Donald Trump’s 18-Day Gap

We didn’t really learn anything new in today’s congressional hearing, but the questioning did highlight one of the ugliest aspects of the Flynn affair. Sally Yates testified that she informed White House counsel on January 26 that Mike Flynn had lied about his contacts with the Russians and that he was vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians. “To state the obvious,” Yates said, “you don’t want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians.”

For 18 days, President Trump didn’t do anything. Nor did he give any sign that he ever planned to do anything. It was only after Flynn’s actions became public, via a leak to the Washington Post, that Trump finally fired him.

He’s never explained why he didn’t fire Flynn immediately. Richard Nixon had his 18-minute gap, and now Trump has an 18-day gap. Instead of grousing endlessly about the leak, Trump should tell us if he would have kept a security risk like Flynn in his inner circle forever if the leak had never happened.