Speed Reads

new insights

White House lawyers reportedly wrote a memo on all the falsehoods the administration told about the Michael Flynn firing

In February 2017, White House lawyers expressed concern over the Trump administration's handling of then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's resignation, a new report from The New York Times details.

After Flynn resigned following a publicized investigation into his contacts with Russians and secret foreign lobbying efforts, White House lawyers met with then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer to go over what he should say at the podium, since the matter was "a sensitive national security investigation." But they became concerned that Spicer's statements were inaccurate, particularly when it came to describing just how thoroughly the administration had investigated Flynn before determining that there were "no legal issues surrounding" his conduct. The White House attorneys reportedly included Spicer's exaggeration of Flynn's investigation in a memo that listed several misstatements.

The Times also reports that earlier that day, one of President Trump's advisers mentioned that then-House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) told reporters that Trump had asked for his resignation. "That sounds better," Trump told Spicer, per the Times. "Say that." Spicer asked if that was, in fact, true, but the president only repeated, "say that I asked for his resignation."

Both instances surrounding Flynn's resignation highlight an administration that was outwardly bold toward the Russia investigation, but reportedly felt more pressure behind closed doors. Read more at The New York Times.