Well, Month One of the Trump Presidency hasn’t been boring. There are so many things we could talk about, but on this episode of American Wonk, we focus on one story in particular: the appointment and subsequent ouster of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as U.S. National Security Advisor.

President Trump has a conspicuously more favorable view of Vladimir Putin than do most conservatives. And in a pro-Putin White House, Michael Flynn was perhaps the most pro-Putin guy of all.

All of a sudden, it came out that Flynn had misled Vice-President Pence about conversations he’d had with the Russian ambassador, prior to the inauguration, about lifting U.S. sanctions. A few days later Flynn was out.

But that’s not the end of the story. As Eli Lake spelled out in a fantastic piece for Bloomberg View entitled “The Political Assassination of Michael Flynn,” the leaks that led to Flynn’s ouster are themselves highly disturbing, because they call into question the democratic legitimacy of career officials in the executive branch.

If you don’t know Eli, well, you should. Prior to becoming a columnist at Bloomberg View, Eli was the senior national security correspondent for the Daily Beast and has covered the same beat for the Washington Times, the New York Sun, and UPI. He’s one of the most perceptive writers on foreign policy you’ll find anywhere.

Along with talking about Michael Flynn, Eli and I discuss his successor, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the performance of the rest of the Trump foreign policy team, some of the underappreciated foreign policy problems of our time, and one of the most challenging questions of all: what should we do about Russia?


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  1. Leslie Watkins Member
    Leslie Watkins
    @LeslieWatkins

    Outstanding podcast! Nice to see you back.

    • #1
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