Rachel Maddow has uncovered and tackled some of the most contentious and concerning components of the Donald Trump campaign and presidency thus far. That said, arguably none have been as scandalous as when she recently took Vice President Mike Pence to task over his involvement in the disturbing developments related to Michael Flynn.
Pence has managed to stay remarkably isolated from direct implications for most of the allegations and scandals which have dominated American politics under the Trump administration. But that is not the case any longer.
In this enlightening segment, Maddow slammed Mike Pence for his bold-face lie to the American people, whom he pledged to serve.
It recently came out that Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser not only had unlawful communications with the Russian ambassador as a private citizen pertaining to sanctions that President Obama was in the process of imposing on Russia, but that he was also on the payroll of another foreign government. Flynn was being paid not a significant amount of money to “lobby” for the interests of the Turkish government. This work was sought and obtained via Flynn’s own consulting company and he was on payroll while serving on Trump’s campaign team, transition team and into his tenure as the National Security Advisor. He sat in on daily intelligence briefings and received untold amounts of intel on Turkey and their allies, despite being on the payroll of the Turkish government.
Given that this constitutes being an agent of a foreign government, this is no small matter. Of further importance is the issue that allegedly, Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump knew nothing about it.
Their supporters somehow believe that Donald Trump and Mike Pence are both competent, and that they had no idea Michael Flynn had ties to Turkey… yet aren’t those things by definition, mutually exclusive?
Rachel Maddow was not about to let them get away with that dismissive, and nonsensical claim though. She identified in her segment that:
‘That cannot be true. It is impossible this is the first Mike Pence has heard of it. Mike Pence was the head of the [Trump] transition, while all of those news stories of Mike Flynn being on the Turkish government’s payroll were breaking. He was the head of the transition when Mike Flynn was being vetted for the National Security Advisor job. He was the head of the transition when Congress formally notified the head of the transition that Mike Flynn appears to be on a foreign government’s payroll. He was the head of the transition when Mike Flynn’s personal lawyers came and told the transition that Mike Flynn maybe needed to register as a foreign agent.’
She further identified that so many components of the Mike Pence/Michael Flynn resignation scandal and excuses make no sense. Firstly with regard to Michael Flynn, his ties and financial gains from Turkey were well known from very early on, and was reported by various media outlets. Secondly, Mike Pence was the head of the transition and therefore should have been overseeing and checking up on people who were going to be involved, or were involved in the Trump team.
Michael Flynn also wrote an op-ed on Election Day for The Hill, which supported the current Turkish leader in savagely punishing (beheading, among other things) his political dissidents. Specifically, now that the news of Flynn’s connections to Turkey have become public, it was determined by the Hill that he indeed wrote the article as a direct function of his lobbying work for the Turkish government. It is further identified by The Hill, in the article, that Flynn permitted the company which paid him on Turkey’s behalf, Inovo BV to review the draft of this article before it was submitted and published.
Next, regarding Pence’s involvement and claims in the Michael Flynn/Russia scandal, Michael Flynn’s entire resignation was framed as being because of an erosion of trust because he lied to Mike Pence. But Flynn resigned nearly three weeks after the Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice went to the White House and confirmed Flynn had lied, bringing with her evidence in the form of transcript(s) of at least one phone conversation between Flynn and the Russian official.
It is worth noting that Michael Flynn did not register this lobbying payroll from the Turkish government to the Justice Department as he should have, at that time. He has now filed, and he claimed roughly half a million dollars in income from the Turkish government, confirming earlier reports.
Ultimately, Maddow shattered Mike Pence’s attempts to play the victim with regard to the Michael Flynn scandal and resignation — including these new claims feigning innocence regarding his connection with Turkey, and that is a truly beautiful thing to watch.
Who knew the Trump administration really meant “Money First” or “Friends First” when they ran around spewing the “America First” slogan?
WATCH Rachel Maddow unpack all of this on MSNBC below:
Feature Image via Getty Images/Mario Tama.