The White House's Official Explanation of the Michael Flynn Scandal Makes No Sense

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White House press secretary Sean Spicer stood up before the Washington press corps on Tuesday and told several lies to cover up President Donald Trump’s lies about the scandal surrounding now ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn. These lies are important, and they make it clear that the White House’s official story of how the administration handled Flynn’s falsehoods about his contacts with the Russian government does not make sense.

One of the critical questions swirling around this scandal has been when exactly Trump learned that his national security adviser had discussed the Obama administration’s sanctions on Russia during a Dec. 29 phone conversation with the Russian ambassador to the United States. The only comment Trump has made on the issue came on Feb. 10, the day after The Washington Post reported that Flynn had indeed discussed the sanctions with the Russian ambassador and had falsely denied ever having done so. A reporter aboard Air Force One asked the president, “What do you make of reports that Gen. Flynn had conversations with the Russians about sanctions before you were sworn in?” Trump pleaded ignorance: “I don’t know about it. I haven’t seen it. What report is that?”

At Tuesday’s press briefing, Spicer revealed that this wasn’t true. “Immediately after the Department of Justice notified the White…

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