We all know why Donald Trump was officially in West Palm Beach this weekend: he was playing golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and taking a vacation at his Mar-a-Lago home. It’s not as clear why embattled Russia-tainted National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn was with him in West Palm Beach. But it raises even more questions when you throw in the fact that Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev also flew into West Palm Beach this weekend.
New of Michael Flynn’s Russian collusion first broke on Friday. By that time it would have been too late to yank Flynn from Donald Trump’s trip to West Palm Beach. But the question is why Flynn had been included in the West Palm Beach trip to begin with. By all accounts he was already on the outs with Trump before the Russia revelation, with Trump having already fired Flynn’s son from the White House over pizza-gate.
Perhaps Flynn was included on the Palm Beach trip as a formality in his role as National Security Advisor, even though there’s little to suggest that he has any remaining input on national security. But here’s the intriguing part. As we reported on Saturday, internet sleuths had pieced together based on flight plans that Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev flew all the way from Switzerland to West Palm Beach on Saturday, while Trump and Flynn just happened to be there. This story becomes more intriguing now that it’s been confirmed that Flynn was in on Trump’s West Palm Beach trip.
Rybolovlev has previous documented real estate dealings with Trump. And it’s widely suspected (though not proven) that Vladimir Putin has been using Rybolovlev as some kind of go-between with Trump during the election collusion. Which comes back to the question of why Michael Flynn – whom we now know is a Russian patsy – made the trip with Trump to West Palm Beach. Was Flynn meeting with Rybolovlev to discuss the fallout from the wiretap revelations? If so, did Trump know about it? We’re still working to confirm why Flynn was officially included on this trip, and at what point he was added to the roster.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report