By the numbers:
Democratic senators who voted for Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary: 1
Average viewers of Sean Spicer’s press briefings: 4.3 million
Views for SNL’s second Spicer skit: 9.2 million
Flynn’s resigns amid fallout from Russian connections
National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has caught the attention of intelligence officials due to his relationship with Russia. To catch you up, in December of 2015 Flynn attended the 10th anniversary of RT, which is a propaganda machine for Russia, and sat himself next to President Vladimir Putin. It was also a paid speaking gig for Flynn.
So to recap: Flynn, current national security adviser to the president of the United States, went to a state dinner for a propaganda machine as a guest of honor and prior to the dinner gave a paid talk about world affairs.
One year later in December of 2016, Flynn spoke to Sergey Kislyak, current Russian Ambassador to the United States, on the same day the Obama administration announced new sanctions on Russia.
Over the weekend, we learned from intelligence officials that Flynn discussed those same sanctions with the Russian ambassador. It’s clearly a dicey situation and the messaging out of the White House has been less than clear. Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that Trump was still looking it over and Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, told MSNBC that everything was fine now.
UPDATE: Last night around 11pm, Michael Flynn officially resigned from his position in the White House. Flynn, in his resignation letter, wrote that he gave “incomplete information” to Vice President Pence over the nature of his talks with Ambassador Kislyak in December.
Flynn’s replacement will be Lt. General Joseph Kellogg Jr. until a permanent replacement is brought on board.
Trump’s cabinet is filling up
Tonight, Steve Mnuchin was confirmed as treasury secretary by a familiarly tight vote of 53 to 47. Mnuchin is a controversial figure because of his failure to disclose nearly $100 million of assets and his role in the 2007-2008 financial crisis.
Mnuchin is the latest in Trump’s long line of cabinet nominees that await Senate confirmation, with 10 now confirmed and 12 still awaiting confirmation. Only one Democratic senator, Joe Manchin (no relation) of West Virginia, broke with party to confirm Mnuchin, so it seems the stalwart Democratic caucus is holding in its opposition to the Trump administration.