Seth Meyers Presses Trump on Flynn: We Must Know ‘What the President Knew and When He Knew It’
Seth Meyers, the SNL head writer turned Late Night host, has been pretty tough on Donald Trump when it comes to foreign policy. He’s called him a conspiracy theorist whose “shoot-from-the-hip approach to foreign policy” could prove dangerous, and took the president to task for responding to Bill O’Reilly’s query that Putin is a “killer” by saying, “We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think, our country’s so innocent?”
On Tuesday night, Meyers’s latest “Closer Look” segment focused on the resignation of Trump’s National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, a former general with a “troubling penchant for conspiracy theories,” Islamophobia, and a man who was forced out of the Defense Intelligence Agency by the Obama administration for gross incompetence. Flynn was forced to resign after The Washington Post published an article—sourcing nine current and former U.S. officials—that revealed Flynn had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia on calls with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the month before President Trump took office. The administration, including then-Vice President-elect Mike Pence, had repeatedly denied that sanctions were discussed, so the administration line is that Flynn was let go because he misled VP Pence.
Of course, the resignation of Flynn was pretty darn ironic given that, during the Republican National Convention, he stated: “I have called on Hillary Clinton to drop out of the race! We do not need a reckless president who believes she is above the law… If I did a tenth—a tenth—of what she did, I would be in jail today,” before leading “Lock her up” chants.
But questions remain. Late last month, acting Attorney General Sally Yates and a senior national security official reportedly warned Trump that they believed Flynn had “misled” the administration about his call with the Russian ambassador, and that he was “potentially vulnerable to Russian blackmail.” Further, The Washington Post quoted U.S. officials as claiming that: “Just six days into his presidency, Donald Trump was informed his national security adviser had misled his vice president about contacts with Russia,” and that he “kept [Pence] in the dark.”
Meyers addressed how “Flynn and the Trump administration insisted for weeks that Flynn did not discuss U.S. sanctions with the Russian ambassador when they spoke in December,” and ran clips of Trump’s senior policy adviser Stephen Miller telling Chuck Todd of Flynn on Feb. 12 “that is a question you should ask the president,” while Kellyanne Conway told MSNBC the following day that Flynn “enjoys the full confidence of the president.”
“And then, there’s the president himself—and the question of what the president knew and when he knew it,” said Meyers. “The Justice Department apparently warned the White House weeks ago that Flynn had talked about sanctions and then lied about it, and today, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the White House has been reviewing the situation ‘for weeks,’ and yet, just a few days ago when asked about the Flynn situation, Trump said this.”
He then threw to a clip of President Trump being interviewed by a gaggle of reporters aboard Air Force One on Feb. 10, and, when asked whether he’d heard about the blockbuster Feb. 9 WaPo report on Flynn, or if he knew about allegations that Flynn had discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador, Trump replied: “I don’t know about that… I haven’t seen it. What report is that? I haven’t seen it. I haven’t seen that. I’ll look at that.”
“Trump sounds like a guy who’s being told there’s a nude scene in a movie he’s definitely already watched,” joked Meyers, before impersonating Trump: “Oh, is there? Huh? Well, maybe I’ll check that out. For the first time.”
President Trump, of course, had this to say about the Flynn resignation—over Twitter:
Cue Meyers: “First of all, you’re the one who conducted highly sensitive North Korea discussions in the dining room of your private club in Florida!” said Meyers. “The scene was so public, people were posting Instagram photos of it!”