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Surprise! It hit me listening to Rachel Maddow tell us how we should be humble trying to figure out Mike #Flynn. Something did not seem to fit. Here was a former Democrat and Obama official suddenly turning into Trump's best friend and shouting "Lock her up!" to an enthused GOP Convention response. Gung-ho flip, Mike.

But as I listened to Rachel, a hypothesis began to take shape and it has stayed with me. I think we can assume Flynn wanted money, needed money, and wished he had more of it. I think Russia, ever alert, figured him for a huge mark.

Flynn may have joined the Trump campaign as a Russian plant who could look his new buddy in the eye and say, "Your secret is safe with me." The secret was the bulk of the contents of the Steele Memorandum, 34 pages of investigative reporting.

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I think Flynn was the guy who told Trump there was a surefire way to keep Russia happy.

Flynn in chains

If this speculation has legs, Trump knew that Russia could blackmail him anytime, possibly with videos of the ultimate scene in the Steele papers -- a liaison in Moscow in which Trump is sufficiently compromised to make denial an impossibility. I am not going there because all you need is the information here to do your own Google search. If you include Buzzfeed you will come to the original publication of the Steele Investigations.

Rising

I think Flynn was a star that rose very precipitously in the Trump orbit and was rewarded with a loyalty born of mortal fear. Bear in mind that Trump is not known for close attachments and if he seems to have one you need to think twice.

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This is the man who walked away from his substitute father Roy Cohn when the former McCarthy counsel was dying of AIDS.

There was a period of time when Flynn's demonstrable flaws were on full display. Whether it was exuberance at sudden Russian recognition or stupidity. Flynn [VIDEO] was in deep and early trouble but Trump [VIDEO] and the White House did nothing. He was a liability from the very beginning but got kid gloves treatment and the only explanation was the correct one. Trump alone was protecting him. Not Kellyanne or any of the other Trump inner circle.

Toleration

I must assume that Flynn's shortcomings were accepted by Trump because Trump had been told directly by Flynn that he knew what the #Russians knew. If that was the case it would explain almost everything that happened then and has happened since. It would explain why immunity would have suited Flynn just fine. He could then ignore that he knew anything in the Steele revelations. Trump was heavy on the side of immunity.

But when Mueller charged him and Mike Flynn was clearly flipping, the dam broke. Denial set in. Trump blanched. Truth eats away. If this is the explanation, we have a sensible basis for suggesting that Trump should be very afraid. #Donald Trump