So now we know why Vladimir Putin was so generous on December 30 in deciding not to retaliate for President Obama’s decision to kick a number of Russian diplomats out of the country because of Russian interference with the November election. The reason is that General Michael Flynn had told (or strongly hinted to) Russia’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, that a soft Russian response to Obama’s action would help the cause of removing sanctions on Russia. Flynn is gratifyingly gone: he is an Islamaphobe and conspiracy theorist as well as someone with much too cozy a relationship with the Russian elite. But important questions remain.
The chief question is: Who else besides Flynn was in touch with Russian officials before Trump took office? What did they discuss, and promise? And did they speak for Trump? People in his administration knew of Flynn’s lying about his conversation with Kislyak a month ago. Why didn’t Trump act then? (A fair guess: because Trump was committed to protecting Flynn and his Russia connection—until the Flynn case could no longer be covered up.)
Suddenly, the “Trump Dossier” is back front and center. Was that document, produced by a former British intelligence officer, really just so much nonsense after all?