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first impressions

Michael Flynn apparently introduced himself to the National Security Council by talking up Russia

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn didn't do a great job at tamping down rumors of inappropriate communications with Russians.

A Politico report published Friday describes a rocky start to Flynn's short-lived tenure. Hundreds of staffers at the National Security Council were reportedly baffled that Flynn didn't introduce himself or say a few words as the new leader, even via email, for about two weeks. When he finally called a meeting, writes Politico, staffers became even more worried:

The tone of the gathering was oddly political, several attendees said, with Flynn praising Trump and boasting about the president’s smarts and savvy. Flynn also said the U.S. needed to take a different approach to Russia, viewing it more as a partner than an adversary. [Politico]

NSC employees were especially concerned given rumors, at the time, about Flynn's connections to Russia — connections, of course, that ultimately led to his resignation and an eventual plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

"It didn't make any sense," one attendee of the meeting told Politico. "A lot of us left the room and discussed it afterward in the context of the Russia commentary, and it was like, 'Wow, did that just happen?' It seemed as if he was completely naive, at best, to the state of play in big power foreign policy dynamics. He thought Russia wasn't a problem."

Flynn was also reportedly M.I.A. for much of his 24 days as national security adviser, failing to respond to important memos or include other NSC staffers in making major public decisions. Flynn, through his lawyer, declined to comment. Read more at Politico.