Mike Flynn Assumed the FBI Agents Interviewing Him Would Be Trump Supporters

Several times in the interview recounting the early aspects of the Russia investigation, Peter Strzok made it clear that Flynn felt comfortable with FBI Agents. Strzok said Flynn was “unguarded” and “relaxed and jocular.” He “clearly saw the FBI agents as allies.” That’s consistent with a guy who — according to his own sentence memo — “had for many years been accustomed to working in cooperation with the FBI on matters of national security.”

But there’s a part of the newly unsealed 302 that makes clear an assumption Flynn clearly had. In describing what he should be pretty ashamed being caught in — clandestine meetings with foreign leaders — he explains why he and Jared Kushner had a meeting at which Kushner asked for a back channel to the Russians.

Flynn explained that other meetings between the TRUMP team and various foreign leaders took place prior to the inauguration, and were sensitive inasmuch as many countries did not want the then-current administration to know about them. There were no personal relationship between the leaders of many countries and the prior administration. FLYNN stated that he and personnel from the incoming administration met with many countries “to set expectations for them, and the expectations were set very high.”

This is a campaign speech, not an interview with the FBI. In it, he implicitly badmouths the guy whom he had worked for for six years (though who,  of course, fired Flynn).

More tellingly though, he assumed he could give this campaign speech to FBI Agents who were interviewing him about being caught undercutting the prior Administration’s efforts to hold an adversarial government accountable. He appears to have assumed they’d be cool with that.

In short, Flynn assumed he was being interviewed by partisan Republicans.

That’s telling, not just because the current Attorney General is certain that any bias in 2016 went against Trump (when there’s abundant evidence that FBI agents, including those investigating Hillary, were none too fond of her). It’s ironic because it means Mike Flynn regarded Peter Strzok — accused endlessly of anti-Trump bias — of someone who’d sympathize with his snide comments about the Obama Administration.

Update: Finally fixed the prior/incoming problem in my transcription. Thanks for your patience!

As I disclosed last July, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post. 

28 replies
  1. Stephen says:

    I think, in the penultimate sentence of the excerpt, you meant “prior administration” rather than “incoming administration.” Otherwise I don’t see the implied criticism of team Obama, just a factual statement that the political novices in the incoming administration hadn’t yet developed such relationships. (If I am correct & you change the text, please delete this so that it doesn’t just look silly. If I am incorrect, please explain. Pretty please?)

  2. Dan says:

    Double-check your block quote. Should be (change in ALL CAPS)

    … no personal relationships between the leaders of many countries and the PRIOR ADMINISTRATION

    Thanks for all the work you do!

  3. Badger Robert says:

    And you can almost hear the FBI agents yucking it up and stating the interview was just for appearances, to close out a few dumb questions. Yuck, yuck, we are all palsy walsy!

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Flynn must never have heard that it is kosher for law enforcement to lie to an interviewee, but were an interviewee to lie to them, it would be a felony. His blindspots, narcissism, rightwing rants and inability to filter his comments – much like Trump – would be among the reasons a capable president fired him.

    Flynn’s faults must have been painfully obvious for Obama to have fired a three-star general as head of the DIA and not not had major blowback for it from the service chiefs, who jealously guard such appointments and their service peers.

  5. Jenny says:

    Flynn is a liar. He got caught. On tape. Said to McCabe ( The Treat page 200) regarding his conversations with Kislyak, “You know what I said because you guys were probably listening.”

    Page 201 -Two FBI agents told McCabe about interviewing Flynn; had a “good recollection of events … did not appear to be nervous or sweating … They said he related his comments in what appeared to be a very credible fashion. However, what he said was in absolute, direct conflict with the information that we had.”

    • rip says:

      You nailed it.
      Flynn is a liar. Probably not as pathological as trump but still capable of saying whatever he wants in order to promote himself.
      My contacts within the DIA detested him and couldn’t understand how he got that job.

      • Jenny says:

        Flynn – angry man connects with angry Trump campaign. Gets job as NSA. Obama warns not to hire Flynn. After 24 days on the job gets fired. FBI knows about his discussions with Kislyak. Flynn lies to FBI.

        Remember Flynn, former head of DIA, attended a RT (state-sponsored Russian TV network) dinner, sat next to Putin, was paid $45,000 plus perks to give speech in December 2015 before the Republican Convention.
        Perks from Dec 9 – Dec 12 for Flynn and his son were plane tickets and staying at a luxury hotel. Perhaps added was a case of vodka and Matryoshka (nesting dolls) souvenir.

        • William Bennett says:

          Remember Flynn, former head of DIA, attended a RT (state-sponsored Russian TV network) dinner, sat next to Putin, was paid $45,000 plus perks to give speech in December 2015 before the Republican Convention.

          Self-enrichment is clearly part of the picture but I think there’s an ideological one as well. We’re looking at a convergence of people who basically see in Putin’s Russia a reflection of their own desires for where they want to take this country. It’s still more or less veiled, but the veil is pretty tattered. Autocratic rule, suppression of dissent, subjection of the media to authoritarian control, semi-official Christian Nationalist religion (and Christian Nationalism ALWAYS means white nationalism), government by and for the oligarchs (of whatever nationality—see Mitch McConnell and Deripaska), and above all hatred of “liberalism” (ever a primary bulwark of authoritarian/fascist thought)—in short, there’s a whole laundry list of things Putin has that the GOP yearns for and has been working to acquire for decades.

          I don’t know exactly how explicit it is in the mind of someone like Flynn, but I feel like with his lifelong military service there has to be some defensive rationalization going on to cast his own treacherous hypocrisy in a positive light. And the fact is, there is a strong current of admiration for Putin in extreme right Republican (but I repeat myself) circles. He’s just part of that phenomenon as it has coalesced around Trump. Like I say, this has been reported on, though it’s still more or less at the level of being something top leaders can’t say out loud. But these are people for whom Putin’s Russia just looks a lot closer to their vision of America than, say, Obama’s or the Democrats’ generally.

          And certainly there’s no harm if your principles, such as they are, are compatible with enriching yourself as you work to realize them.

        • vicks says:

          I agree.
          America is the land of checks and balances.
          Trump and his crew can’t stand that.
          They are using propaganda and bullshit to justify pushing aside one “check” at a time as they build their power.
          Russia is what things look like when the powerful no longer feel they need to justify their actions.
          It no longer takes much of an imagination to see the plan that was set in motion by these a-h*les after Trump’s election.
          I have always believed Pelosi has been all in on “impeaching the mother-f*cker” from the day dems took back the house. From Trump’s filthy rant at Normandy I think he believes the same.
          The gloves are beginning to come off

        • Americana says:

          I agree. In addition, I believe Trump may have felt he could manipulate Gen. Flynn in his role as the Trump DNS to accept whatever role Trump wished the U.S. to take w/Russia because of Flynn’s prior criminal decisions about American strategic entanglements w/Turkey. Trump knew he had Flynn over a barrel given that crime. In return, I think Flynn believed he’d also have an easier time persuading Trump to understand and favour his strategic perspective in the Middle East thanks to Trump’s geopolitical strategic ignorance and Trump’s obvious desire to play well w/the Russians for the sake of Trump’s own self-aggrandizement. It will be interesting to hear from Flynn where he thought American interests and Russian interests eventually would have diverged in the Middle East. Perhaps we’ll hear that in impeachment testimony.

        • vicks says:

          I think there was and still are some clever people involved in the Trump administration but I never for a moment thought Trump was one of them.
          There is a good chance that (at the time) Trump didn’t have a clue as to why some of these people were getting hired, and if he did he didn’t care.
          There were some hardcore a-h*les like Steve Bannon that had a political agenda and were using Trump and his campaign to push it, and I am sure Trump’s family members were working hard in the hopes he would win but it is impossible for me to imagine the rest of this god awful crew were anything else but the “every man for himself” self-serving sort of criminals that joined up for the opportunity of a lifetime.
          I also now realize that when bashing this “witch Hunt” that the save the trump crew had a point, many of the crimes these people are accused of or in jail for have NOTHING to do with conspiring with Russia to get Trump elected, but in my opinion, that’s because getting Trump elected wasn’t their priority, it was their cover.
          A few years later these individuals have morphed into some sicko band of brothers willing to fight to the death to keep Trump in office and do WHATEVER it takes to stomp out ALL investigations. Again, not much imagination is required to see how quickly this has escalated and how, with the addition of Barr, Trump could soon become unstoppable.

        • Yohei72 says:

          The Russia-envy is increasingly open on the right. I presume many of us here have seen the t shirts at Trump rallies – “Better Russia than Hilary.”

  6. Drew says:

    With Trump and in Trumpworld generally it would make sense to 1) assume that the cops were on their side 2) To cozy up with FBI agents and assume they were Republicans (and many/most are) 3) To believe that they are partisan allies until the agents don’t follow the sycophantish script that Trump et al. want them to follow and THEN, suddenly accuse the same Republican FBI allies of being partisan Democratic spies out to get Trump. It’s all a part of the dynamic of malignant narcissism. (Which includes a good bit of projection)

    Flynn might have actually thought he was drawing these FBI guys further into the circle of cooperation by bringing them into his confidence.

    Flynn firing his lawyers may be a very big mistake. Popehat says, “I hear a train wreck coming” Withdrawing the plea could bring on a superseding indictment and further histrionics could prompt Judge Sullivan to give a sentence exceeding the guidelines.

    • Troutwaxer says:

      When the judge in your case is flying off the handle and asking the prosecution attorneys, “Was this treason? Was this treason?” you don’t fire your defense attorney and start accusing FBI agents of misbehavior. You quietly take the 1-6 month sentence and tiptoe away!

      • P J Evans says:

        That’s what you do if you’re reasonably sane and sensible. There’s a question whether Flynn is either one, now. (He got fired because he wasn’t acting like he was sensible.)

  7. Tom says:

    Flynn’s assumption that he was speaking with friendly interviewers is consistent with the press coverage that I recall from 2016 where the point was made that the FBI, as a law enforcement agency, was primarily a conservative organization and therefore favourably disposed towards Trump. In particular, I recall reading in TIME that Comey would be under pressure to find some wrongdoing in HRC’s email scandal and that he would have to walk a fine line to ensure his investigation was perceived as being objective and non-partisan.

    • William Bennett says:

      Hence shock and outrage at their failure to rally to Trump brand and instead doing the unthinkable, actually daring to investigate a Republican. Total breakdown of the most sacred principle upon which the whole republic rests: IOKIYAR. I think they honestly believe that to be the greater treachery, and are acting upon it as such.

  8. jaango says:

    In search of the “Chicano Army”…

    Back in the Era of the late 1960s and 1970s, the Federal Government imposed its two-fold purpose and which addressed the then “white fright” and which came in two tangents. The first was in attacking the anti-Vietnam War leadership and simultaneously was the comprehensive surveillance construct imposed on Spanish-speaking and Native American military vets. Thus, the standardized FBI was tasked with this anti-Vietnam War behavior and thusly, the newly-established behavior can best be described when the FBI, under considerable poliltical pressure/clout by the Morman Church, hired these church members, and once appropriately trained, were assigned this second tangent and which was deemed within the FBI, as their “scut work.” And I know therefrom and wherefrom and where I speak of, since,years later, the “chief” in the Denver office (FBI) in charge of this “scut work” retired and moved to my home state of Arizona. And after several years of considerable boredom, got himself elected to the state legislature, and consequently, got himself promoted to the House chamber in Congress. And I could go on and on, in this vein of thought, but today’s youngsters have forgotten all about the Chicano Movement and which has now morphed into the Latino Perspective and which will collide with the new “majority” within the next twenty years. As such today’s “racial and ethnics” will become this majority and today’s majority will become tomorrow’s minority.

    However, with today’s 17 surveillance/intelligence gathering agencies, yesterday’s “white fright” has been ramped up to “fear” and if one takes the view, and as I do, the House chamber’s ‘inquiry’ should include the issued subpoena’s to all, and yet, to all the Admirals and Generals in order to address this subject matter of this decades-long penchant of “white fright.” Of course, the Pentagon will tell anyone and who’s willing to listen to their ‘propaganda’ that the Pentagon should not be “politicized” while continuing to spend billions upon billions of dollars doing harm to our nation’s “enemies.”

    Thus, who are our “enemies” and who are “friends and allies,” need to be defined by Congress and not the Trump administration or the Pentagon’s wealth of appointed officials–both civilian and uniformed senior staffers. And if not, we will have tossed our Common Sense into the trash can, and with another incurred concretized tangent, that being the marriage-between intellectual laziness and criminal stupidity.

    And as per this thread, Flynn is just another example, of our nation’s gross behavior.

    And as a gentle reminder to myself, my self-restraint, is being shattered in this instance, since Flynn’s and his realm of likemindedness, can kiss my ass and without any perpetuity cost required. To wit, I am a military veteran and many of my beloved Brothers and Sisters of Shared Experiences died because of these ASSHATS!

  9. Tommy D Cosmology says:

    There are definitely GOP-friendly FBI types in Giuliani’s circles. What ever happened to the IG’s investigation into FBI agents leaking info to Giuliani that he referred to as a “surprise” that would be coming just before the election? Oh, and I wonder if any emails exist between agents saying that Hillary Clinton should not be President. You know—like the ones about Trump that got Strzok fired? Holding my breath for this investigation…

  10. jaango says:

    Aw, C’mon, where’s the humor in this, the daily life…

    Take, for example, I am advocate for ‘exporting’ our Congress, yes, both chambers onto the Navajo Reservation. And with taxpayer supported public housing, the Members, their staffs and to even including the interns, would be a comparable blessing in disguise. And because our Congress does very little, this ever extensive community would be required to ‘familiarize’ themselves the 27 Native American languages and the 22 “domestic” cultures, and subsequently our approach to Decency Personified could quickly be achieved.

    Further, on the food service of a daily basis, for example, would consist of the following: on Mondays, European American foods would be readily available; on Tuesday’s Latino-oriented foods would be provided, on Wednesday’s African Amerian foods would be provided; and on Thursday’s Asian American or perhaps, the full plate of Chinese food could be provided. And subsequently, Congress would adjust its schedule, that being that Friday, Saturday and Sunday would be designated as “vacation” days.

    AND now that I’ve bored ya’ all to hell, I’ll drop this tad of humor and go on and craft an in-depth critique of El Trumpudo.

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