Following Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation from the national security adviser post, several prominent Russian officials defended the embattled Donald Trump appointee on social media. Their speaking out on Flynn’s behalf doesn’t lend any helpful optics to the retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, whose past dealings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak were what caused him so much political trouble to begin with. Then again, considering the perilous nature of the perceived relationship between the Trump administration and the Kremlin, the comments are bound to draw even more ire from the president’s harshest critics.
According to the Associated Press, the Russian parliament’s foreign affairs committee chairman Konstantin Kosachev took to Facebook to express his displeasure at Flynn’s resignation. He suggested the source of the national security advisor’s exist — his allegedly close (and possibly illegal) ties to Russia — was “not just paranoia but something even worse.” Kosachev didn’t go into detail about what he meant by “something even worse,” though he did take the opportunity to lambaste the White House as well. “Either Trump hasn’t found the necessary independence and he’s been driven into a corner,” he contended, “or Russophobia has permeated the new administration from top to bottom.”
Kosachev’s counterpart in the Russian parliament’s lower chamber, Alexei Pushkov, tweeted a similar sentiment following the news of Flynn’s resignation. “It was not Flynn who was targeted,” he argued, “but relations with Russia.” However, neither the Kremlin nor President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov would officially comment on the matter. “It’s none of our business,” the latter told the press before noting “Trump’s team has not been shaped yet” when asked about whether relations between Moscow and Washington would be affected.
(Via Associated Press)