The truth always comes out.
We (re)learned that lesson for the billionth time last week when The Washington Post reported that national security adviser Michael Flynn had talked with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about economic sanctions that the then-Obama administration had imposed on Russia after its hacking of the 2016 U.S. election.
That reporting, which emanated from nine intelligence sources, ran directly counter to Flynn's assertion that sanctions had never come up during his various in-person, text and phone conversations with Kislyak during the presidential transition in December. This passage, from The Post's report, is particularly painful:
Flynn on Wednesday denied that he had discussed sanctions with Kislyak. Asked in an interview whether he had ever done so, he twice said, “No.”
On Thursday, Flynn, through his spokesman, backed away from the denial. The spokesman said Flynn “indicated that while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up.”
What's worse for Flynn is that not only did he get caught not telling the truth but that he apparently passed along that falsehood to Vice President Pence, too. Pence defended Flynn against the idea that he and Kislyak had discussed the sanctions because, well, Flynn told him that they hadn't talked about it.
Flynn tried to make nice with Pence on Friday — Survival Tactic 101 — but reports out of Penceworld suggested that the vice president was still none too pleased.
And then there was the reaction of President Trump, a relentless consumer of news, to the Flynn stories. “I don’t know about that, I haven’t seen it,” Trump said on his way to his Mar-a-Lago estate on Friday. “What report is that? I haven’t seen that. I’ll look into that.”
Cough. Ahem. Cough.
Let's just say that “I didn't see it” isn't exactly a strong vote of confidence in Flynn. And it's not going to get better for him. The FBI continues to investigate his contacts with Kislyak. Democrats — led by Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.) — are calling for further inquiries. And Flynn's I-didn't-do-it-okay-maybe-I-did-a-little move badly erodes confidence in him among even his allies within the Trump administration.
Michael Flynn, for forgetting the coverup is always worse, you had the Worst Week in Washington. Congrats, or something.
Have a nominee for the person, place or thing that had the “Worst Week in Washington?” Email your nominations to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send them via Twitter with the hashtag #worstweek.