michael flynn, sentencing, hearing, guilty, fox, huckabee sanders, trump

Here’s How Fox News & the White House Are Desperately Trying to Spin Flynn’s Hearing

It's not going well.

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Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn appeared in court today for sentencing after pleading guilty last year to lying to the FBI regarding conversations he had with Russian officials. Yet despite his guilty plea, and his many subsequent reiterations that he is, in fact, guilty, Fox News, as well as the White House, insist on defending him against his own words.

As General Flynn was preparing to go into court this morning, Trump tweeted him a message of good luck.

Trump’s comment about seeing what Flynn has to say is being interpreted by many as an attempt to tamper with yet another witness in Robert Mueller’s investigation. Trump must be especially worried because Flynn was apparently so cooperative with Mueller’s team that the special counsel recommended a sentence so light it might not even require prison time.

In court today, Judge Emmet Sullivan gave Flynn chance after chance to revise his plea, or to offer some sort of context to why he would lie to the FBI–was he confused? Ambushed? Entrapped? He repeatedly said no. He’s just plain guilty.

And yet, over at Fox News, they seem to be working overtime to protect Flynn from, I suppose, himself.

He reportedly lied to the FBI on what was his fourth day on the job, after Trump was elected but before he took office. Some people might take that as a sign that corruption was built into the administration as a fundamental tenet of the campaign. Fox, on the other hand, is trying to say that Flynn–who worked for two years in the Obama White House–just hadn’t gotten the hang of the job yet.

Over at the White House, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was also trying to sell the press on the idea that Michael Flynn was tricked by those meanies at the FBI.

Quick question for Michael Flynn, were you tricked by those FBI meanies or are you just guilty?

Are you sure you don’t want to go with Rudy Giuliani’s nobody told me not to lie so how could I have known defense?

Cool, that’s what we thought.

Huckabee Sanders also defended Trump’s decision to call Michael Cohen a “rat,” by which he was implying that mob-like loyalty is more important than honesty or country.

Judge Sullivan lambasted Flynn for having “sold [his] country out,” telling him “I’m not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offense.” He even went so far as to imply Flynn might be guilty of treason, though he later (rightly) walked that suggestion back.

Still, in the end, he decided to postpone sentencing until March of 2019 so that both sides can file a report and to give Flynn a chance to work out “the last modicum of cooperation” in the case. Which I suppose means we have three more months of Trump’s Twitter meltdowns to look forward to.

(image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.