- Matt Naham, Rare.us
President Donald Trump reacted on Twitter late Saturday to the guilty plea of his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn by asking why Flynn’s “life is destroyed” for lying to the FBI while "nothing happens" to Hillary Clinton.
“So General Flynn lies to the FBI and his life is destroyed, while Crooked Hillary Clinton, on that now famous FBI holiday ‘interrogation’ with no swearing in and no recording, lies many times…and nothing happens to her? Rigged system, or just a double standard?” Trump asked in his first tweet.
The president then questioned the state of the “‘Justice’ Department” in the United States.
“Many people in our Country are asking what the “Justice” Department is going to do about the fact that totally Crooked Hillary, AFTER receiving a subpoena from the United States Congress, deleted and ‘acid washed’ 33,000 Emails? No justice!” he added.
Earlier in the day, Trump also tweeted about Flynn’s guilty plea, as well as an erroneous ABC News report about it.
“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!” Trump tweeted.
Flynn, on Friday, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and pledged to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
Earlier Saturday, The Washington Post and others reported the president told reporters both that he is not worried about the plea and that he is pleased that “what has been shown is no collusion."
“There’s been absolutely no collusion, so we’re very happy,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”
Flynn, a 58-year-old retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, accepted responsibility for his actions in a written statement: “My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country.”
Immediately after Flynn’s plea, White House lawyer Ty Cobb sought to put distance between Trump and the ex-aide, saying, “Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn.”
Trump grew close to Flynn during the campaign. The general was a vocal and reliable Trump surrogate, known for leading crowds in “Lock her up” chants regarding Democrat Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. After his election victory, Trump elevated Flynn as his top national security adviser.
But Flynn’s White House tenure was short-lived. He was forced to resign in February following news reports revealing that Obama administration officials had informed the Trump White House that Flynn had discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, a fact at odds with the public assertions of Vice President Mike Pence.
Another Trump tweet congratulated ABC News for suspending Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross.
ABC News, under fire since an erroneous Friday report claiming that Flynn would testify that the president ordered him to contact Russians while a candidate for president, has responded by suspending Ross for four weeks.
ABC News called the mistake a “serious error,” although before it had attempted a “clarification” and then a “correction.”
Ross has been suspended without pay.
ABC News made headlines for how it handled the error. The Washington Post went so far as to call “cowardly” the initial “clarification” released by ABC, a statement that later turned into a “correction.”
The initial report said that Trump, while a presidential candidate, ordered Flynn to contact Russians. The correction said the order actually came during the transition when Trump was president-elect.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.