6 # librarian1984 2017-12-11 21:03
Apparently the same one you're in denial about.
+21 # wrknight 2017-12-10 13:41
What people should really be screaming about is the corrupt political system we have right here in our own house. Israelis be damned, it's our own chicken-hawk politicians and the 1% they serve that are the real traitors.
+11 # tedrey 2017-12-10 20:38
True, but it's hard to write 17 paragraphs about the corrupt US political system without mentioning the Israelis in at least 2 of them.
+39 # gdsharpe 2017-12-10 11:31
No doubt Obama is a thinker, and a thorough one.
And I can easily believe that he manipulated trump. trump could not think his way out of a wet paper bag if was open at both ends.
-10 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-12-10 13:35
gd -- if you believe this, then you are saying that the whole Russiagate thing was Obama's idea. He set things up to destroy the next president. He rejected the results of the 2016 election and is destroying the presidency of Trump. If this is the case, then Obama is guilty of very serious crimes.

I don't buy it. To me, Obama has never shown any intelligence, other than the nice manners and affable personality that disarms people. But that is not intelligence or learning. It is what any con-artist can do. Obama was more like Bush than people think. He was good at taking orders and meeting people.

You are right about Trump not being able to think his way out of a paper bag. Good way to phrase it.
+5 # lfeuille 2017-12-10 18:32
I think he is intelligent, but that is only part of the problem. He over intellectualize s everything and lacks a sense of the cost in human terms of his actions. And he is too emotionally invested in American Exceptionalism to see through the military's bullshit.
+15 # tedrey 2017-12-10 12:49
Very neat suggestion. I don't know if it's true (nobody's got *anything* right in the last two years) but if 2016 were a novel that I was writing in 2015, I'd hope I'd have had the genius to have it come out that way.

[Of course no publisher would have touched it, because no one would believe it.]
+20 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-12-10 13:18
Here it is from someone who really knows --

"I can tell you from personal firsthand experience that nobody should ever, EVER, talk to the FBI, at least without an attorney sitting right next to you. FBI agents will lie, cheat, and deceive to get you to trip yourself up in your response to their questions."

I must have received 100 down thumbs for saying just this. I hope everyone will go back and reverse their thumbs.

The police -- FBI more and anyone -- are trained to confuse people they confront and interrogate. If you watch the tape of the cop who shot Daniel Shaver in cold blood, you will see he is trying to confuse Shaver into doing things that will justify a shooting. They are trained to do this. Very few people expect this sort of tactic. Lawyers know about it so they simply do not respond at all. Their stock answer is "we will take that under advisement. "

We now have a police and FBI which is committed to destroying people. It does not investigate crime or try to help people. It destroys or kills them. There really is no way any normal person can deal with this. Flynn might think he is smarter than anyone, but even smart people can't deal with irrational lying crazy people. Just get away from them.
-2 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-12-10 13:26
"The former three-star general and director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was a loose cannon whom Obama had to fire in 2014."

There is much more to the story than this. Flynn said openly in a staff meeting with Obama, Carter, and the rest that he knew they were supporting ISIS and he was going to blow the whistle if they did not stop. Flynn repeated this threat several times. Then he was fired. He did blow the whistle to several journalists. He made this charge on RT and that is why RT gave him an award and a trip to Russia.

Flynn felt that Russia was actually correct in its approach to Syria and ISIS. This is what initially attracted Trump to Flynn.

As you can imagine, this is what pissed off Obama more than anything. Obama and his handlers vowed vengeance against Flynn.

"Obama, whether you like him or not, is undoubtedly one of the brightest and most politically savvy presidents we’ve had in generations."

I don't agree with this either. Obama was a lackey of the CIA. He did what he was told. Sometimes he eventually felt some guilt for this bad acts but he tried not to show it. All in all, he was a pawn in a game that took place at a much higher level. He has recently admitted that his Libya policies were a mistake. Sorry that is not enough. It is like Himmler saying maybe we were a little too tough. Obama needs to turn himself in to the Int'l Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
-10 # John S. Browne 2017-12-10 13:34

Oh, give me a break, PLEASE! "Odrona" wasn't 'savvy'. He did what he was told by the global(ist) deep state shadow government. He escalated the endless war OF terrorism and aggression, and the drone mass-murder campaign, among other things; and all of his so-called "positive 'legacy'" was nothing but a created chimera to make him "look good" under nothing but false pretenses. Yes, some of it was actually "good", or at least had the appearance of being such, but the guy was a consumate global(ist) government mass-murderer and war criminal, just as all U.S. presidents have been for a very long time, but particularly under the Bushs' and "Odrona"; and none of the so-called "good" can wash them free from the "blood stains" of that true legacy. But, with most "Amerikans" living in a fantasy world and ignoring the unpleasant truth(s), they give "Odrona" a 'pass' on all or most of his major crimes.

(Continued below)
-5 # John S. Browne 2017-12-10 21:52

Besides, we're "simply" being subjected to further, and more deceiving, political theater, playing us and distracting us from the global(ist) deep state shadow government completing the "totalitarianiz ation" of the U.S. and bringing it under the fait accompli of one-world government enslavement, and distracting us from the expanding "totaliterroriz ation" of the U.S., the West and world. Global(ist) enslavement is the name of the game, and "T(R)ump" is a card being used in that endgame. The global(ist) government illusionists are making more of us, collectively, look in primarily in one direction, while they are performing their slight of hand in the other direction(s) where they have manipulated, and are continuing to manipulate, us not to look, where all of the real, most important, and most dire action(s) for the entirety of the U.S., the West and the world, are being played out, at the expense of everyone throughout same, for the absolute worst outcome(s) in the short and long run(s).

(Continued below)
0 # John S. Browne 2017-12-11 22:48

Wake up, people. Don't buy into this "intelligence" propaganda, lauding global(ist) deep state shadow government operatives like "Odrona". Kiriakou still lives in a fantasy world. He still believes that evil can bring about "good"; in other words, that evil "intelligence" agencies and their puppets like "Odrona", who most "Amerikans", including Kiriakou, don't know are global(ist) deep state shadow government marionettes, or refuse to face it because they've been so heavily dumbed down and indoctrinated and condition, aka brainwashed and/or "washed-of(-tru e)-brains", to do either or both. In this fantasy world, evil can allegedly do "good"; and everything, including the most evil, vile things supposedly "all work out for the best". Uh huh, and I've got a gulag in Russia to sell you, dirt cheap (yes, the Russian government still sends dissenters to gulag slave-labor camps; and, soon, the U.S. and other Western countries will be, too).

(Continued below)
0 # John S. Browne 2017-12-14 11:28

Wake up, completely recognize and entirely face the global(ist) deep state shadow government reality, and stand up against it, totally! Don't be like a "Kiriakou", and continue "live" as if the "artifical 'reality'" being played out all around us is the "true reality"; when in actuality it is nothing but a massive "matrix" control grid herding us and the whole world to our, and its, ultimate demise; while most of us continue to allow ourselves, and even prefer, to be part of the mass-insanity of that control grid, as Kiriakou is a prime example of. In other words, most people, particularly "Amerikans", don't want to wake up, and don't want to come out of the "matrix", even though their choosing such, knowingly in many cases, is in their gravest interests. They don't want to see the forest for the trees, and actually prefer to be "Pied Pipered" and/or "lemminged" over the edge of the cliff to their doom, and lose their soul(s) for all eternity.

"...(Truly, fully and completely) (r)epent, for the kingdom of (God and of) heaven is (very near) at hand..."! [Luke 4:17; etc.; clarification(s ), emphasis and/or paraphrasing provided by me.] Come completely out of the evil "matrix" control grid, and surrender to nothing but God's True Good through Jesus the Christ (John 14:6), and be entirely set free by the Truth (John 8:32).

0 # elkingo 2017-12-10 14:07
Boy, plausible. Sounds like the inside track.
0 # elkingo 2017-12-10 14:10
Guaranteed peace process for the Middle East and elsewhere - people stop shooting and bombing quite so much.
-13 # 2017-12-10 14:57
"General Michael Flynn, Former National Security Advisor to President Trump, is being investigated by Special Counsel for accepting legitimate payments from Turkish companies for researching and exposing Wanted Terrorist and Radical Islamist Fethullah Gulen and his $25+ Billion criminal network in the United States."
+1 # trimegestus 2017-12-13 23:52
Stranger Things ... indeed.
Progressive readers may want to reconsider their thumbs-down votes for the above rnbeal essay.

I urge you to read the credible essay by Sibel Edmonds in this link.

Also, I urge you to Wiki-search Sibel Edmonds, former intelligence analyst and whistle-blower who was censored and persecuted by deep-state security agencies.
+3 # lfeuille 2017-12-10 18:26
"He knew that the Trump campaign was a train wreck waiting to happen. He knew that Hillary Clinton was probably the only Democrat in America who couldn’t beat that train wreck."

In other words, we have Obama to thank for the Trump presidency. If he knew all that why the hell didn't he endorse Bernie, the only avenue open for avoiding it? Was playing games with Trump that important to him?
+3 # PCPrincess 2017-12-12 11:51
My opinion on Obama is that he represents the 'Animal Farm' effect; he may have held some decent ideologies upon entering office (the citizenry probably knew very little about him, including myself before running for President), but was putty in the hands of the elite and may have even morphed into a true corporatist before leaving office.

Corporatists seem to either still buy into old and incorrect economic policies or they simply don't care about the economic effects on the country as a whole as long as their pockets are stuffed.

Most corporatists seem to fall into line with military intervention due to the massive intertwining of corporate interests, massive profits and government contracts. Obama made a great corporate lackey.
+1 # justifiableWTF 2017-12-12 15:00
While I think this article is facile as hell, remember - Johnson was in the same situation when he discovered Nixon (though one of his campaign advisers) had been in touch with North Vietnam right before the '68 election. He'd asked them to delay coming to any resolution at the peace talks, arguing that once he was elected they'd get more favorable terms with him than any Democrat. If Johnson had outed him, the Republicans would have screamed it was a frameup, that a sitting president was attempting to influence the election in favor of his party, etc. - so Johnson sat on the info, and did no more than warn Nixon that it would be made public if he didn't cease all contact.

I can see Obama backing off for fear of being blamed for the exact same thing - influencing the election on HRC's behalf, smearing Flynn/Trump etc., or worse, driving voters to 3rd party candidates to split the vote even more (remember, Wallace was also a strong contender in '68, so much so that Nixon feared losing a lot of racist southern votes to him). As for why didn't he support Bernie - get real. The DNC ran her as their candidate - are you seriously suggesting Obama should have added to the divisiveness by openly endorsing a candidate that didn't have the party's support?

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