By John Wagner,
President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, lent his support Tuesday to a Republican Senate candidate in Montana, vouching for the strength of his character.
Flynn, who retired from the Army as a three-star general, called into a Montana radio station to tout the military credentials of Senate hopeful Troy Downing, one of four candidates seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester.
“We need more of our veterans participating in the political discourse, the political life of our country,” Flynn said on “Montana Talks” with Aaron Flint. “They basically bring a fiber and a strength to our country that is missing and has been missing for sometime. . . . I do want to continue to do what I can for Troy and others around the country.”
Flynn, who is attempting to become more visible politically even as he awaits federal sentencing, had planned to appear at a rally for Downing over the weekend but backed out because of what he described as a family emergency.
Flynn was a frequent presence on the campaign trail in 2016 with Trump, where he delivered fiery denunciations of Democrat Hillary Clinton, including leading a “lock her up” chant at the Republican National Convention.
During the radio interview, Flynn brushed off an opportunity to talk about his case and about conservatives who’ve rallied to his side, arguing that he was a victim of an overzealous special prosecutor probing Russian interference in the 2016 election.
[Pro-Trump groups air ads against Montana’s Tester for questions that derailed VA pick]
Flynn pleaded guilty in December to lying to the FBI about his contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the Trump presidential transition. Flynn has been said to be cooperating with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III as he investigates ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
During the interview, Flynn also teed off on Tester, who has become a big target for Trump and national Republicans in the wake of the withdrawal of Trump’s nominee, Ronny L. Jackson, to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs.
[Ronny Jackson withdraws as Trump’s nominee to lead VA]
Tester, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, released a two-page document that detailed accusations of workplace misconduct by Jackson, a rear Navy admiral and White House physician, including drinking on the job.
Jackson vigorously denied the allegations, and the White House has sought to disprove them.
On the radio, Flynn called the accusations “totally unfounded.”
“He ruins the career of an admiral in the United States Navy,” Flynn said of Tester.