Michael Flynn Plea Overtakes Trump's Big Win On Tax Reform

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s guilty plea on Friday to one charge of lying to FBI agents eclipsed a week of relative successes for President Trump and raised questions about how the White House would respond to the first criminal charges against someone who once worked in the West Wing.

During a week that saw President Trump win a legal battle over control of a federal agency, successfully advance one of his top legislative priorities, and score an optics win by hosting a Christmas party that some reporters boycotted, Flynn’s indictment on one count of making false statements to investigators still emerged as the most explosive story of the past five days.

Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist, said the speculation surrounding Flynn’s cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller would create uncomfortable headlines for the president but wouldn’t derail the tax reform agenda currently making its way through Congress.

“No one on Capitol Hill is going to go, ‘Oh, gee, Flynn copped a plea, now I’m not going to vote for tax reform,’” O’Connell said.

But O’Connell noted the Flynn news would “overshadow all the good things that happened this week.”

White House officials have been operating under a “Russian cloud” since even before Mueller’s appointment over the summer, O’Connell noted, and congressional Republicans have already factored the allegations into their calculations about whether to support the president’s agenda.

Read more from Sarah Westwood at the Washington Examiner

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