Two days after firing Michael Flynn as his national security adviser in February, President Donald Trump told several aides and friends he should have kept him instead.
Trump, several people close to him say, sometimes appears to question decisions even after they’ve been made. He told New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie that he could still be labor secretary even after he’d publicly named Alexander Acosta to the role. He privately told former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani he could potentially still name him as attorney general after he’d offered Jeff Sessions to the job.
But the Flynn situation has been different, several officials and advisers said. “I was kind of stunned,” one person said. “I asked him. You fired him already. What are you going to do?”
Trump has grown obsessed with defending the tough-talking 58-year old general, repeatedly telling aides and associates in private that Flynn was a “good man.” One adviser close to Trump said he’s heard Trump defend the general using the exact words described in reports of memos written by former FBI director James Comey recording his conversations with the president – and that Trump has told people inside the White House he wished the investigation would go away.
It has left White House officials and outside advisers perplexed: why is Trump so determined to defend a man at the center of a federal investigation that is damaging his administration, and a man he has accused of lying to his vice president?
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