Months ago, Donald Trump got rid of his Deputy National Security Adviser KT McFarland, but handed her a consolation prize by nominating her as his U.S. Ambassador to Singapore. That nomination remained in limbo for several months before we finally found out why. McFarland had admitted in a transition team email that she knew Russia had rigged the election for Trump. The nomination was withdrawn. Then Trump nominated her again. Now she appears to be signaling that she’s cut a deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Follow the logic here. When Trump re-nominated McFarland roughly a month ago, she had to have signed off on the move. That meant that she thought she could get through Senate confirmation hearings unscathed, even though the Democrats would use their time to question her about her role in the Trump-Russia scandal. But today she’s asked Trump to withdraw her nomination again, according to CNN and other sources. Nothing has changed about the confirmation hearings. The only possible explanation is that something has changed on her end.
Maybe she just doesn’t want to go to Singapore after all? No, she’s spent the better part of a year hanging her hat on the Ambassador job. She clearly wanted this. Now she’s suddenly decided she can’t go through confirmation hearings. The most logical explanation is that she’s cut a plea deal with Mueller, and now she can’t answer questions about the Trump-Russia scandal during her confirmation hearings.
Consider that just yesterday, Mueller extended the sentencing date for McFarland’s former boss Michael Flynn by ninety days. This means that Flynn has just recently provided additional evidence that Mueller is still putting to good use. Did Flynn just sell McFarland out, forcing her to cut a deal as well? This has echoes of a few months ago, when Trump nominee Sam Clovis abruptly withdrew his name. We learned that he was a cooperating witness in a Trump-Russia grand jury.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report