Michael Flynn’s Resignation

There is a lot of talk at the moment about how the “intelligence community” brought down Michael Flynn, and how Trump’s opponents now smell blood in the water and will go after another of his cabinet as they attempt to destroy his entire administration and Presidency.

What surprised me about Flynn’s resignation was that Trump accepted it. Perhaps Trump is the sort of man who will see any resignation as a sign that the individual in question is no longer up to the job. I have certainly seen American managers of far lower stature than Trump refuse to waver over an employee’s resignation on the grounds that to enter into a negotiation after he or she has resigned is a sign of weakness on the part of the manager. Any negotiations must take place beforehand, with the resignation being a final decision. I know at least one person who submitted his resignation in the hope his management would beg him to stay and was most upset to find it promptly accepted and him being shuffled out the door. So that might be one reason why Trump accepted Flynn’s resignation.

But assuming this was not the case, why would Trump accept Flynn’s resignation when doing so would appear to be a victory for his opponents and give credibility to the claims that Flynn had done something wrong? My guess is that Flynn’s resignation was accepted, and possibly even encouraged, by Trump because he had breached some sort of internal disciplinary standard rather than because he has been compromised by the Russians and there is a baying mob outside the White House doors. In other words, somewhere along the line Flynn pissed off Trump, probably unintentionally, and for Trump maintaining discipline among the ranks is important. What Flynn actually did in relation to the Russians is likely to have nothing to do with the decision to remove him from the post, and nor are the “demands” of Trump’s opponents.

If Trump is the sort of person who can be pushed into firing members of his cabinet by media pressure, opportunistic Democrats and Republicans, and treacherous staff in the civil service then he might as well pack up and go home now. I suspect this isn’t the case, and Flynn was fired for reasons that have more to do with how Trump manages than what the media say he did. I doubt we’ll know for a few years exactly how Flynn transgressed, but Trump will have made it abundantly clear to the rest of his team and they’ll not be making the same mistake. If I’m right on this, next time the “intelligence community” or somebody else tries to force out one of Trump’s cabinet picks – which I think will be very soon the way things are going – they might find the target to be quite well protected. They might also find revenge to be swift.

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11 thoughts on “Michael Flynn’s Resignation

  1. I’ve a post at 11 about it.

    There seems little doubt about the sabotage and it’s easy to see why – not just the Iran deal but all the other things NATO/CIA have been up to.

    However, the reason it was accepted was far simpler – Flynn gave his enemies ammunition. Trump’s only chance to survive is to play it straight and not be bogged down by scandal. He had no choice with Flynn, though the latter was uniquely placed to drain the swamp.

  2. Flynn was apparently disliked by everyone once hey got to know him – from the rest of the cabinet on down. I suspect his resignation was partly that no one wanted to stand up for him.

  3. He resigned (before he was sacked) because he lied to the VP, Mike Pence, about discussing sanctions with the Russian Ambassador. Pence then went on TV and said those conversations hadn’t taken place because he had asked Flynn whether they had and Flynn had denied it.

    You can’t land your bosses in hot water by lying to them and hope to survive.Especially with Trump. As a side note it shows the power of Pence; a more influential VP than most.

  4. Recusant,

    Yes, that seems the most plausible explanation to me. It wasn’t that he met with the Russians and what he said/didn’t say, it’s that he lied about it and made his senior manager look like a chump. Given how quickly he’s been booted, I don’t think this will do much harm to Trump.

  5. “I don’t think this will do much harm to Trump”

    Agreed – but the BBC tries its pathetic best: it’s still (16:25) no 1 featured news on the BBC website homepage

  6. Nice summary, the left will spin it as an implosion I just see it as a job that had to be done and Trump is just the man to cut when needed, in a few weeks this will be forgotten and Trump will have caused more trouble for the left than their tiny little minds can process.

  7. Clearly the administration has an entrenched oppositional bias. The kindest way for Trump to stop this is a simple decimation. 1 in 10 people dismissed, done in as random a way as possible. Maybe a TV game show.

    These folks must be taught to obey the constitution.

    Their role is to point out problems, adverse reactions, etc,: not to brief the media and opposition.

  8. I work for a couple of entrepreneurs, and apart from their endless energy and drive, the key ability they have IMO is that they delegate well. You can’t build a decent sized business without this skill. Trump took a lot of time making his cabinet picks, but I thought at the time that it was likely he would make one or two mistakes, and, if that happened, he would act quickly. Flynn jumped the gun, lied to Pence and there was no way back for him.
    On Twitter, Trump is continually goading NBC and CNN over their fake news. It seems childish, but he’s trying to keep their animosity focused on him. I think the reason for this is that over the coming weeks, his cabinet is going to stir things up so much, it’ll help if the boss is taking most of the flak.

  9. The key to good management isn’t knowing exactly who to hire, quite honestly, that is an impossible skill, but rather being quick to identify a mistake and resolve it without delay.

  10. That’s a rather, shall we say, gymnastic, display of generous assumptions and far-reaching speculation. All to avoid the simplest plausible explanation at hand: that Flynn’s resignation was for pretty much the reason reported by most of the world’s mainstream media…

  11. All to avoid the simplest plausible explanation at hand: that Flynn’s resignation was for pretty much the reason reported by most of the world’s mainstream media…

    Which is what? That Flynn talked to the Russians hence proving Trump is actually Putin’s puppet? This is more plausible than his firing being the result of lying to his management? Each to their own, I suppose.

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