Michael Flynn Explains Away Donald Trump's Worst Debate Moment... By Changing It
Once again ,there were Trump supporters in the house at the debate Wednesday night. They may not have been as controversial as his guests were the last go around, but they still were ready to stand by their man. One of his surrogates in attendance was the retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who directed the Defense Intelligence Agency until 2014. Upon leaving office he hitched his trailer to the Trump train, and now getting Trump into the White House is his top goal. Bustle talked to Flynn about Trump's insistence that the system is rigged.
That will be remembered as the most moment of the debate. Trump was asked point blank by the moderator, Fox News' Chris Wallace, if he would accept the results of the election. Trump demurred and said he would consider the situation on Nov. 8. "I’m not looking at anything now. I’ll look at it at the time," Trump said. Wallace pointed out that peaceful transitions are a cornerstone of any Democracy and one of the proud traditions of the United States. Trump isn't worried about that. "I will tell you at the time," Trump responded. "I’ll keep you in suspense."
Not exactly the kind of response you generally hear from a political candidate of the major parties. But it does seem to be one that Flynn supports. The New York Times has reported that he and Trump talk a couple times a week (he was thought to be in the running for the VP spot back in July), and that he was a key part of Trump's prep team for this third debate as national security was a one of the main topics.
But yet Flynn was happy to defend his boss, if changing the facts a bit regarding Trump's answer. Flynn told Bustle: "He'll accept the outcome. The idea of the suspense is the rigging of the system includes the media, the incredible bias against Donald Trump by the media. And also, when you look at all the different things that are happening, and this goes back to other elections in different cities around the country. People have to pay attention. We're not a third-world country. We're a first-world, we're the leader of the free world, so we should have an election system that's free of problems, but we don't."
When pushed by Bustle reporter Emily Shire that one potential problem would be his refusal to accept the election results, Flynn shot back, "That's not what he said. He will agree to that." Trump may not be committing to a peaceful transition, but this big-time surrogate is on Trump's behalf. "Donald Trump's going to accept the outcome of the election, what he's telling the American public is let's pay close attention to what's happening," Flynn said. Too bad that isn't what Trump said.
Flynn also went on to defend Trump's performance, particularly regarding foreign policy. "I think he did great," Flynn said. "He nailed foreign policy. I think what he did is that he showed where she has failed. He clearly showed where she has failed. From Russia, to China, to the Middle East, you know, the discussion about where Russia has become much stronger and now is in the Middle East is unlike they've been in 40 years." Clinton was actually the one who first brought up Russia, connecting Trump to Putin and putting him on the defense.
Nevertheless, Flynn thinks Trump did great. "He needed to make sure that all these people out there tonight, independents, many Democrats, many others that are out there kind of looking for a reason to vote," Flynn said. "Donald Trump gave them a reason to vote for him." Well, there's at least one other person who agrees with him. Trump late Wednesday night tweeted out two online polls claiming he one the debate.
Additional reporting by Emily Shire.