General Michael Flynn has discovered that news has the habit of arriving at the least welcome times. The controversy surrounding President Trump’s national security advisor and Head of the National Security Council risks further destabilizing an already rocky White House.

The Russian Ambassador

Michael Flynn’s nomination had already been greeted with suspicion by some members of the American intelligence community and even Republican politicians due to his controversial past. Therefore the news of his visits to Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s Ambassador to the United States before President Trump’s Inauguration drew unwanted attention to his nomination.

At the time Flinn explained the visits as routine and in preparation for the new Administration.

Last Thursday a bomb shell report in the Washington Post stated that Flynn and the Ambassador also discussed the lifting of the Obama Administration’s sanctions on Russia following the first reports of Russian interference in the presidential campaign won by #Donald Trump. Many took this as confirmation of the suspicions surrounding Putin’s tepid reaction to the sanctions.

Flynn’s initial explanation for the visits had been accepted at face value by members of the White House to the point that Vice President Mike Pence had repeated them in public interviews, thus causing even further embarrassment.

Intelligence community in revolt?

To make matters worse, the Washington Post report coincided with news from CNN that agencies of the intelligence community had verified parts of the report alleging Russian interference in the election in favour of Donald Trump. This news drew even more unwanted attention on Flynn.

The strained reaction of the White House was evident when members of the Staff such as Stephen Miller on weekend news programmes refused to address the question directly.

On Sunday the New York Times reported disarray in the National Security Council headed by Flynn.

These reports regarding Flynn are an indication of unrest between the intelligence community and the new Administration in reaction to the reports of Russian interference. Furthermore, President Trump’s public statements regarding their capacities and his known impatience with detailed intelligence briefings indicate a low level of cooperation and trust between the White House and those responsible with monitoring the country’s enemies and keeping the Government informed of potentially dangerous developments.

Thorn to be grasped

President Trump now has another thorn that must be grasped firmly and decisively. Michael Flynn’s role in the White House must be reviewed as a matter of urgency. The many reports of distrust by the international community, above all from America’s allies, demand that action be taken immediately on the former General.

As one of the world’s superpowers in opposition to Russia and China, the United States cannot afford to be perceived as weak, or subject to manipulation by other countries, as Flynn’s behaviour could be interpreted. At stake is not only the security of the United States, but also its alliances with the other countries such as France and Germany who in anticipation of their national elections this year have already publicly announced measures to combat possible hacking by foreign powers.

At the beginning of the new week President Donald Trump must make a decision that could be personally painful and certainly embarrassing, but at stake is the country’s security and reputation. He has to take drastic action in regards to Michael Flynn. The cost of not doing so would be too high.